Analysis of Benefits Offered By Medicare HMOs, 1999: Complexities and Implications

This report analyzes supplemental benefits offered and premiums charged by Medicare HMOs nationwide in 1999, assessing the generosity of selected benefits, including prescription drugs. The study finds that the level of monthly premiums charged by Medicare HMOs, and the generosity of many supplemental benefits, especially prescription drugs, vary widely within and across markets. The study also finds that variations in benefits offered by Medicare HMOs can expose beneficiaries to complex choices and have a significant impact on out-of-pocket expenses for seniors.