The New York Times

Medicare Advantage Spends Less on Care, So Why Is It Costing So Much?

Austin Frakt is a health economist with several governmental and academic affiliations. He blogs at The Incidental Economist.

The Medicare Advantage program was supposed to save taxpayers money by allowing insurers to offer older Americans private alternatives to Medicare. The plans now cover 19 million people, one-third of all those who qualify for Medicare. Enrollee satisfaction is generally high, and studies show that plans offer higher quality than traditional Medicare. But the government pays insurers more than they pay out for patient care — in some years, it turns out, a

This article originally appeared in .

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The New York Times

The New York Times4 min read
How To Travel Using An E-Bike Or Scooter
If you follow the safety precautions, an electric bike, scooter or motorbike is an easy and cheap way to tour most urban centers.
The New York Times4 min read
Blue Skies Ahead for Cheap Flights, But Read the Fine Print
More no-frills carriers as well as major airlines are offering deals on international flights. Just book ahead and be wary of ancillary fees — they can really add up.
The New York Times6 min read
Clara Schumann, Music's Unsung Renaissance Woman
Schumann is among the most celebrated names in the classical music canon — for most people conjuring the poetic and intense work of Robert Schumann, the Romantic master. But when the Schumann in question is his wife, Clara, the name should remind us