Earlier this week, the Alliance for Healthcare Reform and the Kaiser Family Foundation hosted a briefing entitled, “The Future of Medicare Advantage: Are we on the Right Path?” The speakers gave attendees an update on the growth of Medicare Advantage plans, as well as their future forecast based on recent legislative and political developments – including the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and increased quality regulations of Medicare Advantage programs.
Speakers during the briefing included Gretchen Jacobson, Associate Director of Kaiser Family Foundation’s Program on Medicare Policy; Dr. Mark Miller, Executive Director of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC); Alissa Fox, Senior Vice President in the Office of Policy and Representation for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association; and Carl McDonald, Director and Senior Analyst for the Managed Care Industry with Citi Investment Research.
The general consensus among the panelists was that the Medicare Advantage marketplace will continue to grow, despite challenges that the programs face. There are currently 14.2 million Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans – more than a quarter of all eligible beneficiaries. This figure is predicted to rise to around 18 million by 2019.
While the panel discussed the challenges and financial health of the Medicare Advantage market, there was little discussion of what actual benefits Medicare Advantage plans offer.
NAHC, in its 2013 Legislative Blueprint for Action, devotes an entire section to Medicare Advantage plans. Specifically, NAHC suggests that Congress mandate that Medicare Advantage plans must provide a home health benefit that is fully equivalent to the original Medicare home health benefit.
To review NAHC’s Legislative Blueprint for Action section on Medicare Advantage, please click here and scroll to page 112.
To view the presentations from the Alliance briefing, please click here.