Skip to comments.Insurers: Medicare Advantage cuts cost seniors $900 per year
Posted on 03/02/2014 8:51:20 AM PST by Libloather
The health insurance industry fighting proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage payments argued they will raise seniors' out-of-pocket costs next year.
America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a trade group, blasted the reductions with a report Thursday finding that beneficiaries could pay as much as $900 more in 2015 if the cuts take effect.
The report by consulting firm Oliver Wyman concluded that Medicare Advantage (MA) plans could see a 5.9 percent total cut to their payments next year as a result of changes proposed by federal health officials.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) floated a 2015 cut of roughly 2 percent on Friday. The number was less than many insurers expected, causing major gains for several insurance stocks this week.
Still, AHIP President Karen Ignagni said the CMS is putting seniors' well-being on the line.
"Many seniors have experienced fewer benefits and higher out-of-pocket cuts as a result of last year's cuts," she told reporters on a call. "What we're focused on is the impact on beneficiaries." Moody's Investor Service also said Thursday that next year's proposed rates represent a credit-negative for insurers.
There is widespread disagreement about the value of cutting payments to Medicare Advantage, an increasingly popular alternative to traditional Medicare that covers roughly one-third of the program's beneficiaries.
MA plans receive more government funding per patient on average, thanks to GOP-backed policies that benefited insurance companies.
Democrats have traditionally sought to rectify this imbalance through cuts, arguing that "overpayments" in private Medicare encourage waste.
The Affordable Care Act followed this logic by cutting funding to the program by $200 billion over 10 years.
AHIP has consistently opposed those reductions and the additional, discretionary cuts enforced on an annual basis by the CMS.
The group said it will pull out all the stops next month to discourage federal health officials from following through on their rate proposal. Final rules are due out April 1.
"There isn't a lot of time," Ignagni said.
"It's very important to be actively engaged with the agency, with members of Congress, with leaders in the different stakeholder communities. ... We're going to be very, very actively engaged on all of those fronts."
Whoa wait a minute, wasn’t it the evil Republicans who wanted to throw granny off the cliff?
The insurance is medicare. Medicare advantage providers have set rates to live within medicare and make well received offerings and still make a profit.
There is money there to be taken by the government and they are going to take it
When will Traitorobamacare, through the death panel, prescribe cyanide pills for seniors who use over $1,000 of their insurance benefits in a year?
I find it disturbing that many seniors get “free” gym memberships through Medicare and/or MA.
Consider the upside.
The SocSec and Medicare funding deficits will be “cured” by Obamacare.
Millenials who dare to question granny’s premature demise will be offered Groupons for student loan remission.
Never heard f that!
Obama want to kill of all seniors!!! He forgets...he will be one some day!!! What a low life...Obama, his Obamabots and the Democrat Party!!! Seniors revolt this coming November. Defeat every dirt bag Democrat!!!
Personally I don’t have any understanding of why a person would need to go to a gym (I have a basement full of equipment) but here is the background to your question:
Elite seniors won’t have anything to fear from this.
And the rest of us will be “doing our duty” to help out our grandchildren.
anti -Obamacare Mardi Gras float with death panels
Actually studies show that regular exercise can minimize or eliminate health problems in this group. Providing these memberships may look like a waste, but it could be seen as a cost cutting measure. If it helps reduce Medicare outlays substantially, isn’t that a good thing?
Medicare Advantage will become the biggest ‘bait and switch’ program in the history of the country. This is gonna get worse.
Yes, it’s a good thing. But it is wrong for the government to borrow money from China to pay for gym memberships. I am friends with the owner of 3 gyms in town. He makes more money from government members than he does from free market members. That is not conservative government.
One could say that seniors that saved for retirement should be able to pay for the “luxury” of a $300 gym membership, if it is important to them. I don’t think it is the government’s job to pick up the tab, no matter how good it is for them. Staying healthy is a personal responsibility.
There's still no co pay for AIDS testing.
Nor for an anal colonoscopy!!! (oops! I ment annual)
Jean, in the purest sense, the government shouldn’t be paying for any of it.
The system wasn’t set up for independence, and so the seniors utilize what is out there.
My reasoning is this. This is the system we have for now.
If the government normally spends $4,500.00 dollars per year per senior on health care, wouldn’t it be better if they spent $100 per month per senior that would take advantage of it, if it could lower the government yearly outlay to $2,500.00 dollars per person per year?
Nobody should be getting a $300 dollar membership. I have a membership at the Y for $60 per month, which I pay for. That’s all you need.