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New England Journal of Medicine: A Medicare Advantage Checkup

In this October 2018 New England Journal of Medicine article, KFF’s Tricia Neuman and Gretchen Jacobson examine the extent to which Medicare Advantage plans are achieving goals with respect to benefits, out-of-pocket costs, plan choice, federal spending and quality.

A Dozen Facts About Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage plans have played an increasingly larger role in the Medicare program over the past decade. More than 20 million Medicare beneficiaries (34%) are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2018. This data note provides updated information about Medicare Advantage enrollment trends, premiums, and out-of-pocket limits. It also includes new analyses of Medicare Advantage plans’ extra benefits, use of prior authorization, and bonus payments paid by Medicare.

The New Health Care Agenda: Gridlock, Lots of Hearings

In an Axios column, Drew Altman analyzes what the midterm election means for the health policy agenda between now and 2020–mostly political positioning and gridlock in Congress, with most of the action affecting people in the states. 

Medicare’s Income-Related Premiums Under Current Law and Changes for 2019

Most people with Medicare pay the standard monthly premium for Part B and Part D coverage, which is set to cover 25 percent of per capita program costs, but a relatively small share of beneficiaries with higher incomes are required to pay higher premiums. This issue brief describes the legislative history of Medicare’s income-related premiums and changes to these premiums that will take effect in 2019, based on a provision in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

Prior Authorization in Medicare Advantage Plans: How Often Is It Used?

Medicare Advantage enrollees are encouraged to select their plan based on a number of factors, including premiums, cost-sharing, extra benefits, drug coverage, quality of care, and provider networks, but a potentially overlooked factor is access to covered services and the potential impact of prior authorization requirements. In this data note, we examine the share of Medicare Advantage enrollees that are in plans requiring prior authorization and approval before covering the costs of services.

Medicare
People on Medicare Will Be Able to Choose Among 24 Medicare Advantage Plans and 27 Medicare Part D Drug Plans, on Average, During the Open Enrollment Period for 2019, New Analyses Find

With Medicare Advantage playing an increasingly larger role in Medicare, the average person on Medicare will be able to choose among 24 plans during the annual Medicare open enrollment period that began Oct. 15, finds a new analysis from KFF (the Kaiser Family Foundation). The new analysis, Medicare Advantage Plans…

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Prescription Drug Plans in 2019

This issue brief provides an overview of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit plan landscape, with a focus on stand-alone drug plans, the largest segment of the Part D market. It includes national and state-level data on plan availability, premiums, benefit design, cost sharing, information about premium-free plans for low-income beneficiaries, and information about the top ten Part D plans for 2019.

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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.