Medicare beneficiaries who switched to Advantage already spending $1,253 less, study finds

Americans who changed over to Medicare Advantage from traditional Medicare in 2016 spent an average $1,253 less in 2015 than beneficiaries who didn't make the jump, according to an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

For the report, researchers compared the average traditional Medicare spending and use of services in 2015 of beneficiaries who swapped for a Medicare Advantage plan in 2016 to those who stayed with the original program. The results were adjusted for health risk.

The average traditional Medicare spending in 2016 was $9,372, compared to $8,109 for beneficiaries who switched to Medicare Advantage.

"Even after risk adjustment, the results indicate that beneficiaries who choose Medicare Advantage have lower Medicare spending — before they enroll in Medicare Advantage plans — than similar beneficiaries who remain in traditional Medicare, suggesting that basing payments to plans on the spending of those in traditional Medicare may systematically overestimate expected costs of Medicare Advantage enrollees," the KFF analysis said.

For the full KFF brief, click here.

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