Study Suggests Higher Priced Medicare Advantage Plans Aren’t Always Higher Quality

The quality of care and patient experience significantly varies among Medicare Advantage plans with similar monthly premiums, according to an analysis published on Aug. 26 in JAMA Health Forum. The retrospective, cross-sectional study also found that there was only a small mean difference in quality among low- and high-cost plans.

Amelia Haviland, the study’s lead author, tells AIS Health that the results indicate “how little guarantee there is that by paying more you’re going to wind up in a plan with higher quality. You might pick one of the plans that’s well below the mean within that cost tier or much higher.” However, she suggests insurers that offer low-cost Medicare plans can use the findings to show that people can still receive top-notch plans without paying high premiums.

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