MTT #75: Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage?

More Americans over the age of 65 are now selecting Medicare Advantage over traditional Medicare for their health insurance coverage, according to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

What’s more, Medicare Advantage is expected to widen its lead in the years to come—projected to cover 60% of the eligible senior population by the year 2030.

It’s a major win for the “little brother” that blossomed out of a Congressional effort in the 1990s to improve the quality of Medicare-provided medical care while also lowering costs, says podcast cohost Dr. Robert Pearl.

Unlike Original Medicare, which is government-provided health insurance, Medicare Advantage plans are administered by private insurers. Medicare Advantage plans also include extra benefits like out-of-pocket maximums, dental or hearing coverage, and even fitness stipends. While there are many differences between the two options, the most important, according to Dr. Pearl, is how these programs pay hospitals and healthcare professionals to provide care.

On this episode of “Medicine: The Truth,” Dr. Pearl explains why “capitation” sets Medicare Advantage apart from traditional Medicare, which is a “fee-for-service” program. Anyone who’s 65+ or nearing that age should tune in for the full conversation. As always, Dr. Pearl and Jeremy Corr eagerly follow the facts, uncover the truth, and help listeners understand the world’s biggest medical stories.

Also featured on today’s program:

  • The FDA grants full approval for a new Alzheimer’s drug
  • The safety and cost of weight-loss drugs like Ozempic
  • Over-the-counter birth-control pills are coming
  • The dwindling number of private-practice physicians
  • New data on opioid addiction and overdose
  • A new RSV drug for newborns
  • Avoiding a repeat of the “triple-demic” later this year
  • The medical implications of global warming
  • A Pew Research poll on the cost of healthcare
  • The difference between generics and biosimilars
  • A breakthrough in the global fight against malaria

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Dr. Robert Pearl is the author of a book about medicine’s invisible yet highly influential physician culture. Check out “Uncaring: How Physician Culture Is Killing Doctors & Patients.” All profits from the book go to Doctors Without Borders.

Fixing Healthcare is a co-production of Dr. Robert Pearl and Jeremy Corr. Subscribe to the show via Apple, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you find podcasts. Join the conversation or suggest a guest by following the show on Twitter and LinkedIn.