Medicare Advantage Provides Key Financial Protections to Low- and Modest-Income Populations
ANALYSIS BY ANNE TUMLINSON INNOVATIONS
While there are many similarities between populations in Medicare Advantage and Traditional Medicare, there are several significant differences, particularly in regard to financial protections and benefits, as well as demographic representation of low-income populations. According to new research and analysis commissioned by the Better Medicare Alliance, Medicare Advantage plays a critical role in protecting financially vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries with low to modest income from out-of-pocket health care costs. As this report outlines, low-income Medicare beneficiaries are more likely to choose Medicare Advantage, and fewer of them report experiencing the cost burden associated with out-of-pocket costs compared to low-income Medicare beneficiaries in fee-for-service (FFS). The analysis also shows that, overall, beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage have clinical and functional care needs very similar to those of beneficiaries in FFS Medicare. Additionally, the analysis finds that chronically ill Medicare beneficiaries are choosing Medicare Advantage at rates that mirror FFS Medicare.