Final Medicare Advantage Rates Involve Variety Of Compromises
Analysts say the new rates don't represent a loss or a gain for industry -- but rather a mixed bag.
Final Medicare Advantage Rate Policies A Mixed Bag For Insurers
Did the Obama administration indulge health insurance companies with friendly changes to Medicare Advantage rate policies for 2017? Or did CMS officials stick to their guns on proposals the industry aggressively lobbied to kill? Experts say it was a little of both. “It embodies the definition of compromise,” said John Gorman, a Washington-based Medicare Advantage consultant and former CMS official. “Everybody goes home pissed.”David Windley, an equities analyst at Jefferies who tracks insurers, said it wasn't a loss for the industry, but he wouldn't call it a win either. “Maybe it's a save,” he said. And the lengthy April 4 policy document doesn't even tell the entire story. (Herman, 4/7)
Allyson Schwartz Is Medicare Advantage’s Ambassador
Medicare Advantage, a private insurer alternative to Medicare, typically makes it onto Washington’s policymaking radar for about two months in the spring each year. That’s when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issues new MA plan rates and policies for the next year. Former Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) is trying to change that. She believes Medicare Advantage should be in the healthcare conversation year-round. As head of the relatively new nonpartisan MA advocacy group, Better Medicare Alliance, she intends to make that happen. (Owens, 4/7)