The Kaiser Family Foundation recently wrote a summary of what you actually get when you enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) program.
It is that season when the federal government and the health insurers begin to play trick or treat with Medicare plans for those over 65. As a public service, here is the difference between Medicare and Medicare Advantage.
It's the silly season once again when oldsters are asked if they want to change their Medicare coverage. And especially to Medicare Advantage – the plans that are often free and come with lots of extras: like vision, dental, hearing, and even over-the-counter medications. But are they really an advantage?
It's open enrollment when those with Medicare can adjust the supplemental programs, those involving the cost of their medications as well as out-of-pocket spending. Here's a quick guide. (And we're betting you can find a way to reduce your spending before Congress gets to it.)
Just like the hapless victim in Three Card Monte, physicians will bear the brunt of financial risk in Medicare Advantage and other "risk sharing" plans. It is not that they shouldn't have skin in the game, it's just that all the skin should not be theirs.
Because Medicare Advantage programs are paid in part, by the value their care-partners provide, they choose their partners carefully. And when incentives are aligned, patient outcomes seem to improve.