The Senate bill, she says, would reduce payment "over the next decade by cutting payment 3% in 2011 and phasing in a competitive bidding process over three years. Plans should be engaged in scenario planning for their specific service areas right now to better understand the outlook."
Under the new funding scenarios, companies initiating Medicare Advantage may focus on "care coordination and client care management," she says. For those senior citizens who can't afford to stay in the program, "they may go to different Medicare, it's hard to predict now," LeMasurier says, adding that seniors are "savvy shoppers."
One argument about Medicare Advantage is that insurers should be reimbursed based on the quality of their benefits. Trish Doherty, spokeswoman for Kaiser Permanente in California, says there is a need for "incentives for high-quality Medicare Advantage plans and improvements in coverage of preventive care."
"Over the long term, we must look at how we pay for and how we provide care as a nation," Doherty says.