Under a premium support system, the federal government would replace Medicare beneficiaries’ guaranteed benefit package with a fixed dollar amount or “defined contribution” that beneficiaries would apply toward their health care coverage. This fact sheet describes the likely impact on Medicare beneficiaries of moving to a premium support system, also known as a defined contribution or voucher system.
- Premium support could end the promise of a guaranteed set of Medicare benefits
- Beneficiaries in traditional Medicare could pay more
- Premium support could shift more costs to beneficiaries over time
- Most Medicare beneficiaries cannot afford to pay more for their health care
- Premium support could lead to reduced access and higher risk of catastrophic out-of-pocket medical expenses for Medicare beneficiaries with lower income
- Premium support assumes that beneficiaries are willing and able to make complex health care coverage decisions