So many (mostly republicans in congress) have gone on about how the Affordable Care Act would be the end of Medicare and how it would ruin the Advantage plans that we’ve come to know. That is just not the case, CMS recently announced that benefits are on the rise and costs are much lower then what they used to be. This could not have happened without recent health care reform.
In fact, premiums have been consistently lower – and enrollment has been higher. Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that average premiums for Medicare Advantage enrollees in 2012 are 7 percent lower compared to last year, exceeding the 4 percent decrease that was projected in September. Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, premiums have gone down by nearly 16 percent. In addition, enrollment increased by nearly 10 percent from 2011. That means that Medicare Advantage enrollment is up by 17 percent since enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. In August of 2010, CBO projected that Medicare Advantage enrollment would be 10.2 million in 2012, down from 10.4 million in 2009. Actual enrollment is over 2 million people higher than that projection, at 12.8 million in February of this year.
And further, the Affordable Care Act strengthened consumer protections and improved plan choices for people with Medicare Advantage. The law is paring back overpayments to plans. It requires health plans to pay at least 85 percent of what they collect in payments on health care, not on overhead and profits. Plans can no longer charge higher cost sharing than a senior in traditional Medicare pays. And proven preventive services are covered for free. Original story here
The Affordable Care Act has clearly had a positive impact on Medicare and that’s not going to change. In addition, the five-star rating system (click here for more on this) was created to let patients know which medicare advantage providers are servicing their recipients the best, it also stimulates competition among insurers which will ultimately improve quality of care.
Most importantly, click the Like button and spread the word that medicare advantage plans are still a terrific alternative with lots of coverage to offer.