Font Size

Posts Tagged 'medicare subsidies'

We are pleased to present below all posts tagged with 'medicare subsidies'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

New Medicare Advantage Rates Preserve Insurance Industry Subsidies...Again

For the second year in a row, America’s massive health insurance industry lobby launched a Washington lobbying and advertising blitz hoping to scare seniors into believing they’ll lose their Medicare and politicians will lose their seats if the industry’s government overpayments aren’t protected.  Mission accomplished. Rather than trimming rates, the Obama administration raised them:

“Private Medicare plans would see a 0.4 percent boost in their payment rates for 2015 under a final rate announcement made by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services officials Monday.

Officials with Medicare said the better-than-expected news for insurers came about in part as a result of healthier enrollees signed up for both Medicare Advantage and traditional fee-for-service plans, which means less of a cost burden on the health insurance system for the aged.” Congressional Quarterly

When CMS says “in part” what they aren’t mentioning is the part where the administration basically caved (for the second year in a row) to the insurance industry’s million dollar lobbying blitz to keep its billions of dollars of federal overpayments intact.   

“Today’s announcement by CMS to, once again, preserve government overpayments to private insurers in Medicare Advantage is bad policy and bad economics for the Medicare program. These subsidies were supposed to be gradually trimmed in order to expand benefits and improve the quality of care for all seniors in Medicare. However, each year the insurance lobby threatens to cancel coverage or charge more to seniors in MA plans rather than accept a reduction in their overpayments or reimbursement rates. 

For many years, private insurance companies have claimed they can provide better coverage to seniors at a lower cost.  The reality proves otherwise.  Since 2003, all seniors in Medicare (including those not even enrolled in Medicare Advantage) have paid higher premiums to help fund the billions in government overpayments to private Medicare Advantage insurance companies.  Over the years, as much as 14% more per beneficiary has been paid to MA plans than is paid to cover individuals enrolled in traditional Medicare.  It’s a wasteful federal boondoggle that was rightfully corrected by passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010.  Additionally, thanks to the ACA, growth in health care costs have been decreasing which means that reimbursement rates also go down.   As reimbursement rates have decreased, MA plan enrollment has increased. 

Let’s be clear, contrary to the health insurance industry’s massive lobbying campaign claims, Medicare doesn’t make the decision about cuts to seniors’ MA coverage, including increasing premiums or reducing access to doctors. That decision rests squarely in the board rooms of the nation’s private insurance industry, which is unwilling to give up a penny of their government giveaway in favor of continued threats of diminished coverage and higher premiums for seniors.

This annual drama with private insurers in Medicare proves, once again, that when private MA plans are unwilling to compete on a level playing field with traditional Medicare, seniors will ultimately pay the price. So much for providing better coverage for less.”...Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO 

Popular tags: , , ,

House Health Care Reform and Medicare

We've now got specifics from the House on their version of health care reform legislation. The National Committee has worked hard to mobilize support for Medicare proposals that would improve efficiency and care for millions of Medicare beneficiaries while also providing savings for system-wide health care reform efforts. As President Obama has said, America does not face an entitlement crisis; we face a health care crisis.  That's why we believe it is imperative that health reform addresses cost growth throughout the entire health care system, not simply in the Medicare program.  Here's Barbara's statement from late Friday night after the Energy & Commerce committee vote:

"American seniors have a lot at stake in this health care reform debate and the National Committee applauds the House for taking an important first step in reforming our health care system for Americans of all ages.  The three Committee bills reported out of the House include several important reforms for Medicare beneficiaries such as, closing the Part D doughnut hole, allowing government negotiation of drug prices in Part D and eliminating billions of dollars of wasteful subsidies to private insurers in Medicare. But there is more work to be done to ensure the final health care reform package sent to the President  provides improved access and care to the insured, the uninsured, and beneficiaries in Medicare." Barbara B. Kennelly, President/CEO

Next up, we should see the Senate Finance Committee version of health care reform and it will undoubtedly look alot different than what we've seen in the House. Meanwhile, we'll keep urging Congress to support meaningful health care reform legislation, which protects Medicare's 44 million beneficiaries while also improving care and access for all Americans.

Popular tags: , , , , , , ,




   

Questions?

Have a Social Security or Medicare question?




 

Archives
Media Contacts

Pamela Causey
Communications Director
causeyp@ncpssm.org
(202) 216-8378
(202) 236-2123 cell

Walter Gottlieb
Assistant Communications Director 
gottliebw@ncpssm.org
(202) 216-8414

Entitled to Know

            

 

Copyright © 2018 by NCPSSM
Login  |