MEDICARE GIVES GOOD RETIREMENT

Ever since the beginning of the program, the success that Medicare Advantage plans have had among seniors has been a subject of debate. Recently, data was released regarding the quality of care that MA enrollees receive. According to a study by Niall Brennan (Acting Director of the Office of Policy at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), and Mark Shepard (Ph.D. candidate in economics at Harvard University), MA plans offer higher quality of care compared to Medicare fee-for-service plans for hospital utilization and delivery of care using widely-accepted measurements of quality.

Back in 2006 when the first data on Medicare Advantage plans became available, Brennan and Shepard used 11 measurements to look at the underuse of effective care. Out of the 11 measurements, MA plans noticeably performed better than fee-for-service plans in 9 fee-for-service plans. Fee-for-service plans only outperformed Medicare Advantage plans on a couple of measurements, which were not that significant to overall care. A similar study was conducted by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) utilizing HEDIS (Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set) measurements. The study shows quality improvements in health care for MA policyholders with diabetes and heart disease. The findings reveal that compared to fee-for-service plans, diabetic MA policyholders have fewer hospital readmissions and shorter hospital stays. As for heart disease patients, the trend was the same.

Many older adults will choose to enroll in Medicare Supplement Plans for 2019 plans will do a better job of preventing unneeded hospital admissions by increasing the use of doctor visits and outpatient health care services. Readmissions are also down due to superior and well-planned discharge procedures and coordination of medical care. According to Kathryn Nix, a policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a lot of comparative studies have continually shown that Medicare Advantage plans offer above average medical services to their policyholders and result in better health outcomes for patients. The superior services offered by this program have contributed to the popularity of Medicare Advantage plans.

There are all sorts of different reasons why someone might need to get Medicare supplement insurance. For example, disabled people often have additional medical expenses that may not be covered by their regular Medicare insurance policy. In addition, if you were required to stay at hospital for a longer time then often you will find that you are only partially covered by your current policy. This, in turn, could leave you open to have to pay thousands of dollars in additional medical costs.