A popular Republican talking point during the debate of the health reform legislation was that the Affordable Care Act cuts Medicare. Specifically, Part C of the program which is commonly referred to as Medicare Advantage which covers approximately one in every four Medicare Beneficiaries.
The policy brief below from Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) examines potential changes to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Enrollment in MA plans more than doubled from 2005 to 2010, largely due to their added features, including lower premiums, reduced cost-sharing and additional benefits, such as dental or vision care. Because of these additional benefits, private MA health plans cost the federal government about 10 percent more than the traditional Medicare fee-for-service program, causing the federal government to look for ways to reduce the cost of these plans.
Under the Affordable Care Act, federal payments to MA plans are to decrease over time, bringing them closer to matching traditional Medicare program costs. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this change will cause MA plan enrollment in 2019 to drop to 9.1 million from a projected 13.9 million prior to ACA’s passage.
Click the link below for the full policy paper.