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Medicare Provides Greater Access, Financial Protection Than Private Coverage

Medicare outperforms private coverage when it comes to fulfilling the two main purposes of health insurance—providing access to care and adequate financial protection from burdensome medical bills—according to a study by Commonwealth Fund researchers Karen Davis, Ph.D., Kristof Stremikis, M.P.P., M.P.H., Michelle M. Doty, Ph.D., and Mark A. Zezza, Ph.D. Medicare beneficiaries are also more satisfied with their coverage than people insured by private plans.

In a related blog post, Davis and Stremikis suggest that "it may be desirable to open up the program to people buying insurance through the state exchanges, especially to older adults." They note that expanding Medicare may help stabilize benefit levels and make working adults more secure in their health insurance coverage.

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