Medicare Advantage payments to increase 2.53% in 2020
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will raise average payments to Medicare Advantage plans by 2.53% in 2020, higher than the 1.59% hike initially proposed by the agency. The agency will also give MA plans greater flexibility starting next year to offer supplemental benefits to help address social determinants of health for people with chronic conditions.
Healthcare Finance (4/1), Reuters (4/1), HealthLeaders Media (4/1)
“Medicare-for-all” would hurt public health, White House says
The “Medicare-for-all” idea backed by some Democrats would increase federal spending by $2.4 trillion in 2022, reduce innovation and lead to health care shortages and extended wait times, according to a report prepared by the White House Council of Economic Advisers. The policy would “be neither more efficient nor cheaper than the current system, and it could adversely affect health,” the report said.
(Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)
CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the “Medicare for all” idea being pushed by some Democrats would decimate doctor networks and create a permanent physician shortage because the program doesn’t cover full health care provider costs. “Under ‘Medicare for all,’ you either take private insurance away from those 170 million Americans, or greatly restrict access to it, meaning there is no relief valve for physicians facing up to 40% payment cuts,” Verma told attendees at AHIP’s Medicare conference in Washington.
Kaiser Health News (10/16), Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (10/16)
ACA provisions are unconstitutional, Justice Dept. says
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Legislation that repealed the penalty associated with the requirement that most Americans enroll in health coverage has made the mandate unconstitutional, the Justice Department wrote in a brief filed at a Texas court Thursday. The tax law passed last year also nullifies the Affordable Care Act’s provisions that prevent coverage denials for people with pre-existing conditions and block insurers from charging people in the same community different rates depending on their health status, age, gender and other factors.
ACA fixes would lower premiums, improve access to coverage, analysis finds
A new analysis from Oliver Wyman has found Affordable Care Act stabilization bills that would fund cost-sharing reduction payments for two years and provide $10 billion for state reinsurance programs would reduce premiums by over 40% in the individual market and increase the number of insured Americans by 3.2 million. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who co-sponsored one of the measures, cited the findings as he defended the legislation against criticism.
The Examiner (Washington, D.C.) (3/12)
Bipartisan ACA Fix Gains Traction
Senators Alexander (R-TN) and Murray (D-WA) introduced a bill that restores funding for cost-sharing reduction payments and provides more flexibility for states to seek waivers to ACA requirements. The bill, in its current form, if signed into law could immediately settle an increasingly unstable individual market. Learn more.