Medicare Studies: Payment Cuts Don't Mean Insurers Pay More

Medicare payment cuts to hospitals don't necessarily mean private insurers end up paying more, one study finds. Another reports that unifying Medicare's benefits into a single plan could save the program $180 billion over 10 years, while lowering seniors' out-of-pocket costs.

Politico: Study: Cuts To Medicare Trim Costs To Insurers
When Medicare payment rates for hospital inpatient care are cut, do insurers end up paying more? A new study published Monday in Health Affairs finds they don't -- contradicting the well-known "cost shifting" theory (Smith, 5/7).

The Hill: Unified Medicare Benefit Would Save Billions, Study Says
Combining Medicare coverage under a unified benefit could save $180 billion over 10 years while lowering out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries, according to a new study. Researchers with the Commonwealth Fund, a non-profit research foundation, proposed a simplified Medicare program in which beneficiaries receive hospital, physician, drug and supplemental coverage in a single package (Viebeck, 5/6).

Another study finds that for those close to retiring, the cost of health care is one of the biggest worries --

Reuters: Health Concerns Top List Of Retirement Worries In U.S.: Study
Health problems and the cost of health care are the biggest concerns for those entering retirement, according to a study released on Monday from Bank of America Corp's Merrill Lynch. The findings, part of a larger study focused on how people are feeling about and preparing for retirement, were based on a survey of more than 6,300 individuals aged 45 and older across the United States (5/6).

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