Medicare Advantage Changes for 2011

The deadline for Medicare Advantage plans to submit their 2011 plan details was yesterday, June 7th.  CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid) will review all 2,000+ plans and may ask plans to revise certain cost sharing and/or premium increases. CMS can reject  plan proposals entirely.

A number of changes for Medicare Advantage plans were included in the Affordable Health Care Act that was passed earlier this year. It will be interesting to see how insurance companies design their plans in response to changes such as:

–All Medicare Advantage plans must cap enrollees’ annual out-of-pocket costs.

–Cost sharing for services such as durable medical equipment and Part B drugs cannot be higher than what Medicare requires of patients.

–Payments from Medicare to Medicare Advantage plans will be the same amount as in 2010, even though the cost of providing medical services may have increased for the plans.

Congressional Democrats sent a letter to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, asking her to use her authority to prevent insurance companies from jacking up monthly premiums and cost sharing for the 11 million seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans.

The letter said, ”To promote stability in the program, the health reform legislation protected 2011 plan payment rates and took care to phase in future payment changes to minimize disruption.  Any effort by MA plans to increase beneficiary premiums or reduce benefits next year should be carefully evaluated in light of these payment protections”.

Senator Rockefeller of West Virginia commented that, “Seniors on fixed incomes shouldn’t be subjected to exorbitant health care premium increases…..and….The Federal Government must continue to crack down on the unscrupulous practices of private health insurers.”

The review process for Medicare Advantage plans is done behind closed doors, so insurance agents and the public won’t know the outcome until October, when insurance companies release their plan details.

NEXT POST:  Do Medicare Advantage plans cherry pick healthier seniors?

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3 Responses to "Medicare Advantage Changes for 2011"

  1. For details on Medicare Advantage Plans for 2011 in your area consider finding one of several Independent Medicare insurance specialists dedicated to the Insurance needs of Medicare eligible individuals. Cost conscious individuals should consider Medicare Supplement Plan N but be careful of plans with low underwriting standards and potentially large future rate increases. Individuals looking for more information on Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicare Supplemental Insurance can get enrollment assistance at organizations such as the Senior Advisors Group website and if applicable submit a request for plan info. They have advisors for over 35 states and can access to over 300 different Medicare insurance plans.

  2. medicareblogger says:

    This poster predicts gloom and doom for Medicare Advantage, but new plans are coming on-line in Arizona even though they know about funding changes coming next year.   The posters is promoting a web site that offers questionable information while promoting Medicare Supplements.  Med Supps are an option to consider, but if you use the website of this poster you have to fill in your name and contact info and you will get calls from 3 to 6 (or more?) insurance agents.  The site is for lead generation.

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