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The Rising Cost of Living Longer: Analysis of Medicare Spending by Age for Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare

This analysis provides a detailed look at per person Medicare spending on the nearly 30 million beneficiaries over age 65 who are enrolled in the traditional Medicare program. Among the key findings of the report is that per person spending rises with age, peaking at age 96. But this rise is not entirely explained by Medicare spending on end of life care, which declines with age. What Medicare spends money on also changes as beneficiaries age. Hospital care is the largest component of Medicare spending throughout the age curve, up to age 100, but there is less spending on physician services and more on home health, skilled nursing and hospice care as beneficiaries age.

In Employer Health Insurance Costs, Stability Is the New Normal

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman looks at the sharply slower growth in premiums for employer health benefits and what it might mean for the future of employer-sponsored coverage.

2014 Employer Health Benefits Survey

This annual Employer Health Benefits Survey (EHBS) provides a detailed look at trends in employer-sponsored health coverage, including premiums, employee contributions, cost-sharing provisions, and other relevant information. The 2014 EHBS survey finds average family health premiums rose 3 percent in 2014, relatively modest growth by historical standards.

Paying for Prescribed Drugs in Medicaid: Current Policy and Upcoming Changes

The federal government has proposed new rules that aim to make Medicaid outpatient drug reimbursement policies more closely match the cost of obtaining and filling prescriptions. However, the change in policy may have varying effects on reimbursement, depending on the state’s current approach and the type of drug in question. This paper explains current Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement methodology and examines the potential effect of the proposed rule changes.

The Next Big Health-Care Issue

Drew Altman, in The Wall Street Journal‘s Think Tank, writes that the next big concern for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be how much premiums increase in exchanges for 2015. He discusses the factors to focus on to put this issue in perspective when states report premium increases.

How Much Is Enough? Out-of-Pocket Spending Among Medicare Beneficiaries: A Chartbook

This new analysis and chartbook examines out-of-pocket spending among Medicare beneficiaries, including spending on health and long-term care services and insurance premiums, using the most current year of data available from a nationally representative survey of people on Medicare. It explores which types of services account for a relatively large share of out-of-pocket spending, which groups of beneficiaries (including by age, gender, health status, and chronic conditions) are especially hard hit by high out-of-pocket costs, and trends in out-of-pocket spending between 2000 and 2010.

Report Examines Current Role and Future Outlook of Retiree Health Coverage

A new Kaiser Family Foundation report examines the current role and future outlook of employer-sponsored retiree health benefits for pre-65 and Medicare-eligible retirees. Retiree Health Benefits At the Crossroads reviews recent trends and developments in employer-sponsored retiree health coverage and examines the impact of recent legislation, such as the Medicare…

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.