How the Biden Administration Can Make a Public Option Work

By: John S. Toussaint , George Halvorson , Laurence Kotlikoff , Richard Scheffler , Stephen M. Shortell , Peter Wadsworth and Gail Wilensky   Under a plan proposed by President-elect Joe Biden’s camp, Obamacare would be expanded to include a “public option” health plan. Anyone without insurance could be automatically enrolled. In addition, people younger than 65 could obtain affordable coverage. Employers that decide not to offer employer-sponsored health plans could enroll their employees in the public option plan for a significantly smaller percentage of their employee salary cost (somewhere around 20%). Rather than creating a new vehicle, we suggest a public-private option that we call the Better Care Plan (BCP), which would use as a model existing Medicare Advantage plans that provide Medicare benefits, including inpatient and outpatient coverage through a private sector health insurer. More than one-third of Medicare enrollees choose these plans today, and their satisfaction is very high. Continue reading on

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