Senators Ask Administration Not To Make Cuts To Medicare Advantage Plans
The letter comes as officials are nearing an announcement on rates for the program. Meanwhile, Humana announces that the Justice Department is looking into allegations that it overcharged the government in its Medicare programs.
Don’t Cut MA Rates, Senators Urge Administration
More than half of the Senate is asking the Obama administration not to cut the Medicare Advantage program next year. ... The letter marks one of the first salvos in the annual lobbying push over Medicare Advantage rates. CMS is expected to release its proposed 2016 rates on Friday, and final rates will be posted on April 6. The MA rate-setting cycle has followed a similar pattern for several years: The agency would propose cuts, the industry and members of Congress from both parties would push back on them, and then CMS would backpedal on at least some of the reductions. (Haberkorn, 2/19)
The Center for Public Integrity:
Humana Facing New Federal Scrutiny Over Private Medicare Plans
Giant health insurer Humana, Inc. faces new scrutiny from the Justice Department over allegations it has overcharged the government by claiming some elderly patients enrolled in its popular Medicare plans are sicker than they actually are. The Louisville, Kentucky-based company disclosed the Justice Department’s recent civil “information request” in an annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 18. The company noted that it is cooperating with authorities. (Schulte, 2/19)
Also in the news is a new report about long-term care insurance.
The New York Times:
Long-Term Care Insurance: Costs Are Up But Vary Widely
Rates for long-term care insurance, which can help pay for care in your own house or in a nursing home, rose this year an average of nearly 9 percent, a new industry report finds. Still, rates vary greatly depending on the insurer and the specifics; increases for some policies were much larger, and in some cases — like certain policies covering couples — quite modest, according to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, a trade group. (Carrns, 2/20)