CMS Projects Continued Stability of Part D Premiums in 2018

Mitchell ClarkMedicare Watch0 Comments


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that the average basic premium for a Part D prescription drug plan is estimated to be $33.50 per month in 2018. This projected average premium is a slight decrease from the average monthly premium in 2017 ($34.70) and represents the continued relative stability of Part D premiums. It is important to note that while the average, basic premium is lower in 2018, beneficiary premiums will vary—some increasing and some decreasing next year. Read More...

Only Half of Eligible Beneficiaries are Receiving Help with Part B Costs

Casey SchwarzMedicare Watch0 Comments

karen roach/

This week, a report for the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) examines the enrollment of likely eligible Medicare beneficiaries in Medicaid programs that assist with Medicare Part B premiums and cost-sharing, known as the Medicaid Savings Programs (MSPs). Using the most recently available data (2009 and 2010), the analysis shows that participation in the MSPs remains low. Read More...

After 52 Years, Medicare Remains a Bright Spot in Our Nation’s Health Care System

Mitchell ClarkMedicare Watch0 Comments

Edwin Verin/

Last week, Medicare celebrated 52 years since it was signed into law. In those 52 years, Medicare has provided guaranteed health benefits to millions of older adults and people with disabilities. Today, 57 million Americans and their families rely on Medicare for basic health and economic security and the program remains on solid footing. Read More...

New Brief Compares Medicare Advantage and Marketplace Plan Offerings in Areas with Limited Availability

Julie CarterMedicare Watch0 Comments

This week, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) released a new issue brief examining a recent hot topic—areas with few or no insurers participating in Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces. KFF compared these areas to places where there are very few or no Medicare Advantage (MA) plans offered this year to people with Medicare. Nationwide, there are currently 19 counties—in Nevada, Indiana, and Ohio—that will have no ACA marketplace plans for sale in 2018. This number has been shrinking as insurers fill some of the gaps, so it is possible each of these counties will have coverage in 2018. Read More...

In Dramatic Fashion, the U.S. Senate Defeats the Latest Attempt to Appeal the Affordable Care Act

Joe BakerMedicare Watch0 Comments

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Early this morning, the U.S. Senate once again defended the American people and rejected a bill that would have devastated American families, led to tens of millions of people losing coverage, and put the Medicaid program at risk. The “Health Care Freedom Act,” the so-called “skinny repeal” bill, was defeated 49-51, ending this partisan attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a reasonable substitute that would protect the coverage and care for all Americans. Read More...