Obamacare’s Impact on Medicare Advantage and Seniors

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Air Date: December 17, 2013

Host: Vic Eliason

Guest: Andy Mangione

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Andy Mangione is Vice President of Government Relations for the Association of Mature American Citizens (or AMAC, a conservative alternative to the AARP). Prior to joining AMAC his professional career began with the world’s largest manufacturer of home medical equipment. He also has experience working in the pharmaceutical industry, and a Fortune 100 health benefits provider. He joined AMAC in 2012 serving as the lead legislative and government contact in Washington, D.C.

When you turn 65 you have the option to receive your Medicare through original Medicare (fee-for-service where when you see your doctor, he bills Medicare and the government reimburses him) or you can choose to have your Medicare benefit delivered through Medicare Advantage which is contracted through a private carrier such as Humana, Aetna, United Health Care, Blue Cross, etc. Within this format you have the choices such as an HMO network or PPO network and since this is modeled after the private sector, there’s less fraud and abuse.

In essence, Medicare Advantage is basically the private sector providing a federal benefit. This partnership works as is shown by the statistics. Medicare Advantage recipients are healthier than Medicare recipients because of the wellness programs. Medicare Advantage recipients spend less time in the hospital and are readmitted less and live longer.

Unfortunately about 146 billion dollars will be coming out of the system to pay the subsidies on the Obamacare health care exchanges as well as paying for the expansion of Medicaid. This includes reimbursement reductions to physicians. In other words, the benefits of Medicare Advantage (Part C) will be diminished.

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