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View Diary: Mitt Romney claims the Ryan plan actually expands Medicare (103 comments)

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  •  Medicare Advantage plans are insurance policies (9+ / 0-)

    sold on the private market, in which the insurance company subsumes the beneficiary's basic Medicare insurance - and upsells them for an additional premium to their private Medicare Advantage plan.

    These plans offer things which standard, basic Medicare does not (like hearing devices for both ears or glasses and not just an exam, or private rooms in hospital, etc).

    For which the private insurer now gets about $1,000 a year more per patient, from Medicare, than is spent on the same level of care for a person with a plain Medicare card for insurance billings.

    It's also the same sort of things which are available via private insurers on the secondary insurance market today. Like the one that picks up the 20% that Medicare does not cover on most things.

    So stopping this is a boon to the taxpayers and likely even to the patients currently on Medicare Advantage plans (like my own mom), because those secondary insurance plan add-ons are more likely to be less expensive than Medicare Advantage. Why? Because big business knows that it can always bill the government more for something than they can sell it to consumers for.

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    by Angie in WA State on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 03:31:20 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  And cutting that $1000 subsidy for (7+ / 0-)

      Medicare ADVANTAGE, which is just something to line private insurer pockets and not really "government-run" Medicare, is why they are accusing Obama of "cutting Medicare". He did not, he cut their pockets.

    •  Medicare could do advantage better! (0+ / 0-)

      Having more chronic illness that I want to get into, I absolutely wouldn't go near an HMO in my final working years and certainly wouldn't now.

      But if HMOs were somehow good for a significant number of older people (which I doubt), it could be done much cheaper and more effectively through Medicare.

      IT doesn't make any sense to provide the extra funding which effectively goes into the pockets of the companies. These are supposed to be HMOs which are supposed to be cheaper than standard insurance.

      But Medicare takes the profit incentive out of it and in effect operates for about $1,000 cheaper than advantage for a superior service.

      There are a few practices that accept Medicare standard who try to operate like an assembly line. I avoid them to although it's not bad medicine per se. Too much wrong with less personal care.

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