With Medicare Advantage enrollment underway, a new study found MA plans cost Medicare billions of dollars more than they should. According to Kaiser Health News, an analysis by former federal policy researcher and University of California professor Richard Kronick discovered Medicare overpaid MA plans $106 billion for sicker patients between 2010 and 2019.
“They are paying (Medicare Advantage plans) way more than they should,” Kronick said.
MA plans, which are offered by private insurers, are becoming a popular alternative to traditional Medicare gap plans. More than 40% of Medicare-eligible consumers are currently enrolled in the plans. MA plans are popular with many seniors because they often include benefits such as vision, dental and gym memberships that aren’t covered in traditional plans.
Kronick said the growth in MA plan costs is a systemic problem that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has failed to rein in. He said some plans saw “eye-popping” revenue gains, including UnitedHealthcare, which Kronick claimed received excess payments of roughly $6 billion.