This updated analysis finds that in September 2021, COVID-19 ranked as the 2nd leading causes of death in the U.S., up from 8th in July, due to the more infectious Delta variant, insufficient vaccination, and reduced social distancing. An estimated 90,000 deaths from COVID-19 since June could have been prevented with vaccines.
This data note from the latest KFF Health Tracking Poll explores the public’s views on Medicare drug price negotiation, including how arguments on both sides impact support and opposition; confidence in leaders to do the right thing on drug pricing; and experiences with prescription drug costs.
Most of the Public Lacks Confidence that President Biden, Congressional Democrats or Republicans Will Do the Right Thing on Drug Prices Allowing the federal government to negotiate with drug companies to lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries and people enrolled in private plans – a key cost-saving proposal in the Democrats’ massive reconciliation bill –…More
This slideshow compares life expectancy in the U.S. and other nations. The data shows that life expectancy at birth is lower in the U.S. than other industrialized countries for both women and men. The life-expectancy gap between the U.S. and other countries narrows somewhat at older ages, but still exists.
In a new Policy Watch, KFF analysts explore the potential impact of the expiration of the American Rescue Plan Act’s enhanced financial help and new eligibility for the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance Marketplace federal subsidies. While the COVID-19 relief legislation passed earlier this year provides greater subsidy assistance through 2022, Democrats in Congress are…More
In this Policy Watch we explore the potential impact of the expiration of the American Rescue Plan Act’s enhanced financial help and new eligibility for the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance Marketplace federal subsidies. While the COVID-19 relief legislation passed earlier this year provides greater subsidy assistance through 2022, Democrats in Congress are currently considering …
Many Medicare beneficiaries face high annual out-of-pocket costs for dental and hearing care — services that generally aren’t covered in traditional Medicare, but typically are covered by Medicare Advantage plans though the scope and value of these benefits vary, finds a new KFF analysis. The analysis shows that, among beneficiaries who used each type of…More
This analysis builds on our prior work – Medicare and Dental Coverage: A Closer Look – by analyzing hearing and vision use, out-of-pocket spending and cost-related barriers to care among Medicare beneficiaries as well as hearing and vision benefits in Medicare Advantage plans. It also incorporates top-level findings from the analysis of dental services to …
In this commentary for Barron’s, Cynthia Cox explores the impact to the American public as the U.S. health insurance system adjusts to the COVID-19 pandemic. She uses the experience of the past year and a half to raise questions about broader issues of fairness in the distribution of health care costs in the country.
With the rapid uptake in vaccinations in recent months, COVID-19 deaths have fallen sharply. COVID-19 is now the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. This updated analysis looks at the pandemic’s effect on mortality rates.
This Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker analysis finds that over 100,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations could have been prevented with adult vaccination in June and July of this year, costing the U.S. health system over $2 billion dollars.
This analysis finds nearly three quarters of the largest health plans in each state are no longer waiving enrollees’ cost-sharing requirements for COVID-19 treatment as of August 2021. Insurers largely waived those costs early in the pandemic, before safe and effetive vaccines were available.
This analysis finds hospital admissions remained below expected levels in early 2021, suggesting much of the care people put off during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic may have been forgone altogether.
These FAQs discuss recent efforts related to prescription drug importation, the history of this approach, challenges that previous efforts to carry out importation proposals have faced, and stakeholder views.
In this Axios column, Drew Altman unpacks President Biden’s recent executive order on promoting competition, exploring its significance for new efforts to control health costs by addressing consolidation in the health care industry.
After a tumultuous year of unpredictable COVID-19 changes to utilization and spending, a review of early rate filings for individual market insurers participating in the Affordable Care Act Marketplace finds that most are expecting a return to normal in 2022 without the pandemic playing a large role. The review of insurers’ preliminary rate filings in…More
This brief reviews initial 2022 premium rate filings for Marketplace-participating individual market insurers in 13 states and the District of Columbia. Most expect health utilization patterns to return to pre-pandemic levels and therefore not factoring in any impact on their 2022 premiums.
The brief examines the potential impact of Aduhelm, a newly approved drug for Alzheimer’s disease, on state and federal Medicaid costs and looks at potential policy actions that could limit Medicaid’s potential costs.
With the rapid uptake in vaccinations in recent months, COVID-19 deaths have fallen sharply. COVID-19 is now the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. This updated analysis looks at the pandemic’s effect on mortality rates.
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.
The question of what would happen when a new, expensive prescription drug comes to market for a disease like Alzheimer’s that afflicts millions of people has loomed large in discussions over drug prices in the U.S. This brief analyzes the cost implications for Medicare and beneficiaries associated with Biogen’s new FDA-approved Alzheimer’s drug, which will …
With increased attention to the global need for COVID-19 vaccines and the Biden administration’s announcement today about how it plans to distribute the first portion of the 80 million doses it will share by the end of this month, the latest KFF Health Tracking Poll finds that two-thirds of the public (66%) say that the…More
The latest KFF Health Tracking Poll explores the public’s views on the U.S. role in distributing COVID vaccines to other countries, health care priorities for Congress, prescription drug regulations and price negotiations, and affordability changes in the COVID-19 relief bill.
In this column for the JAMA Health Forum, Larry Levitt examines the implications of lowering Medicare’s age of eligibility, which is emerging as a potential pathway toward Medicare-for-all or a public option among single-payer advocates. He explores the implications for costs, industry, people and broader reform efforts.
Although attention in current federal actions is largely focused on Medicare and private insurance drug prices, federal legislation also has been recently introduced or enacted that would affect Medicaid prescription drug policy.
A new KFF analysis shows that lowering the age of Medicare eligibility to 60 could improve the affordability of coverage for people who are already insured and expand coverage to over a million of the nation’s 30 million uninsured. Such a policy could provide a path to Medicare coverage for up to 11.7 million people…More
This analysis examines insurers’ financial data across markets through the end of 2020. It finds that average margins remained relatively high compared to recent years, suggesting many insurers remained profitable even as health spending rebounded and COVID-19 cases surged in the fall and winter.
This survey of executive decision-makers at over 300 large private employers finds most see rising health costs as a threat to their businesses and believe a broader government role will be necessary to control health costs and ensure coverage.
Top executives at nearly 90% of large employers surveyed believe the cost of providing health benefits to employees will become unsustainable in the next five-to-10 years, and 85% expect the government will be required to intervene to provide coverage and contain costs, according to a new survey released today from Purchaser Business Group on Health…More
In this Axios column, Drew Altman explores whether the long struggle with rising health costs has caused the tide to turn in corporate leaders’ attitudes towards government involvement in controlling health spending and whether it is part of a larger shift in comfort with government action to solve problems.
Two new KFF analyses find that lowering the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 60 could significantly reduce health spending for employers, who could potentially pass savings to employees in the form of lower premiums or higher wages. Additionally, per person health spending for older adults who move from employer coverage on to Medicare…More
During the presidential campaign, President Biden proposed to lower the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 60. This analysis uses claims data for covered medical services from both large employer plans and traditional Medicare to illustrate the potential spending effects of using Medicare payment rates in lieu of higher rates paid by employer plans …
This analysis for the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker illustrates the potential for employer savings if the age of Medicare eligibility were lowered to 60, as proposed by President Biden during the 2020 campaign.
The COVID-19 pandemic and recent elections are changing the national conversation around expanding health care coverage and reining in rising health care costs. President Biden campaigned on a platform of expanding access to public health coverage in ways that could change the role of employer-sponsored health insurance, which currently covers about half of all Americans.…More
A new KFF analysis finds that a relatively small share of drugs, mainly those without generic or biosimilar competitors, accounted for a disproportionate share of prescription drug spending in Medicare in 2019. This finding suggests that recent proposals that focus on prices for a limited number of high-cost drugs could achieve significant savings. The 250…More
As policymakers focus attention on proposals to lower prescription drug costs by allowing price negotiation or international reference pricing for a limited number of drugs, this analysis measures the share of total Medicare Part D and Part B prescription drug spending accounted for by top-selling drugs covered under each part.
In spite of a new price transparency rule that requires hospitals to publish the prices of common health services, comparing prices across hospitals remains challenging due to limited compliance with the law and a lack of standardization in the available data, a new KFF analysis finds. The federal rule, which went into effect on January…More
A new issue brief examines compliance with a new federal price transparency rule and variation in payer-negotiated rates at U.S. hospitals. The analysis looks at the websites of the two largest hospitals in each state and the District of Columbia, and finds that a lack of consistency in the data and limited compliance among the…More
A new issue brief reviews excess death rates in the U.S. and peer countries by age groups to examine how the pandemic has affected excess mortality rate among younger people. The analysis looks specifically at the excess deaths that arose in 2020 to examine how the age at death during the pandemic has differed between…More
A new KFF issue brief examines 2020 data on excess mortality – the number of deaths above what is expected in a typical year – and finds that among similarly large and wealthy nations, the United States had the highest premature excess mortality rate in 2020, indicating that younger people in the U.S. were more…More
This brief examines how the CMS Innovation Center (also known as CMMI) and Section 402 demonstration authority could become pathways for the Biden Administration to implement policy changes related to prescription drug costs.
Majorities Favor Provisions to Expand Marketplace Tax Credits and Encourage States to Expand Medicaid As Congress considers an additional $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan, more than a third (37%) of Americans say that someone in their household has had trouble paying basic living expenses over the past three months, the latest KFF Health Tracking Poll…More
This poll examines the public’s assessments of the Biden administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the impact COVID-19 has had on people’s finances, and support for provisions of the latest COVID-19 relief bill. It examines the public’s views of the ACA and possible next steps.
Total health care spending for people with private health insurance would be an estimated $352 billion lower in 2021 if private insurers used Medicare rates to pay hospitals and other health care providers, rather than the substantially higher rates they currently pay, a new KFF analysis finds. That would represent a 41 percent decrease from…More
This analysis estimates the total annual reduction in health care spending by employers and privately insured individuals that would result from having private insurers reimburse hospitals and other health care providers at Medicare rates. In total, we estimate spending for the privately insured population would be an estimated $352 billion lower in 2021 if employers …
This summarizes key provisions of the No Surprises Act, enacted in December 2020 to address the problem of unexpected medical bills, and issues that could arise during implementation ahead of its Jan. 1, 2022 effective date.
A new issue brief examines the most recent data on deaths from COVID-19 and other causes, and finds that COVID-19 is currently the number one cause of death in the United States. As of January 26, 2021, an average of more than 3,000 people per day died of COVID-19 in the U.S. during the first…More
Published in the Jan. 19 edition of JAMA, this article from KFF Executive Vice President for Health Policy Larry Levitt lays out the major health policy challenges that will confront President-elect Biden and potential approaches to major reform. While a big reform debate may not be likely this year, one is likely coming as the…More
A new KFF analysis examines how new federal rules on price transparency for health services may affect patient decision-making and market pricing. As of January 1, 2021, the United States Department of Health and Human Services requires that hospitals publish payer-negotiated rates for common services on their websites. A second set of rules, which requires…More
A new Peterson-KFF analysis examines the potential impact of new federal price transparency rules on patient decision-making and market pricing for health services. The brief also includes new analysis of geographic variation in health prices.
In this column for the JAMA Health Forum, Larry Levitt explores what President-elect Biden might do to advance his health care vision both through legislation and through executive orders and waivers and demonstrations.
As the first doses of the new COVID-19 vaccine are delivered to health care workers and other early recipients, many Americans are eager to know not only when the vaccine will be available to them but also whether they will be able to get it at no cost. The answer is that providers are not…More
In the issue brief, KFF experts highlight the laws and regulations that are in place to ensure access to free COVID-19 vaccines for individuals regardless of their insurance status and explain how vaccine administration costs will be covered in private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, and for the uninsured.
As winter sets in and COVID-19 cases and deaths reach records in most parts of the country, more Americans say they wear masks every time they leave home now (73%) than said so in May (52%), a new KFF Health Tracking Poll finds. A small minority (11%) say they wear masks only some of the…More
The Health Spending Explorer on the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker helps users examine five decades worth of numbers documenting expenditures by federal and local governments, private insurers, and individuals on 15 categories of health services, including hospitals, physician and clinic care, and prescription drugs.
In this brief, we analyze third quarter data from 2018 to 2020 to examine how insurance markets performed financially through the end of September. Average margins remained relatively high compared to the same point in recent years, suggesting many insurers remained profitable even as non-COVID-related care returned in the summer and fall.
A new chart collection looks at how internet access may affect health care in the U.S., as more providers turn to telemedicine during the pandemic. An estimated 25 million Americans – about 8% of the population – lack access to internet at home. Hispanic and Black Americans, seniors, rural residents, and those living in poverty…More
These FAQs provide the latest guidance on testing and treatment related to COVID-19 for Medicare beneficiaries.
This chart collection summarizes what is known so far about how health costs and utilization have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health spending is on track to be somewhat lower in 2020 than in 2019 – the first time that’s happened since the government started tracking it.
New analysis from Drew Altman in his latest Axios column on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on national health spending.
The brief provides an overview of how vaccines are reimbursed and covered across government programs and different types of health insurance in the United States. It coverage regulations specific to COVID-19 vaccine(s).
A new chart collection examines what we know about the cost of common health services in the U.S. The analysis shows that costs for many common health services have risen more rapidly than inflation; for example, the average cost of hospital admission among large employer plans increased by about $10,000 (68%) between 2008 and 2018.…More
This interactive map shows the status of all Section 1332 waivers requested by states. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows states to apply for innovation waivers to alter key ACA requirements in the individual and small group insurance markets and can be used to shore up fragile insurance markets, address unique state insurance market issues, …
This brief describes health insurance subsidies available through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, including premium subsidies that would be provided in the form of tax credits, as well as other subsidies that would lower cost sharing to eligible Americans. It provides details on who is eligible for the assistance, the maximum repayment limits for the …
A new KFF analysis examines leading causes of death and mortality rates in the United States and comparable countries. The U.S. has a higher COVID-19 mortality rate than many of its peer countries, with COVID-19 ranking as the nation’s third-leading cause of death in 2020, behind only heart disease and cancer. Among similarly large and…More
A new KFF brief looks at where COVID-19 falls as a leading cause of death in the U.S. compared to similarly large and wealthy countries. The analysis finds that COVID-19 mortality rates are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., a ranking shared by only one peer country, Belgium. In several other peer…More
In this perspective published by the Washington Post, KFF Executive Vice President for Health Policy Larry Levitt explains why the popular Affordable Care Act provisions that ensure people with pre-existing conditions can access affordable health insurance can’t easily be preserved if other related provisions are overturned.
As the 2020 Election Day approaches, many candidates continue to focus on health care issues, including on the public health and economic response to COVID-19, the future of the Affordable Care Act, health care costs and abortion. To help reporters understand and cover these issues, KFF offers independent, non-partisan policy analysis, polling and other research and…More
In an Axios column, Drew Altman discusses how this election year health isn’t a single issue — but several — and Joe Biden has the edge over President Trump on all of them, even as opposition to the ACA remains popular with Trump’s base.
This brief analyzes hospital admission data to show how the number of admissions changed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The poll examines the public’s views on the Supreme Court case to overturn the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Less than a month from the results of the 2020 presidential election, this poll examines the top issues for voters (the economy, the coronavirus pandemic, health care, criminal justice and …
U.S. Supreme Court decisions shape health policy in important ways. The nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, if confirmed, is expected to establish a solid 6:3 conservative majority that could affect case outcomes in several areas. This issue brief considers the potential implications of a reconfigured Court for health policy issues, including those already on …
This graphing tool allows users to explore trends in workplace-sponsored health insurance premiums and worker contributions over time for different categories of employers based on results from the annual Employer Health Benefits Survey. Breakouts are available by firm size, region and industry, as well as for firms with relatively few or many part-time workers, higher- …
San Francisco – Annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose 4% to average $21,342 this year, according to the 2020 benchmark KFF Employer Health Benefits Survey. On average, workers this year are contributing $5,588 toward the cost of family coverage, with employers paying the rest. The survey was conducted from January to July as…More
This annual survey of employers provides a detailed look at trends in employer-sponsored health coverage, including premiums, employee contributions, cost-sharing provisions, offer rates, wellness programs, and employer practices. Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $21,342 this year, up 4% from last year, with workers on average paying $5,588 toward the cost of their …
This side-by-side comparison examines President Trump’s record and former Vice President Biden’s positions across a wide range of key health issues, including the response to the pandemic, the Affordable Care Act marketplace, Medicaid, Medicare, drug prices, reproductive health, mental health and opioids, immigration and health coverage, and health care costs.
A new issue brief examines the role of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) during the coronavirus pandemic, and public health emergencies more broadly. The analysis finds that the VHA has provided assistance to 46 states and D.C., including treating over 270 non-veteran patients with coronavirus.
In this Axios column, Drew Altman looks at how the heroic performance of the nation’s doctors on the frontlines of coronavirus care and effective communication by many physician scientists on television, is shifting the public’s views, with twice as many Americans now saying doctors put people ahead of profits than they did in earlier KFF …
Newly updated and expanded, the Peterson-KFF Health System Dashboard compiles data on the U.S. health system’s performance in four areas: access and affordability, health and well-being, health spending, and quality of care. Users can explore trends over time, as well as disparities and differences across demographic groups.
This analysis examines list prices for COVID-19 testing at the largest hospitals in every state and finds they range widely from $20 to $850. Federal law now requires private insurers to cover COVID-19 tests at no cost to the patient and provides funding for people without health insurance.
A new KFF analysis of what large hospitals nationwide charge for out-of-network COVID-19 tests show a wide range of publicly posted prices — from $20 to $850 for a single test. In many cases, the prices exceed what Medicare pays for COVID testing, which is either $51 or $100 depending on the test. Federal law…More
Every state and Washington D.C. have eased or lifted at least one social distancing requirement — including 32 states that have eased or lifted stay-at-home orders. From May 21 to May 28, restaurants reopened to dine-in service in 4 more states, and 4 more states eased or lifted their gatherings ban. Between May 28 to …
The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn are taking a toll on mental health for many Americans, with large shares of the public saying that related worry and stress is having a negative effect on their mental health. A new KFF analysis and series of state fact sheets examine mental health and substance use disorder…More
This chart collection compares the quality of health care in the United States to that in other wealthy and sizable countries. While all have seen improvements in health outcomes, the United States continues to lag behind, with higher rates of overall mortality, premature death and preventable death, as well as higher-than-average morality rates for each …
This issue brief analyzes hospital payments paid by private payers and by Medicare for a selection of inpatient services, including services requiring similar inpatient treatments to those used for COVID-19. It finds that private insurance payments for such services vary widely and exceed Medicare payment levels.