Medicare watchdog warns of $12 billion in excess payments

Medicare watchdog warns of $12 billion in excess payments

Bloomberg: Medicare Advantage is leading the US government to spend billions more on seniors’ medical care than it should and needs a significant makeover, a nonpartisan watchdog said in a report to lawmakers.

The program collected $12 billion in “excess payments” in 2020 over what the US would have paid to cover people who used the private plans under standard Medicare, according to a report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, or MedPAC.

Medicare has offered some private-sector version since the 1980s, and the current program, called Medicare Advantage, is nearly two decades old. It allows insurers to sell plans that provide Medicare benefits along with add-ons like dental or vision coverage. That can eliminate the need for consumers to purchase supplemental insurance that picks up costs not covered by Medicare itself.