Medicare Premiums Would Rise With Ryan Plan, Study Finds

Elderly in Florida would have paid more than $200 extra with Ryan plan: Kaiser study

Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Elderly people in Florida would have paid more than $200 extra for traditional Medicare if a system similar to Paul Ryan’s proposed overhaul of the program was in place in 2010, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, wants to transform Medicare into a “premium support” system in which beneficiaries get a fixed payment from the government for their insurance, rather than guaranteed benefits. Such a plan would lead to wide variations in Medicare costs across the country, according to the study today by the nonprofit Kaiser group.

While Medicare beneficiaries may have to pay more, a premium support plan would probably save the government money, Jacobson and her colleagues said. The study didn’t measure the extent of those savings.

Medicare beneficiaries in a system like Ryan’s wouldn’t face higher premiums and might even lower their costs if they switch to lower-cost plans, the Kaiser researchers said. People may be unlikely to change plans, though, even to get a lower premium.

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