Top 10 global articles and reports for 2018

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In 2018, healthcare topics once again dominated the list of most popular articles and reports on Our consultants wrote about prescription drug costs, the opioid epidemic, the Affordable Care Act’s individual market, and more. The Milliman Medical Index, released in May, was the most popular report on the site for the year. Not far behind were pension-related pieces: the monthly Pension Funding Index and the annual Corporate Pension Funding Study. And two articles about retirement in Australia also cracked the top 10 list.


Milliman Medical Index  By Christopher Girod, Susan Hart, and Scott Weltz

In 2018, the cost of healthcare for a typical American family of four covered by an average employer-sponsored preferred provider organization (PPO) plan is $28,166.


Pension Funding Index (by Charles J. Clark and Zorast Wadia) and 2018 Corporate Pension Funding Study (By Zorast Wadia, Alan H. Perry, and Charles J. Clark)

Monthly reports on the funded status of the 100 largest corporate defined benefit pension plans as measured by the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index.

2018 Corporate Pension Funding Study

During 2017, the private single-employer defined benefit plans of the Milliman 100 companies made significant funding improvements.


A primer on prescription drug rebates: Insights into why rebates are a target for reducing prices  By Gabriela Dieguez, Maggie Alston, Samantha Tomicki

For brand-name prescription drugs in competitive therapeutic classes, rebates are often the deciding factor when health insurers choose how to cover a drug, and how much a patient should pay for it.

Figure 2: Rebates in the prescription drug distribution chain


How will the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 impact Part D in 2019 and beyond? By Adam Barnhart, Gabriela Dieguez, David R. Mike

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, passed in February, enacted key changes to the Medicare Part D program that will impact the “donut hole” starting in 2019.


Five ways the Amazon / Berkshire Hathaway / JPMorgan Chase deal could change healthcare in the U.S.

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase announced their intent to pursue the formation of an independent healthcare company “free from profit-making incentives and constraints.” While the announcement of this partnership brought excitement to many within the industry, there are still many details to be ironed out and much uncertainty around what issues the group will tackle first.


The individual mandate repeal: Will it matter? By Fritz Busch, Paul R. Houchens

With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, there are renewed concerns related to the stability of the individual market.

Figure 1: 2017 APTC Eligibility and Affordability Exemptions: Single Household, Based on National Average Bronze Premium


Opioid use disorder in the United States: Diagnosed prevalence by payer, age, sex, and state  By Stoddard Davenport and Katie Matthews

Over 25 million American adults report suffering from daily chronic pain. The increasing use of opioids in recent years has taken a human toll, leading to a rising number of overdose deaths and diagnoses of opioid use disorder.


Surprising new research reveals the majority of Australian retirees spend less than the Government Age Pension  By Jeff Gebler

New research suggests mandatory and voluntary measures to boost super may not be enough to produce improved retirement lifestyles without a deeper understanding of the motivations driving retiree behaviour.


2018 summary of individual market enrollment and Affordable Care Act subsidies  By Paul R. Houchens, Jason A. Clarkson, Zachary Fohl

Our second annual profile of the individual health insurance market for each state along with the District of Columbia.


Analysis: Retirees’ spending falls faster than expected into old age By Jeff Gebler

According to a Milliman analysis, the financial services industry may have underestimated the dramatic falloff in retiree spending as retirees age.

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