Quantcast
Connect with us

US proposes hike in Medicare Advantage payments

Published

on

The U.S. government on Wednesday proposed an increase of 0.25 percent on average in payments to health insurers who offer Medicare Advantage insurance, which provides health benefits to more than 18 million elderly or disabled people.

Enrollment in these plans grew by about 7 percent last year to account for about one-third of Medicare members, making it an important growth business for private insurers who are facing changes in their business as Republicans seek to repeal and replace Obamacare.

ADVERTISEMENT

It is not clear if Republicans will make any broad changes to the Medicare Advantage program, or to Medicare. Ipsita Smolinski, managing director at Capitol Street in Washington D.C. said on Wednesday that Medicare Advantage could get a boost amid the Republican push for private programs.

The payment rate increase of 25 basis points was in line with estimates that analysts had released ahead of time and shares of insurers including UnitedHealth Group Inc and Humana Inc, two of the largest providers of these plans, were little changed in after-hours trading.

JPMorgan’s Gary Taylor said in a research note last week that he had been expecting a proposal for payments that were flat to slightly up from the rate that the government is now paying insurers who provide plans.

Last year, the government proposed an increase of about 1.35 percent but later trimmed that back about 50 basis points.

ADVERTISEMENT

But insurers have 30 days to respond to the proposed payment rates and other changes included in the regulatory notice, which this year was 159 pages long, and may ask for a bigger increase.

“The 2018 update is only a smidge better than flat which I suspect may anger some plans,” Smolinski said. She said she expected that the payment rate could rise between now and when final rates are set.

Insurers use the payment rate information provided by the government to prepare bids to sell Medicare Advantage plans in specific areas.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services that regulates Medicare, will announce the final rate on April 3.

It said that it expected an additional 2.5 percent increase in payments related to coding of medical services.

The payment rate takes into account annual growth in medical costs and statutory requirements to reduce government payments to insurers for Medicare Advantage closer to the level it pays in traditional fee-for-service Medicare.

ADVERTISEMENT

Marilyn Tavenner, the CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s biggest lobbying group, said that it is reviewing the notice to be sure “the program is protected from harmful cuts.”

(Reporting by Caroline Humer; editing by Phil Berlowitz, Bernard Orr)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Why you should sell your house now — and not wait for the climate to change

Published

on

Cities across the United States are already seeing the impacts of climate change. Sea levels are on the rise in Miami, Florida, where ocean waters creep into the streets, even when it isn't raining. Massive wildfires have taken out whole neighborhoods in California and in Alaska, about 2.5 million acres have burned since July 3. Wildfires there are getting worse, according to experts.

The problem of climate change has reached a dangerous level for some homeowners in areas that are no longer insurable. In Miami, for example, the "street-level" is now considered the basement and insurers are dropping coverage for basements. According to the Daily Beast, at least 340,000 California homeowners lost their property insurance coverage between 2015 and 2018 because the wildfires are getting worse and companies don't want to pay out when homes are destroyed.

Continue Reading

Facebook

‘Please give me the audacity of a mediocre white man’: Editor unleashes on Justice Brett Kavanaugh

Published

on

Managing Editor Tiffany Cross, who co-founded The Beat DC, unleashed on the most recent Supreme Court Justice to be outed for sexual misconduct.

Max Stier, a classmate of Justice Brett Kavanaugh came out with another story of the justice forcing his naked penis into the hand of a woman. The FBI was supposed to do a full investigation into Kavanaugh, and Stier gave them the information. Somehow, however, the investigation either wasn't completed, wasn't revealed or was ignored, because none of the information revealed was released.

Cross said that there are some who normally would have said, "man if only we knew about these allegations during the confirmation hearing." The problem, of course, is that it was known, Cross explained. It was simply ignored by Republicans in the majority. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is an excellent example of a pro-choice, pro-woman senator who claimed she trusted Kavanaugh. She's suffered the consequences from her home-state in wake of the vote. In the past four years, she has dropped from being the most favored senator in the country to among the least.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Benjamin Netanyahu ditches campaign rally after new data shows him losing — now he’s turning to Trump

Published

on

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in the fight for his political career after failing to form a coalition government in his previous reelection.

An MSNBC report revealed that Netanyahu was a no-show at a campaign rally after his team got a new poll that showed him losing on Tuesday.

Five months ago, the election was inconclusive, so Netanyahu declared himself the victor. The law dictates he must choose his coalition government by May, which automatically resets and requires another election. Ironically, it's one of the ways that Netanyahu was able to rise to power in his first election.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image