Medicare Advantage (Part C) Plans Are More Expensive Than Traditional Medicare for the American Taxpayer and Do Not Offer Any Advantages to Those Who Are Enrolled May 15, 2012 10:22

About 25 percent of people in the Medicare system are enrolled in Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C). While people in traditional Medicare (Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) and Medicare Medical Insurance (Part B)) can use any doctor or hospital, those in Part C plans stay within their plan’s network of doctors and hospitals. In return, they get benefits that are not available in traditional Medicare.

“Over half (55 percent) of all Medicare Advantage plans cover some form of preventive dental care. Such benefits typically include a specified number of exams, cleanings or x-rays per year,“ according to a Kaiser Family Foundationreport. “All plans provide some vision benefit, particularly glasses and contacts. Almost all (86 percent) cover exams (typically one per year) and all plans cover eyeglasses generally subject to a dollar limit ($85 per year, on average) and specified number of pairs. Nearly two thirds (65 percent) of Medicare Advantage plans cover hearing tests. Thirty-seven percent of plans cover hearing aids, generally subject to a limit.” And many plans include prescription drug benefits.

The plans cost the taxpayers extra money because Medicare pays an average of 14 percent more to provide care for someone enrolled in a Part C plan than it pays for a typical enrollee in traditional Medicare. Read More