When I got a tip a few weeks ago about New York City unions negotiating a deal to shift 250,000 municipal retirees off Medicare to so-called Medicare Advantage, a privatized version of the public health insurance program, I hadn’t heard of it before. I started doing research to understand how Medicare Advantage works, how well it works, and what we generally know about it. The short of it is it started in the early 2000s as a way to both offer consumers more choice in their health insurance offerings and to cut Medicare costs.
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