- The Next Step In Medicare Reform
Dated insurance design underlies the traditional Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) program, driving uncontrolled health spending. Innovation in traditional Medicare has failed to control expenditure growth, jeopardizing the program’s long-term future. Medicare Advantage, an alternative that uses defined contribution payments to private companies that administer health care benefits, provides greater financial protections and benefits for consumers while providing the potential for budgetary control in a way that does not exist in traditional Medicare. Utilizing lessons from retirement plan products, Congress should couple auto-enrollment with default assignment of new Medicare beneficiaries into the growing Medicare Advantage market as a promising first step for potentially being able to stabilize the future of Medicare and for providing more integrated care for America’s current and future seniors. Consumer protections should be maintained with an annual enrollment period wherein beneficiaries can switch plans or elect back into FFS.