Published October 13, 2020
Follow our Medicare Coronavirus News page for related information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on Medicare beneficiaries.
A recent survey suggests private U.S. employers are becoming increasingly open to Medicare expansion and federally regulated drug prices.
Join our email series to receive your free Medicare guide and the latest information about Medicare and Medicare Advantage.
By clicking "Sign me up!” you are agreeing to receive emails from MedicareAdvantage.com.
Speak with a licensed insurance agent
About half of the survey respondents said that a Medicare public health insurance option would be helpful, while more than three-quarters claimed some government regulation of drug prices and hospital rates would be either “very helpful” or “somewhat helpful.”
The survey included 165 employers nationwide and was conducted by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, which represents employers that provide health benefits to their workers.
The survey comes at a time when hospitals are consolidating, market competition is shrinking and the cost of pharmaceutical drugs continues to rise. 90 percent of the survey respondents said drug prices posed a “significant threat” to the affordability of employer-provided health coverage.
Additional highlights from the survey include:
Employer-based benefits are the largest source of health insurance in the U.S., with around half of all Americans covered by a plan provided by an employer.
Further government involvement in health care expansion or regulation could persuade employees away from their employer-based plan, which would in turn alleviate the company from having to insure them as much or at all.
Joe Biden’s “Medicare at 60” proposal aims to lower the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 60. That means employees ages 60-64 would have the option of leaving their employer’s coverage and making the jump to Medicare if their costs and benefits under Medicare are more favorable to them than they are in their employer coverage.
Regulating drug prices would soften the blow for employers whose plans include drug coverage. President Trump recently signed an executive order to spark legislation for a “most favored nations” policy which would regulate drug pricing in the U.S. by using international price competition as a benchmark. He has also pushed to curb surprise billing on behalf of doctors and hospitals.
Learn more about Medicare news and how the COVID-19 pandemic affects beneficiaries.
Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for MedicareAdvantage.com. He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare and understand their coverage options.
His work has been featured in outlets such as Vox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.
Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.
Where you've seen coverage of Christian's research and reports: