Monday, November 24, 2008

Health Affairs study questions effectiveness of Medicare Advantage plans

The New York Times today (Nov. 24, 2008) has an important story on p B2 about “private Medicare” plans, generally called Medicare Advantage plans. The story is “Studies say private Medicare plans add cost, for little gain”, link here. The publication “Health Affairs: The Policy Journal of the Health Sphere”, has a three-part study with various authors called “Medicare Advantage Report Card,” link here (containing only abstracts; paid subscription is required).
The components are Medicare Advanatage Plans At A Crossroads--Yet Again by Robert A. Berenson and Bryan E. Dowd; Medicare's Private Plans: A Report Card On Medicare Advantage ; by Marsha Gold; Payment Policy And The Growth Of Medicare Advantage, by Carlos Zarabozo and Scott Harrison

The plans seem to have increased payments for enrollees without producing any savings for the Medicare programs. Many insurance agents are paid commissions to sell these plans.

See related story on this blog Nov. 19, 2008.

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