Current White Paper and Talking Points
Updated NRLN White Paper on Subsidies to Insurance Industry for Medicare Advantage
I have updated the NRLN’s white paper for 2021. The title is: It is time to end taxpayer subsidies to the private healthcare insurance industry for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.
- Go to www.nrln.org,
- Cick on the Legislative Agenda tab,
- Select White Papers and
- Click on top posting in the healthcare section.
The NRLN supports competition from private healthcare plans and understands the financial challenges ahead for Medicare and the federal budget. However, we do not support bonus and rebate subsidies, or anti-competitive restrictions placed on the original Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) just to preserve the notion that private insurance plans may be more cost effective or provide better care than FFS, when the record shows they are not.
Congress gave $41.8 billion in illegitimate taxpayer rebates to private insurance companies in 2021 ($450 billion in 24 years) to provide special benefits such as dental, vision and hearing, over the counter drugs and carpet cleaning to 24.9 million MA enrollees that 40 million original Medicare participants are not eligible to receive.
To be very clear, the NRLN supports retirees getting a good deal. As long those in MA plans stay healthy it may cost less out-of-pocket, but MA plans create more long-term risk. Rumblings about poor coverage and unpaid claims are already bubbling. The problem is, lie about it or not, healthcare costs/enrollee are skyrocketing, and MA costs are higher than original Medicare – subsidies deceive us. Soon, everybody in America will pay a heavy price for this congressional maleficence. So far, at least $450 billion and counting.
It’s obvious MA (with various names) was created by members of Congress to privatize Medicare based on private insurers saying they could be competitive with original Medicare. In 2021, MA payments were 104% of the cost for original Medicare Fee-for-Service per enrollee and over the 24 years, THEY NEVER HAVE been below 100%!
Medicare Advantage rebates cost taxpayers $140 per month per enrollee ($1,680 annually) in 2021. That compares with rebates of $81 per month per enrollee ($972 annually) just five years ago in 2016.
It’s time for Congress to end the subsidies and level the playing field for participants in the two programs.
NRLN White Papers
AREF/NRLN WHITE PAPERS/EXECUTIVE SUMMARIES FOR TOP PRIORITY LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
Click on the titles of the White Papers listed below to read and gain an understanding of why the NRLN advocates legislative action to strengthen retirement security. The White Papers and/or their Executive Summaries are being use to communicate the NRLN’s proposals to U.S. Representatives and Senators and members of their staffs. NRLN Grassroots Network members are encouraged to use these documents or information from them when writing to and talking with their elected representatives.
- Defined Benefit Pension
- Plan Mergers
- Restore Pension Security
- Pension Plan “De-Risking”: Strengthening Fiduciary Duties to Protect Retirees
- Proposed Pension Plan Funding Disclosure Changes
- Saving Social Security
- Pension Asset Protection (PAP) – Back Door Reversions
- Protecting Retirees in Mergers, Acquisitions & Spin-offs
- Protecting Retiree Benefits in Bankruptcy
- Time to End Taxpayer Rebates to Private Health Insurance Industry
- Reduce Price of Prescription Drugs
- Competitive Bidding on Prescription Drugs
- Prescription Drug Costs Internationally
- The Case for Legalizing Importation of Prescription Drugs from Canada
- Pre-Existing Conditions and Medigap / Medicare Advantage Policies
- Retiree Health Maintenance of Cost Protection (MCP)
- Health Care Access for Older Adults – Medicare Buy-In Option
- Medicare Out of Pocket Health Cost Limits
- Protecting Medicare and Trimming the Deficit
- NIH Should Use Its Authority to Mitigate Drugs Costs
- Testimonies on the High Cost of Prescription Drugs Bill 2015-2017
Michael Calabrese, NRLN Senior Policy Advisor, who researched and wrote the NRLN/AREF white paper on Pension Plan ‘De-Risking’: Strengthening Fiduciary Duties to Protect Retirees testified …