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Public Opinion on Prescription Drugs and Their Prices

This charticle draws on recent KFF poll findings to provide an in-depth look at the public’s attitudes toward prescription drugs and their prices. Results include Americans’ opinions on drug affordability, pharmaceutical companies, and various potential measures that could lower prices.

Medicare Part B Drugs: Cost Implications for Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage

In the face of rising prescription drug costs, a large majority of the public supports federal efforts to lower drug spending. Policymakers are considering several proposals that would lower prescription drug costs. To better understand the potential out-of-pocket cost exposure that Medicare beneficiaries may face for Part B drugs, which are typically administered by physicians and other health care providers, we analyzed cost-sharing liability for these drugs in traditional Medicare and cost-sharing requirements in Medicare Advantage plans.

Half of Admissions in the Large Group Market Are Paid Above 150% of Medicare Rates, Excluding Maternity Admissions

This analysis looks at in-network payment rates for inpatient hospital stays, other than maternity/newborn admissions, among large employer plans relative to Medicare payment rates. We find that a cap of 150% of Medicare rates would affect 52% of in-network admissions and 36% of in-network spending, while a cap of 300% of Medicare rates would affect 13% of in-network admissions and 13% of in-network spending, with variation across types of admissions.

Prices Increased Faster Than Inflation for Half of all Drugs Covered by Medicare in 2020

Recent legislation would require drug companies to pay rebates to the federal government when annual increases in prescription drug prices for Medicare and private insurance exceed the rate of inflation. As context for understanding the possible impact of this proposal, this analysis compares price changes for drugs covered by Medicare Part B (administered by physicians) and Part D (retail prescription drugs) between 2019 and 2020 to the inflation rate over the same period.

Are Medicare Advantage Insurers Covering the Cost of At-Home COVID-19 Tests?

The Biden Administration’s requirement for private insurers to cover the cost of at-home rapid COVID-19 tests for their enrollees does not apply to Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans (offered by private insurers) have the option to cover at-home tests but are not required to do so. This policy watch examines whether some of the largest private Medicare Advantage plans are covering the cost of at-home rapid tests for COVID-19.

FAQs on Medicare Coverage and Costs Related to COVID-19 Testing and Treatment

These FAQs provide the latest guidance on testing and treatment related to COVID-19 for Medicare beneficiaries, including questions related to out-of-pocket costs, the COVID-19 vaccine, telehealth, extended supplies of medication, skilled nursing facility stays, and issues for people in private Medicare Advantage plans.

Millions of Medicare Beneficiaries Use Prescription Drugs That Could Be Subject to Price Negotiation, But Build Back Better Act Provision Exempts Many Drugs With High Federal Spending

Twenty drugs and dozens of insulin products used by 8.5 million Medicare beneficiaries would be subject to government drug price negotiation if the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) were enacted and fully implemented in 2022, according to a new KFF analysis. The 20 drugs include 18 drugs available to beneficiaries…

Simulating the Impact of the Drug Price Negotiation Proposal in the Build Back Better Act

The Build Back Better Act (BBBA) includes a range of health and other proposals supported by President Biden, including a proposal to allow the federal government to negotiate the price of some prescription drugs covered under Medicare Part B (administered by physicians) and Medicare Part D (retail outpatient drugs). This brief illustrates the potential scope of the drug price negotiation proposal in the BBBA. This analysis is designed to highlight the types of Medicare-covered drugs that could be subject to negotiation, and which of the current top-spending drugs covered by Part B and Part D could be subject to price negotiation, and in what years, if the BBBA is enacted.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.