Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Advantage: Medicare Advantage

A few days ago I noticed this sentence in the 2017 Kaiser Family Foundation Medicare Advantage Brief, and thought it worth sharing (see third paragraph of Introduction):

In 2016, federal payments to plans are estimated to be 2 percent higher than traditional Medicare spending, on average, including the bonus payments.

Yeah?  So?  Well, if you don’t recall or don’t follow the history, in 2009 Medicare was paying private insurers about 14% more for seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage than if the same seniors had stayed in traditional Medicare (Part A and Part B).  Here's a typical article of the time - again, third paragraph.  

The reduction in cost relative to traditional Medicare from +14% to +2% since 2009 is a very important achievement – particularly when one considers how sharply Obamacare costs have risen from 2010 to the present..

And don’t forget that Medicare Advantage coverage is superior to original Medicare.  As a result, most seniors who enroll in Medicare Advantage have no need to purchase a Medicare Supplement policy, at their own expense, to fill in the gaps in original Medicare coverage.   Yet private insurers are now able to provide Medicare Advantage for only 2% more than the cost of original Medicare.  The better Medicare Advantage coverage is worth the 2% and maybe more.  So this outcome is a win for seniors, a win for all taxpayers, and a win for CMS – which is why I wanted to draw attention to it.    
blog comments powered by Disqus