Federal Government Expected to Propose Medicare Cuts

Every year in March, CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), releases reimbursement rates that it agrees to pay insurers for managing privately run, fee-for-service programs. This year insurers are bracing themselves for a proposed cut of around 6 percent. Health insurance executives have been lobbying against the move because they would have no choice but to pass on a significant part of the cost to medicare beneficiary citizens in order to keep their business intact. The most current numbers show that 15 million people are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans and most of these customers will be affected by price increase in the form of higher co-pays.
The latest potential cut comes after last year’s cut of 6 percent. Some parties are concerned that a second consecutive cut of this magnitude will negatively affect medicare beneficiaries greatly. To keep costs in line with the cuts, Aetna with 1 million Medicare Advantage members, has changed its network of doctors and hospitals.
“If you can’t solve the reduction based on those activities, then you have to resort to things that are much more visible to the beneficiaries, which can range from benefit reductions, and either premium increases or the introduction of a premium” said Fran Soistman, executive vice president and head of Government Services at Aetna.

Source: Yahoo News

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