Medicare vs. private insurance: Which costs less
Wonder why some doctors grumble when a Medicare patient walks in the door? It’s likely because the government program typically pays only 80% of what private insurers do.
by. Tami Luhby
Medicare has the bad rap of being a big, bloated government program, but it’s not because it’s overpaying doctors.
CNNMoney analyzed the “allowed charges” for five common procedures, using data provided the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Truven Health Analytics, a research firm.
The differences can be stark. Private insurers allow an average of $1,226 for low-back disc surgery, while Medicare will only permit $654, for instance.
And the gap can grow wider depending on where the patient is. In New York, insurers allow $1,352 for a gall bladder removal, compared to $580 for Medicare.continue reading »