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An Overview of Medicare

This issue brief provides an overview of Medicare, the health insurance program for people ages 65 and over and younger people with long-term disabilities. The brief review the characteristics of people on Medicare, what Medicare covers, benefit gaps and supplemental coverage, beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket health care spending, program spending and financing, payment and delivery system reform, and issues for the future of Medicare.

The Out-of-Pocket Cost Burden for Specialty Drugs in Medicare Part D in 2019

Medicare Part D has helped to make prescription drugs more affordable for people with Medicare, yet many beneficiaries continue to face high out-of-pocket costs for their medications. Specialty tier drugs are a particular concern for Part D enrollees in this context. This analysis draws on data from Medicare’s Plan Finder website to calculate expected annual 2019 out-of-pocket costs for 30 specialty tier drugs used to treat four health conditions—cancer, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Medicare Part D Enrollees with Serious Health Conditions Can Face Thousands of Dollars in Out-of-Pocket Costs Annually for Specialty Drugs

Despite Medicare’s protections, Part D enrollees with serious health conditions can face thousands of dollars in annual out-of-pocket costs for expensive specialty drugs, a new KFF anaylsis finds. The analysis draws on data from Medicare’s Plan Finder website to calculate expected annual 2019 costs for more than two dozen specialty tier…

10 Essential Facts About Medicare and Prescription Drug Spending

Prescription drugs play an important role in medical care for 60 million seniors and people with disabilities, and account for nearly $1 out of every $5 in Medicare spending. This chart series examines trends in Medicare and beneficiary out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs, and what the public thinks about different options for keeping drug costs down.

KFF Health Tracking Poll – January 2019: The Public On Next Steps For The ACA And Proposals To Expand Coverage

This month’s KFF Health Tracking Poll finds that about four in ten are aware of the federal judge’s ruling that the ACA is no longer valid but once made aware, most disapprove of the ruling. This poll also examines the public’s favorability toward expanding the role of public health care programs, and majorities across partisan groups have a favorable opinion of programs such as Medicare buy-in and Medicaid buy-in, with a national Medicare-for-all being less popular but still receiving a majority of support overall.

Medicare for All is a Double-Edged Sword for Democrats

In an Axios column, Drew Altman analyzes the political pros and cons of Medicare for All and Medicare buy-in plans for Democrats, and how they may handle it in Congress and the presidential campaign.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
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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.