Sahil Kapur looks at the new Kaiser Foundation study which finds that RyanCare-style voucher systems increase premium costs for seniors – even those who choose to remain in traditional Medicare:
Converting Medicare into a voucher program modeled on the plan Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have proposed would increase premiums for the majority of seniors, even ones who choose to remain in traditional Medicare, according to a comprehensive nonpartisan study (PDF) released Monday.
The Kaiser Family Foundation delved into the likely impact of transforming Medicare into a “premium support” system. Under that approach, the federal government would provide seniors a subsidy to shop for insurance plans from a menu of competing private plans and traditional Medicare. That subsidy would be capped at the value of the second least costly premium in the marketplace.
Using 2010 data as a model, Kaiser’s study found that among seniors who chose to remain in traditional Medicare, more than half would have paid higher premiums. Just under half would have paid the same. That would’ve yielded an average premium hike of $720 annually for seniors who chose to remain in traditional Medicare.
Among seniors with private Medicare Advantage plans, 88 percent would have paid higher premiums unless they switched to a cheaper plan with less generous benefits. On average, seniors already in private plans would have paid $1,044 more annually, according to the study.