Medicare Proposes Slight Cut In Payments To Advantage Plans
Officials said the rate proposal would trim payments an average of 0.95 percent for 2016 but most insurers would see a revenue increase as a result of billing for more intensive services.
The Wall Street Journal:
Regulators Propose Slight Decline In Payments For Private Medicare Plans
Federal regulators proposed what they said was a slight decline in payments for insurers that offer private Medicare plans, a closely watched figure amid rapid growth in such coverage. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated that the Medicare Advantage rate proposal represented a decline of 0.95% on average for 2016, though the agency said the insurers would likely see overall revenue increase about 1.05% as they deliver, and bill for, more intense services. (Wilde Mathews, 2/20)
Feds Propose Maintaining Payments To Medicare Advantage
The federal government proposed changes to Medicare Advantage plan payments that will likely keep rates flat in 2016, a move expected to prompt more people to choose the plans. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is required to set rates every year for Medicare Advantage and the prescription drug plans, known as Part D benefits. Final rates are expected on April 6, 2015. (O'Donnell, 2/20)
U.S. Proposes 0.9 Percent Cut In 2016 Medicare Advantage Payments
The U.S. government on Friday proposed a 0.9 percent cut in payments to health insurers for 2016 Medicare Advantage plans, which provide health benefits to more than 16 million elderly or disabled people. The cut is part of a notice issued by a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that sets premium rate benchmarks for Medicare Advantage plans. (Humer, 2/20)
Meanwhile, many Medicare beneficiaries are not taking advantage of a new benefit.
Kaiser Health News:
Few Seniors Benefiting From Medicare Obesity Counseling
For older adults, being mildly overweight causes little harm, physicians say. But too much weight is especially hazardous for an aging body: Obesity increases inflammation, exacerbates bone and muscle loss and significantly raises the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. To help the 13 million obese seniors in the U.S., the Affordable Care Act included a new Medicare benefit offering face-to-face weight-loss counseling in primary care doctors’ offices. Doctors are paid to provide the service, which is free to obese patients , with no co-pay. But only 50,000 seniors participated in 2013, the latest year for which data is available. (Varney, 2/23)