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New Election 2008 Brief Examines Medicare's Current and Future Policy Issues
This brief, part of a series of 2008 election briefs on key health policy issues, provides an overview of Medicare and offers a series of questions to help understand how presidential candidates Senators McCain and Obama would address Medicare policy challenges if elected.

Resources on the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit
A collection of reports, fact sheets, surveys, and other research and background material on the Medicare program's new drug benefit and other provisions of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003.

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The Public's Health Care Agenda for the New President and Congress -- January 2009
This survey captures the public's attitudes regarding the health care agenda for President-elect Obama and the new Congress in 2009.  It assesses the relative priority placed on health care by the American public as part of addressing the economic recession and as a large scale reform issue.
Medicare Health and Prescription Drug Plans Monthly Tracking Report -- December 2008 -- December 2008
This brief presents current monthly data on Medicare Advantage plan participation, enrollment and penetration.
The Emerging Role of Group Medicare Private Fee-for-Service Plans -- December 2008
This brief examines the recent boom in Medicare Advantage enrollment attributable to employers contracting with private fee-for-service plans to serve their retirees.
Medicare: A Primer -- December 2008
This primer provides an overview of the Medicare program, how it is structured, who it serves, and how it works.
President-Elect Obama's Campaign Position on Health Reform and Other Health Care Issues -- November 2008
These summaries explain President-Elect Obama's campaign proposal on comprehensive health reform, as well as his campaign positions on a variety of other health care issues.
Medicare at a Glance - Fact Sheet -- November 2008
This fact sheet provides a basic overview of the Medicare program, including how it is financed, who is eligible and what benefits are covered under the program. In addition, it describes supplemental health insurance, benefits provided by the new drug law and data on Medicare expenditures and financing. 
Medicare Health & Prescription Drug Plan Tracker -- November 2008
The interactive resource provides local, regional and national information about Medicare Advantage plans, as well as current information on stand-alone Part D prescription drug plans.  The tool allows users to graph or map comparative and trend data about enrollment, plan participation and other key information.
Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) Availability in 2009 -- November 2008
This fact sheet contains 2009 state-specific summary data about available Medicare drug benefit options, including the number of stand-alone plans with gap coverage in the "doughnut hole," and the number of plans available at no cost to qualifying beneficiaries.
Medicare Part D 2009 Data Spotlight: Premiums -- November 2008
This spotlight analyzes the premiums charged by the 1,689 stand-alone Medicare Part D plans that will be offered in markets across the country in 2009. It is one in a series analyzing key aspects of the Medicare Part D drug plans that will be available to beneficiaries in 2009.
Medicare Part D 2009 Data Spotlight: The Coverage Gap -- November 2008
This data spotlight examines the coverage gap, or "doughnut hole," in Medicare drug plans available in 2009. While in the gap in coverage, Part D enrollees (other than those receiving low-income subsidies) are required to pay 100 percent of total drug costs until they reach the catastrophic coverage level. The spotlight is one in a series analyzing key aspects of the Medicare Part D drug plans that will be available to beneficiaries in 2009.
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Medicare, the federal health insurance program that covers 41 million Americans, has played a central role in the U.S. health system since it was established in 1965. Medicare serves all eligible beneficiaries without regard to income or medical history.

Most individuals ages 65 and over are automatically entitled to Medicare Part A (the Hospital Insurance Program) if they or their spouse are eligible for Social Security payments. People under 65 who receive Social Security cash payments due to a disability generally become eligible for Medicare after a two-year waiting period. People with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are entitled to Part A regardless of their age. Part B (the Supplementary Medical Insurance Program) is voluntary, but covers 95% of all Part A beneficiaries.


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