Those who argue that Medicare and managed care don't mix well have new data to take to the fight. A Commonwealth Fund report states that the average out-of-pocket costs for Medicare+Choice enrollees soared 10 percent this year.
According to the authors, Marsha Gold and Lori Achman of Mathematica Policy Research, M+C average annual plan premiums rose to $1,964 this year, from $1,786 in 2002. That's more than double the $976 that enrollees had to pay in 1999.
"As Congress debates the role of private plans in the future of the Medicare program, it should consider the eroding financial protection experienced under Medicare+Choice," says Gold.
Average annual enrollee out-of-pocket costs in M+C plans, weighted by enrollment.
SOURCE: AVERAGE OUT-OF-POCKET HEALTH CARE COSTS FOR MEDICARE+CHOICE ENROLLEES INCREASE 10 PERCENT IN 2003, THE COMMONWEALTH FUND AND MATHEMATICA POLICY RESEARCH