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Supplemental insurance for community aged and disabled beneficiaries: 1999. (MCBS Highlights).


The Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey is a powerful tool for analyzing the Medicare population. Based on a stratified random sample of about 16,000 beneficiaries, the Access to Care File provides detailed information on types of supplemental insurance held by Medicare beneficiaries. The insurance counts are a point in time estimate based on interviews conducted with community-dwelling beneficiaries in fall 1999. Beneficiaries' insurance policies and drug coverage status are self-reported.


* Over 10 million beneficiaries residing in the community had an employer-sponsored supplemental insurance plan in 1999 (Figure 1). Of those, nearly 8 1/2 million had plans that covered prescription drugs.


* While nearly 8 million beneficiaries had a medigap plan, only about 2 million of those beneficiaries had drug coverage.

* Over 6 million beneficiaries belonged to a Medicare risk health maintenance organization (HMO) and over 90 percent of those beneficiaries reported having drug coverage.

* In contrast to the Medicare population as a whole, over one-third of the disabled population receives Medicaid assistance and nearly one-quarter have no supplemental insurance (Figure 2). Less than 10 percent of the disabled are in a Medicare risk HMO and only 5 percent have a medigap plan.


* Employer-sponsored supplemental plans are held by a large percentage of the aged population as are medigap plans. Nearly 20 percent of the aged belong to a Medicare risk HMO

* While roughly the same percentage of disabled and aged beneficiaries have drug coverage they receive their coverage through different sources (Figure 3).


* Nearly one-half of the drug coverage for disabled beneficiaries is provided through the Medicaid program.

* Aged beneficiaries receive their drug benefits primarily through employer-sponsored plans and Medicare risk HMOs.

The authors are with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of CMS.
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Author:Murray, Lauren A.; Eppig, Franklin J.
Publication:Health Care Financing Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2002
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