As Congress considers legislative proposals aimed at saving Medicare+Choice, a new study published today on the Health Affairs Web site shows that under the best-case scenario, enrollment in the troubled managed care program would stabilize at about 5 million beneficiaries.
Under the worst case of the four policy proposals to boost sluggish M+C reimbursement, enrollment would shrink to just 3.3 million by 2005, according to the article by health care scholars Kenneth E. Thorpe and Adam Atherly.
These findings are important for low and moderate-income beneficiaries, who make up 55 percent of M+C enrollees and rely on M+C plans because they cover drugs and other supplemental benefits. The authors found that M+C plans provided $6 billion in added benefits to enrollees in 2001 when compared to the Medicare fee for service benefit package. If M+C were completely eliminated, the authors write, more than 30 percent would end up with Medicare coverage only, raising the number of beneficiaries with no coverage for drugs and other supplemental services to 6.5 million from 5 million.
The authors analyze M+C payment rates and likely enrollment through 2005 under four different policy options. President Bushs M+C proposal would yield a stable enrollment, declining from 5.3 million today to about 5 million in 2005. A plan authored by Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-CT), similar to legislation the House of Representatives has already endorsed, would result in a decline of about 1 million enrollees by 2005. A proposal by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission would cause enrollment to drop by 2 million, to 3.3 million, and current law would result in a 2005 enrollment of 4.1 million.
The authors conclude that the program has been hampered by conflicting policy goals since passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Policymakers want M+C to reduce health care cost growth, provide a stable supplemental benefits package, and expand into underserved areas. The authors urge policymakers to give more clearly defined and focused expectations if they want M+C to be a major part of Medicare reform in the future.
Health Affairs, published by Project HOPE, is a bimonthly multidisciplinary journal devoted to publishing the leading edge in health policy thought and research.
Project HOPE | EurekAlert
Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital
Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences
27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences