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Explaining Health Reform: Key Changes in the Medicare Advantage Program

This brief examines the changes in the 2010 health reform law affecting the Medicare Advantage program, which gives beneficiaries the option of enrolling in private insurance plans for their Medicare benefits, instead of the traditional fee-for-service program. The reform law will gradually reduce Medicare payments to these plans to bring the average payment closer to the costs of traditional fee-for-service Medicare, while rewarding plans with high-quality ratings. The brief also describes new benefit requirements for enrollees in Medicare Advantage plans, and a shift in the annual open enrollment period.

Issue Brief (.pdf)