Publications: Medicare

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Lessons from Medicare+Choice for Medicare Reform

June 1, 2003 - Although many private M+C plans perform well compared with fee-for-service Medicare on selected preventive health measures, on other measures—including access to care, stability of providers, simplicity of benefit structure, and costs to the Medicare program—the history of M+C is less positive.

Issue Brief

Medicare and Private Plans: Separating Fact from Fiction

May 1, 2003 - In this testimony before the Senate Committee on Aging, Marilyn Moon aruges that market forces are not the "magic bullet" that will solve all of Medicare's problems.

Testimony

Medicare+Choice Plans Continue to Shift More Costs to Enrollees

April 1, 2003 - This look at 2003 trends in benefits and premiums in Medicare+Choice managed care plans reveals that enrollees continue to face limits on their benefits—including prescription drug coverage—as well as rising average monthly premiums and increased cost-sharing. Approximately 4.5 million elderly and disabled Medicare beneficiaries are currently enrolled in Medicare+Choice.

Fund Report

State Medicaid Prescription Drug Expenditures for Medicare-Medicaid Dual Eligibles

April 1, 2003 - This issue brief estimates that Medicaid prescription drug coverage for approximately 6 million low-income seniors and persons with disabilities covered by both Medicaid and Medicare accounts for nearly half of all Medicaid spending on prescription drugs.

Issue Brief

A Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: Issues and Options

April 1, 2003 - This Issue Brief was prepared for The Commonwealth Fund/John F. Kennedy School of Government Bipartisan Congressional Health Policy Conference, January 16–18, 2003.

Issue Brief

Testimony Before the Joint Economic Committee: Assessing the Viability of Medicare

April 1, 2003 - The aging of the U.S. population will generate many challenges in the years ahead, but none more dramatic than the costs of providing health care services for older Americans, Marilyn Moon testified.

Testimony

Drug Therapy and Aging: Testimony Before the Full Committee of the House Committee on Ways and Means

April 1, 2003 - Bruce Stuart, Ph.D., testified that trends in coverage put future beneficiaries at risk of having significantly reduced options for meaningful prescription benefits if legislative action is not taken soon.

Testimony

Comparing Medicare and Private Insurers: Growth Rates in Spending Over Three Decades

March 1, 2003 - Over the past years, Medicare health care spending per beneficiary rose at a slower rate than private health insurance spending, according to a new study in Health Affairs.

In the Literature

Average Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs for Medicare+Choice Enrollees Increase Ten Percent in 2003

January 18, 2003 - Providing evidence of eroding benefits in the Medicare+Choice managed care program, this new study finds that enrollees' average plan premiums and other out-of-pocket costs rose 10 percent in 2003 to $1,964, more than double what they were in 1999.

Issue Brief

New York Seniors and Prescription Drugs: Seniors Remain at Risk Despite State Efforts

December 1, 2002 - While New York has one of the largest and most effective senior drug assistance programs in the country, nearly one of five seniors residing in the state in 2001 had no coverage for medications, according to this report.

Fund Report

Trends in Medicare+Choice Benefits and Premiums, 1999-2002

November 1, 2002 - This update on Medicare+Choice reports that, while Medicare+Choice plans cut back on benefits such as prescription drug coverage in 2002, enrollees faced a 40 percent rise in monthly premiums and substantial cost-sharing increases for their health care.

Fund Report

Modernizing Medicare Cost-Sharing: Policy Options and Impacts on Beneficiary and Program Expenditures

November 1, 2002 - Taking its cue from the weak economy and diminished federal budget, this report outlines modest policy options for improving the cost-sharing structure of Medicare to reduce financial burdens on the sickest beneficiaries.

Fund Report

Average Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs for Medicare+Choice Enrollees Increase Substantially in 2002

November 1, 2002 - Medicare+Choice plans cut back on benefits such as prescription drug coverage in 2002 while enrollees faced a 40 percent rise in monthly premiums and substantial cost-sharing increases for their health care.

Issue Brief

The Role of the Asset Test in Targeting Benefits for Medicare Savings Programs

October 1, 2002 - This report outlines steps that states are taking to modify the Medicare Savings Programs asset tests to ensure that the neediest beneficiaries receive financial assistance.

Fund Report

Medicare vs. Private Insurance: Rhetoric and Reality

October 1, 2002 - Findings from The Commonwealth Fund 2001 Health Insurance Survey show that Medicare outperforms private sector plans in terms of patients' satisfaction with quality of care, access to care, and overall insurance ratings.

In the Literature