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Proposed 'Medicare Essential' plan estimated to save $180 billion over 10 years
Date:5/6/2013

icare is overly complex, and it fails to protect beneficiaries against high costs unless they buy supplemental coverage. Medicare Essential would simplify and modernize Medicare for beneficiaries and help keep premiums and out-of-pocket costs reasonable."

Health Care Improvements

As envisioned by the authors, Medicare Essential would create financial incentives for beneficiaries to select high-quality, cost-effective health care servicesalso known as value-based benefit design. Beneficiaries would be encouraged to choose a primary care physician and providers who meet standards of high value. Beneficiaries selecting such providers would pay lower deductibles and co-pays.

Beneficiaries who select lower-cost, higher-value providers would also benefit from enhancements like patient-centered medical homes, which offer around-the-clock access to a health care provider, stronger support for people with multiple chronic conditions, and help with coordinating the services provided by all the hospitals and specialists caring for a patient.

Financial Benefits

According to the article, Medicare Essential's focus on high-value care and simplified design could substantially reduce spending for beneficiaries. Under Medicare's current design, in 2014 a typical traditional Medicare beneficiary will spend an estimated $427 a month on premiums for Medicare Parts B and D, supplemental private Medigap Plan F coverage, and out-of-pocket health care costs. Under Medicare Essential, beneficiaries would spend an average $354 for the same services―a savings of 17 percent compared to current Medicare plus private supplemental insurance coverage. Those enrolled in Medicare Essential who use high-value providers would spend an estimated $254 a month, for a savings of 40 percent.

Medicare Essential's comprehensive benefits would substantially reduce the amount beneficiaries pay toward their Medicare plans and services and
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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