Medicare premiums would rise for most beneficiaries under a premium-support model, study says

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Medicare premiums would rise for most beneficiaries under a premium-support model, study says
Medicare premiums would rise for most beneficiaries under a premium-support model, study says

Under a premium-support model for Medicare, six in 10 beneficiaries would see an increase in their premiums, a non-partisan study released Monday found.

A premium-support Medicare plan would give beneficiaries a specific amount of money with which to purchase insurance. Assuming beneficiaries keep their current healthcare plans, more than half of seniors enrolled in traditional Medicare and almost all of those enrolled in Medicare Advantage would experience higher premiums under a premium support plan, Kaiser Family Foundation researchers found.

The study's authors note that their analysis should not be viewed as a critique of the Medicare plan being floated by presidential candidate Mitt Romney and vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). The premium-support model often is called a “voucher” program.

For their analysis, Kaiser investigators tied federal Medicare payments to the second-lowest cost healthcare plan offered in a given area, or to traditional Medicare — whichever costs less. The premium increases vary widely by region, the study notes.

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