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Health Costs

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Data Note: Americans’ Challenges with Health Care Costs

This data note summarizes our most recent polling on the public’s experiences with and worries about health care costs, and it highlights where Americans place costs on their list of health care issues for the government to address and for political candidates to discuss.

Voters Are Tuning Out the Health Care Debates

In this Axios column, Drew Altman reports on new KFF focus groups with voters. They show voters are focused on the problems they have paying for care and navigating the health system, but have yet to tune in on the health proposals being made by candidates and elected officials, and don’t see them as relevant to their problems. 

“Deductible Relief Day” is May 19

Deductible Relief Day is May 19. That’s the date by which average spending for people with employer-sponsored health insurance is sufficient to satisfy the average deductible, the amount they must pay out-of-pocket for most health care services before their insurance plan kicks in to help pay the bills, KFF analysts…

Deductible Relief Day: How Rising Deductibles are Affecting People with Employer Coverage

This analysis examines how health insurance deductibles are affecting consumers with employer-sponsored insurance. Deductibles have risen in recent years and become an increasingly prominent feature of job-based health plans. “Deductible Relief Day” refers to the date by which average spending for people with employer-sponsored health insurance is sufficient to satisfy the average deductible.

The Silent Affordability Crisis Facing Sick People

In this Axios column, Drew Altman shows that employer coverage for lower wage workers is much worse than ACA marketplace coverage for similar populations. It’s a bigger problem we need to talk about more, he says.

Beneficiaries Who Switch to Medicare Advantage Have Lower Medicare Spending and Use Fewer Services – In the Prior Year – Than Those Who Stay in Traditional Medicare

Medicare Advantage plans gain beneficiaries from traditional Medicare who have lower average spending and use fewer health services than similar beneficiaries who choose to remain in traditional Medicare, according to a new KFF analysis. The analysis finds that people who switched from traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage in 2016 had…

Do People Who Sign Up for Medicare Advantage Plans Have Lower Medicare Spending?

The analysis finds that people who switched from traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage in 2016 had health spending in 2015 that was $1,253 less, on average, than the average spending for beneficiaries who remained in traditional Medicare (after adjusting for health risk). The findings suggest that the current payment method may systematically overestimate expected costs of Medicare Advantage enrollees. Adjusting payments to reflect Medicare Advantage enrollees’ prior use of health services could potentially lower total Medicare spending by billions of dollars over a decade.