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Paying for Choice: The Cost Implications of Health Plan Options For People on Medicare


This report illustrates the financial stakes for Medicare beneficiaries when making choices about supplemental insurance coverage, by examining how much people on Medicare could spend out-of-pocket including premiums and other cost-sharing requirements under different supplemental insurance options. To assess the cost implications of choosing between different Medigap and Medicare+Choice insurance options, the research team estimated the range in health care expenditures associated with three prototypical beneficiaries (a 50 year-old man with disabilities, a relatively healthy 65 year-old woman, and a frail 80 year-old woman) within and across eight distinct geographic areas. Cost comparison included four standardized Medigap plans (A, F, H, and J) and any of up to five Medicare+Choice HMO options available in each geographic area all in comparison with choosing no supplemental coverage at all.


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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.