Cost-sharing a solution
"Medicare Advantage Shifts Fret Members," March 30, was a good explanation of the increases for Medicare Advantage plans. Perhaps a solution to the dilemma is a “Cost Sharing Reduction” based on income qualification as is being used in the Affordable Care Act Marketplace (Exchange) policies. This formula reduces the out-of-pocket costs to low-income individuals and makes for greater accessibility to medical services.
One of the abuses of the Medicare Advantage Program is the insurance company offer of “No Monthly Premium.” This is a ploy to get folks to sign up for a plan that will undoubtedly have higher out-of-pocket costs at claim time. It also sends a horrible message that medical care is free. Those of us on original (traditional) Medicare and a supplement know there is no free ride for medical services.
For the people who are above the Medicaid income qualification, a cost-sharing reduction program should be available. The Affordable Care Act provisions can be used as a model for this type of help.