Studies: Medicare Advantage paid too much, doesn't coordinate care

As Senators put forth plans to reform health care, several new studies have come out suggesting that private health care plans for Medicare beneficiaries may be a good place to start cutting.

One of the studies, published by two analysts from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, found that the private insurance plans are driving up costs because they are paid 13 percent more on average than allocated for traditional Medicare.

Meanwhile, another study from Mathematica Policy Research says that private fee-for-service plans are showing the most growth, and they do little to coordinate care for beneficiaries. The payment increases have made it such that the private insurers don't need to be efficient with the money they are given in order to give added benefits.

And those added benefits, such as vision and dental coverage, attract more people to the Medicare Advantage programs. Meanwhile, the increased cost of paying the private plans is being borne by all beneficiaries and taxpayers, regardless of whether they are getting the added benefits or not.

To learn more about the results of the studies:
- read this New York Times piece