Medicare Premium Proposals

The brief compares the features of the Medicare premium support proposals in the two new plans with three other proposals: “The Seniors’ Choice Act,” released on February 16, 2012 by Sens. Richard Burr and Tom Coburn; the “Guaranteed Choices to Strengthen Medicare and Health Security for All: Bipartisan Options for the Future,” released on December 15, 2011 by Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Paul Ryan; and the “Domenici-Rivlin Premium Support Plan,” initially released on November 1, 2011 by former Senator Pete Domenici and Dr. Alice Rivlin.

These proposals each would convert Medicare from a defined benefit program, in which beneficiaries are guaranteed coverage for a fixed set of benefits, to a defined contribution or "premium support" program, in which beneficiaries are provided a fixed federal payment to help cover their health care expenses.

Click here for Kaiser's side-by-side comparison.