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Medicare, Medicaid Spending Per Enrollee Slower Than Private Plans

Medicare and Medicaid spending saw significantly slower growth per enrollee than private payer expenditures over the last decade, a new report from the Urban Institute shows.

The public payers may have experienced the fastest rate of spending growth from 2006 to 2017. But enrollment is largely to blame for the rise in Medicare and Medicaid spending, and spending per enrollee during the period was actually much slower compared to that of private payers.

“Thus, these programs appear to have been relatively successful at moderating spending growth compared to private insurance,” the authors wrote. “These patterns do not support drastic calls to restructure Medicare and Medicaid in order to slow national health spending growth, and may actually provide some support for efforts to expand public programs or borrow some of their cost containment strategies for use in the private sector.”


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