Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Study Finds Insurers Want Out Of Low-Income Segment of Medicare Part D Market
UPI: "Health insurance companies have raised their premiums to price themselves out of the low-income segment of the Part D market," according to a study from the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital. According to the study, "Part D reimbursements to insurers covering low-income patients are substantially lower than the actual costs incurred," which create an "'incentive for plans to avoid or shed low-income patients,'" the study's lead author said. "The original hope that private plans would compete for all Medicare patients by lowering premiums or at least limiting premium increases has not been realized," he said, but millions of the poorest elderly "'have been reassigned to different drug plans since the program began.'" The Medicare Part D prospective payment should be revised to counter that situation, perhaps by "increasing the subsidies for covering low-income patients or by improving the risk adjustment approach by, for example, incorporating information on prior drug use," he said (11/1).
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