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This past June, UnitedHealth Group’s top two executives, Andrew Witty and John Rex, told a crowd at an investor conference that Medicare Advantage — the booming government program that outsources Medicare coverage to health insurance companies — saves the federal government money.

But Witty’s and Rex’s claims don’t hold water.


Total federal payments to Medicare Advantage plans have been about 104% of traditional Medicare payments since 2018 and even higher in years prior, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, also known as MedPAC.

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