Enrollment in Medicare Advantage has grown over three times since 2005, with currently around 20 million beneficiaries. Enrollment is projected to increase to 42 percent of the country by 2028, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Government publications biased toward Medicare Advantage
With all the popularity of private Medicare plans, why does it appear that the federal government is pushing people toward Medicare Advantage?
It is unclear the motives and whether it actually saves Medicare money, but it does benefit private insurance companies like United Healthcare who offer Medicare Advantage plans.
The Medicare Rights Center and the Center for Medicare Advocacy wrote the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) a letter last month criticizing several online and email tools that are biased toward Medicare Advantage over traditional fee-for-service Medicare.
This isn’t the first time CMS has been criticized for this. The past two years the Medicare & You handbook had a bent toward Medicare Advantage plans, and CMS had to make changes to it after the first draft appeared.
What are Medicare Advantage plans?
Medicare Advantage is Medicare provided by a private insurance company. Often these plans include extra benefits such as prescription drug coverage, vision, and dental benefits. See the pros and cons of traditional Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage.
Past three administrations bent toward Medicare Advantage
It isn’t just the Trump administration that is marketing these plans. The past three administrations have been enthusiastic about pushing Medicare Advantage. The Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations have helped allow Medicare Advantage to add benefits like vision, fitness memberships, and to have a cap on out-of-pocket costs. But the Trump administration seems to be promoting it even more than others.
Advocacy groups want the information on Medicare to be balanced and to show the positives and negatives of both means of getting Medicare.
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