Analysis: Private And Public Plans Are Providing Access To Quality Coverage Options
WASHINGTON – When it comes to what’s next in health care, it’s critical we continue to build on and improve what’s working in health care where private coverage, Medicare, and Medicaid work together. Today, hundreds of millions of Americans have access to health care plans that cover essential benefits – like preventive care, prescription drugs, and emergency services – regardless of pre-existing conditions.
Currently, patient choice and control extends to Medicare-eligible Americans, and a new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) finds that the “average person on Medicare will be able to choose among 33 Medicare Advantage plans during the [upcoming] open enrollment period.” The report adds that Medicare Advantage enrollment now exceeds 24 million beneficiaries. A second KFF analysis finds that “the average Medicare beneficiary will be able to choose among 30 stand-alone prescription drug plans.”
Meanwhile, “the marketplaces look healthier than ever,” The Washington Post reports.
Individual insurance premiums and choices have steadily improved over the past four years … That trend will continue in the 2021 enrollment season. “One thing the marketplaces proved is how resilient they actually are,” said Andy Slavitt, former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Barack Obama … The average Obamacare customer can choose from plans offered by four to five issuers. That’s up from an average of three to four issuers in 2020, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services … And premiums are declining for the third straight year. The average premiums for the second-lowest-cost “silver”-level plan will be 2 percent lower next year. Average premiums for these “benchmark” plans have declined 8 percent since 2018 … “the marketplaces are strong and healthy, and premiums for high-quality, comprehensive coverage remain very affordable,” said Joshua Peck, co-founder of Get America Covered — a nonpartisan group that has worked to spread the word about the marketplaces …
Recent reporting also notes how coverage options through the health insurance marketplaces are expanding to meet growing demand. In 2021, 49 states will offer multiple health insurance plans for working families, and for the third straight year, the cost of premiums will decrease.
Another KFF report shows nearly all Americans have been impacted by the current health care system:
- 12 million more Americans are eligible for Medicaid in 33 states and Washington D.C.;
- 54 million Americans living with pre-existing conditions have access to care;
- Almost 2.3 million young adults are able to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan; and
- Nearly 150 million Americans have access to free preventative services with no out-of-pocket costs.
During this critical time, let’s build on and improve what’s working where private coverage, Medicare, and Medicaid work together to expand access to coverage and care – not start over.