Health Care FinanceMedicare - GeneralMedicare Advantage

Traditional Medicare Spending Fell Almost 6% in 2020 as Service Use Declined Early in the COVID-19 Pandemic

(By Jeannie Fuglesten Biniek, Juliette Cubanski, and Tricia Neuman for Kaiser Family Foundation Published: Jun 01, 2022)

In 2020, spending for traditional Medicare beneficiaries declined for the first time in more than two decades. The drop in spending followed the sharp decline in the use of health care services during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and reflects a decrease in spending among traditional Medicare beneficiaries on most health care goods and services. The lower spending in traditional Medicare contributed to the relatively slower growth in Medicare spending overall in 2020. However, total Medicare spending increased in 2020 because federal payments per Medicare Advantage enrollee rose 6.9%. Medicare Advantage payments were determined in mid-2019 prior to the pandemic, and therefore, did not reflect the lower utilization that occurred in 2020. Continue reading here…

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