Medicare: Program Designed to Inform Beneficiaries and Promote Choice Faces Challenges

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA) established the Medicare+Choice (M+C) program to expand health plan choices. BBA permitted Medicare participation by preferred provider organizations, provider-sponsored organizations, and insurers offering private fee-for-service plans or medical savings accounts. It also encouraged the wider availability of health maintenance organizations, which have long been an option for many beneficiaries. To help beneficiaries understand and consider all of their Medicare options, the National Medicare Education Program offers a toll-free help line, informational mailings to beneficiaries, an Internet site, and educational ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. September 28, 2001.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA) established the Medicare+Choice (M+C) program to expand health plan choices. BBA permitted Medicare participation by preferred provider organizations, provider-sponsored organizations, and insurers offering private fee-for-service plans or medical savings accounts. It also encouraged the wider availability of health maintenance organizations, which have long been an option for many beneficiaries. To help beneficiaries understand and consider all of their Medicare options, the National Medicare Education Program offers a toll-free help line, informational mailings to beneficiaries, an Internet site, and educational and publicity campaigns. During fiscal years 1998 through 2000, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) spent an average of $107.8 million on the program annually. Most of the money came from user fees collected from M+C plans. Reaction to the program has generally been positive among beneficiaries and beneficiary advocacy groups, but representatives of M+C plans offered a mixed assessment. Program activities have increased the information available to beneficiaries on Medicare, the M+C program, and specific health plans. However, the extent to which the program has motivated beneficiaries to actively weigh their health plan options is unknown."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 28, 2001

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Medicare: Program Designed to Inform Beneficiaries and Promote Choice Faces Challenges, report, September 28, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc292773/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.