A Primer on Medicare: Key Facts About the Medicare Program and the People it Covers

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Comprising 14 percent of the federal budget in 2014 and just over one-fifth of total personal health expenditures in 2013, Medicare spending has slowed in recent years and is expected to grow at a slower rate than private insurance on a per person basis over the next decade. At the same time, Medicare is often part of discussions about how to moderate the growth of both federal spending and health care spending in the U.S. With the challenges of providing increasingly expensive medical care to an aging population and sustaining the program for the future, Medicare is likely to remain prominent on the federal policymaking agenda in the years ahead. As policymakers consider potential changes to Medicare, the effects of such changes on total health care expenditures, Medicare spending, and beneficiaries’ access to quality care and their out-of-pocket costs will be important considerations.
Source: kff.org

10 Essential Facts About Medicare and Prescription Drug Spending

Prescription drugs play an important role in medical care for 57 million seniors and people with disabilities, and account for $1 out of every $6 in Medicare spending. The majority of Medicare prescription drug spending is for drugs covered under the Part D prescription drug benefit, administered by private stand-alone drug plans and Medicare Advantage drug plans. Medicare Part B also covers drugs that are administered to patients in physician offices and other outpatient settings.
Source: kff.org

Healthcare – Just Facts

[Under Medicare Part C] Most beneficiaries have the option to enroll in private health insurance plans that contract with Medicare to provide Part A and Part B medical services. The share of Medicare beneficiaries in such plans has risen rapidly in recent years, reaching 25.0 percent in 2010 from 12.4 percent in 2004. Plan costs for the standard benefit package can be significantly lower or higher than the corresponding cost for beneficiaries in the “traditional” or “fee-for-service” Medicare program, but prior to the Affordable Care Act [ACA, a.k.a. Obamacare], private plans were generally paid a higher average amount, and the additional payments were used to reduce enrollee cost-sharing requirements, provide extra benefits, and/or reduce Part B and Part D premiums. These benefit enhancements were valuable to enrollees but also resulted in higher Medicare costs overall and higher premiums for all Part B beneficiaries, not just those who were enrolled in MA plans. Under the ACA, payments to plans will be based on “benchmarks” in a range of 95 to 115 percent of fee-for-service Medicare costs, with bonus amounts payable for plans meeting high quality-of-care standards. (Prior to the ACA, the benchmark range was generally 100 to 140 percent of fee-for-service costs.) As these changes phase in during 2012-2017, the overall participation rate for private health plans is expected to decline from 25 percent in 2010 to about 15 percent in 2020.
Source: justfacts.com

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  1. A Primer on Medicare: Key Facts About the Medicare Program and the People it Covers
  2. A Primer on Medicare: Key Facts About the Medicare Program and the People it Covers
  3. Healthcare – Just Facts
  4. Healthcare – Just Facts
  5. Healthcare – Just Facts

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