Premiums jump 14 percent on Medicare private plans
WASHINGTON (AP)-- Millions of seniors who signed up for popular private health plans through Medicare are facing sharp premium increases this year.
A study that's being released Friday by a major consulting firm finds that premiums for Medicare Advantage plans offering medical and prescription drug coverage jumped more than 14 percent on average in 2010.
More than eight million elderly and disabled Americans are in the plans, which provide more comprehensive coverage than traditional Medicare.
The findings of the study by Avalere Health are bad news for President Barack Obama and his health care overhaul. That's because the higher Medicare Advantage premiums for 2010 follow a cut in government payments to the private plans last year.
And the Democratic bills pending in Congress call for even more cuts.