“Growing gap between what insurers and Medicare spend on hospital stays,” by Jack Craver, BenefitsPRO
“A new analysis takes a look at the difference between what private health plans and Medicare pay for hospital stays. The analysis, published by Thomas M. Selden in Health Affairs, examines the cost of hospital stays from 2000 to 2016. Between 2000 and 2012, the cost of inpatient hospital stays rose much faster for privately insured patients than Medicare enrollees. At the beginning of the millennium, private plans were only paying 10 percent more than Medicare, but that gap grew to 75 percent by 2012. However, things changed in the subsequent four years. Private payments dropped sharply from 2012 to 2013 and were still lower in 2016 than they had been four years prior. Meanwhile, during that time, Medicare payments rose at a faster rate than at any other point in the 21st century. Thus, by 2016, private insurance payments were only 50 percent greater than Medicare payments.”
LTC Comment (from Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform):
Cost shifting to private payers in order to subsidize bankrupt government entitlement programs is another way to hide taxes that impede the economy. Medicaid long-term care is a major culprit driving up private-pay costs by paying LTC providers less than cost.