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By taking advantage of lower provider payment rates, Medicare buy-in can increase the value of coverage and reduce out-of-pocket spending for beneficiaries, particularly individuals who do not qualify for premium tax credits. With modest additional federal spending, buy-in policies also can save on national health spending.

That’s the conclusion of the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that released a brief on Feb. 2 detailing what Medicare buy-in policies potentially can accomplish when implemented alongside the Affordable Care Act.

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