KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Will Growing Familiarity With Medicare’s Private Choices Make Seniors More Open To Premium Support?

This question is explored in a new survey and policy brief. Meanwhile, a separate study finds that seniors overspend on Medicare Part D, and their experiences may provide lessons to consider in the development of the health law's insurance exchanges.  

CQ HealthBeat: Could Seniors' Familiarity With Private Medicare Choices Lead Them To Accept Premium Support?
A Kaiser Family Foundation survey released Wednesday said that 73 percent of seniors are aware there's an open enrollment period during which they can choose among private plan alternatives to the traditional fee-for-service Medicare. That could be a sign that many seniors would be comfortable with a Medicare approach that relies more heavily on private plan choices, a Kaiser brief speculated. Whether seniors could accept such an idea is one of the hottest issues in the presidential race between Republican Mitt Romney and Democratic President Obama (Norman, 10/11). (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation)

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Study: Seniors Overspend On Medicare Part D
Seniors spent on average $368 more than they needed to on drug coverage through Medicare Part D plans in 2009 -- their decisions complicated by the sheer volume of plans available and difficulties involved in determining what makes a plan a good choice, a Health Affairs study released Tuesday has found (Rao, 10/11).

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