The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission today considered how Medicare might design a premium support model and its potential impacts on beneficiaries and Medicare plans. Some Medicare reform proposals have called for premium support, whereby the federal government would provide a payment on behalf of each Medicare beneficiary toward the purchase of a private health plan or traditional Medicare. In their discussion of premium support, commissioners generally agreed that standardizing Medicare benefits, cost sharing and plan offerings across plans would make it easier for beneficiaries to compare and choose coverage and allow plans to compete based on included benefits rather than cost. However, some commissioners expressed concern that standardization would lead to decreased innovation in benefit design. MedPAC plans to include guidance on these and other premium support issues in its June report to Congress, including how a premium support system would take on low-income beneficiaries as well as low-premium plans associated with medical savings accounts.