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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.

Sources of Supplemental Coverage Among Medicare Beneficiaries in 2016

Today, 60 million people, including 51 million older adults and 9 million younger adults with disabilities, rely on Medicare for their health insurance coverage, but many Medicare beneficiaries rely on other sources of coverage to supplement their Medicare benefits. This data note explores sources of supplemental coverage among beneficiaries in traditional Medicare, based on data from the 2016 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey.

Updated Brief and Interactive Map Examine Poverty Among Seniors in the U.S.

A new Kaiser Family Foundation brief and interactive map provide the latest national and state-level estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau of the share and number of people ages 65 and older who are living in poverty. The resources examine poverty among seniors under the official poverty threshold ($11,756 in…

How Many Seniors Live in Poverty?

This issue brief presents estimates of poverty under the Census Bureau’s official poverty measure and the Supplemental Poverty Measure for adults ages 65 and older, based on data for 2017 and three-year averages (2015 to 2017). Unlike the official poverty measure, the SPM poverty thresholds vary by geographic area and homeownership status, and the SPM reflects financial resources and liabilities, including taxes, the value of in-kind benefits (e.g., food stamps), and out-of-pocket medical spending. Estimates of poverty based on the SPM indicate that the number and share of older adults who are struggling financially are larger than when based on the official poverty measure.

New England Journal of Medicine: 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.

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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.