Medicare Advantage Rate Hike: What to Expect

CMS has finalized a number of payment and policy changes to the Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug programs for 2017, including a slight payment increase to health insurers who offer Medicare Advantage plans.(Becker’s Hospital CFO)

The U.S. is raising payments to the insurers by 0.85 percent on average, according to a statement Monday from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, down from the 1.35 percent boost proposed in February. Payments to individual insurers can vary, because CMS gives individual plans quality bonuses and premiums are adjusted based on where enrollees live and how sick they are. (Bloomberg)

Over the past several weeks, lawmakers, insurers, employers and others had expressed concern that the policy would shift more costs onto beneficiaries, and wouldn’t give employers and insurers enough time to adjust their coverage plans for 2017. (Morning Consult)

The Better Medicare Alliance said it’s “deeply concerned” by the upcoming changes to retiree coverage. But AHIP CEO Marilyn Tavenner — a former administrator of CMS — struck a more moderate tone. “Following this overwhelming bipartisan Congressional outreach, CMS took steps to mitigate the negative impact of policy changes related to risk adjustment and encounter data,” Tavenner allowed. “Yet, more can be done to ensure stability for more than three million seniors who depend on Medicare employer retiree plans.”(Politico)