Archive for June 7th, 2011

Medicare Advantage Carriers Compare Health Insurance Losses

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Even though the government said that it would be increasing its payments to Medicare Advantage plans in 2012 earlier this year, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has now decided to decrease the amount they pay for the plans.  This information comes from “Medicare Advantage Plans to Get Less in 2012,” by Emily Walker of MedPage Today.  Medicare Advantage plans are available for people in the government’s Medicare program, but they are run by private companies like Aultcare health insurance.  In February of this year, the CMS thought it would be increasing its Medicare Advantage reimbursement by .7% next year.  But by April, they realized that they would have to cut the reimbursement by .16% from today’s levels.  A government spokesperson said that the reason for the decrease is “lower 2010 physician outlays.”

The Advance Notice and Call Letter gives the updates for this year’s Medicare changes.  The same warning is given to companies offering Medicare Advantage plans that they received this year.  Increasing premiums by more than 10% next year will result in the companies being banned from enrolling any Medicare beneficiaries.  Since the Affordable Care Act gives the government the right to compare health insurance companies’ rates and make changes to their privileges, they are using this power to keep beneficiaries’ rates as low as possible.  There are also changes in store for Medicare Part D.  Seniors in the so-called doughnut hole will get 50% off of brand name drugs and be reimbursed for 14% of generic prescriptions.  Part D deductibles will increase by $10 next year as well.