Antos explains that the study’s claim that seniors would pay more in a premium support system is based on two flawed assumptions:
- Seniors won't adjust? To reach their conclusion, the authors of the Kaiser study assume that no beneficiary would change health plans even if a less expensive option would save them hundreds of dollars a month.
- Seniors want to overpay? Lower health plan costs would increase what Medicare beneficiaries have to pay—but only if they insist on paying more for the same benefits that are offered less expensively elsewhere.
"It is clear that premium support will create even larger incentives to cut waste and improve cost-efficiency. That could result in nearly all plans offering lower bids than we see today, and the differences could be substantial. That means savings for the Mom’s of America, and savings for their children who are stuck with the tax bill."
Joe Antos is a former assistant director for Health and Human Resources at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and is currently a commissioner of the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission and a health adviser to CBO. He is available for interviews and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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