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Jul 19, 2016 by Gretchen Jacobson and Tricia Neuman

This Issue Brief, available at http://kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/turning-medicare-into-a-premium-support-system-frequently-asked-questions/, is an excellent breakdown of what a "Premium Support" structure – also referred to as "Defined Contributions" or "Vouchers"  – would mean for Medicare and Medicare beneficiaries. Topics addressed include:

  • What is premium support?
  • How could a premium support system for Medicare affect beneficiaries’ premiums and out-of-pocket costs?
  • What could a premium support system mean for Medicare benefits?
  • Could a premium support system reduce federal spending on Medicare?
  • How could a premium support system affect traditional Medicare?
  • What could be the implications of “grandfathering” current beneficiaries while phasing in a premium support system?
  • How could a premium support system affect low-income Medicare beneficiaries?
  • How could a premium support system affect private Medicare plans?
  • How could a premium support system affect the implementation of payment and delivery system reforms in traditional Medicare?
  • How could a premium support system affect hospitals and other providers that currently receive additional payments under the traditional Medicare program?
  • How could a Medicare premium support system differ from the ACA marketplaces?
  • What does the public think about premium support?

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