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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.

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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.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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…

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Percent of total U.S. retail prescription drug spending by payer

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.

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Poll: Majorities Favor a Range of Options to Expand Public Coverage, Including Medicare-for-All

At a time when debate is beginning about a national Medicare-for-all plan and other approaches to expanding coverage through public programs, this month’s KFF Health Tracking poll examines Americans’ early opinion on a range of options under consideration. The poll finds majority support for four different approaches: 77 percent of…

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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.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

The Detail That Could Make Medicare for All Generous — and Expensive

In this Axios column, Drew Altman wades in to the Medicare for All discussion focusing on the pros and cons of a critical but under-discussed feature of the proposals-they have no cost sharing.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

There is Another Pre-Existing Conditions Problem — for Seniors

n an Axios column, , Drew Altman uncovers a new pre-existing conditions problem – seniors on Medicare denied Medigap because they have pre-existing conditions – and discusses solutions.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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.

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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.