New Study Stings Medicare Advantage, Calls for Abolition

A recently conducted analysis that examined plans under Medicare Advantage has called for the program, which costs taxpayers in America huge sums, to be abolished. The analysis highlights how, since 2007, the program has fleeced more than $600 billion from the federal government, which offers insurers a lump sum for every patient. In the last 12 months alone, Medicare Advantage plans has surcharged the federal government $82 billion.

Currently, these plans are used by over one-half of the eligible population under Medicare. The plans use different strategies to charge higher payments. The paper states that despite these surcharges, Medicare Advantage plans spend almost 10% less on medical services than Medicare spends. This raises the question: Where do these excess payments go?

The investigators posited that the abolition of Medicare Advantage would afford the federal government a chance to use funds overpaid to upgrade the benefits for all beneficiaries of Medicare.

At the moment, Medicare does not cover vision, hearing or dental services, promoting those in need to enroll to plans under Medicare Advantage.

Dr. Adam Gaffney, an assistant professor of medicine and lead author of the study, stated that Medicare Advantage wasn’t a good deal for taxpayers. Gaffney explained that funds which could be used to bolster Medicare’s Trust Fund or remove copayments were instead lining the pockets of the insurance giants that dominate the industry.

He also noted that it was these same private insurers who kept enrollees of the program from receiving the care they needed by creating hurdles such as payment denials and previous authorizations. Gaffney and the paper’s coauthors, Drs. David Himmelstein and Stephanie Woolhandler, argue that the time has come to declare Medicare Advantage a failure and scrap it.

Himmelstein, who also lectures at Harvard Medical School, stated that the program had stolen hundreds of billions from taxpayers. He then revealed that the schemes under private plans also increased the premiums of seniors, including those who didn’t choose to enroll to the program.

In their conclusion, the authors explained that abolishing Medicare Advantage and covering those enrolled under Medicare in an expanded program would be a good deal for taxpayers as well as patients.

Former insurance executive, Wendell Potter, agreed with the authors that the program needed to be done away with. Potter explained that the program had never saved taxpayer money since it was established by the Bush administration and was rigged by insurers seeking excessive payments.

The analysis’ findings were reported in “JAMA Internal Medicine.”

Medical Advantage companies such as Astiva Health now have their work cut out to show that not all entities in this industry are driven by profit and that many are offering invaluable services to communities that would have otherwise been left out of obtaining the healthcare they need at affordable rates.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Astiva Health are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/Astiva

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