Payers Expect 3 Percent Medicare Advantage Payment Cut

Christopher Cheney, for HealthLeaders Media , April 11, 2014

Cigna says CMS responded to pressure from AHIP, seniors, lawmakers and healthcare providers who opposed cuts to MA payments, but the agency should have gone farther.

 "We are pleased that CMS listened to the concerns raised by seniors who rely on this program as well as the multitude of providers that spoke about the resources the Medicare Advantage program provides to this vulnerable population. Both seniors and providers made their viewpoint clear to Congress and other stakeholder organizations about the harm the proposed cuts would have had on beneficiaries who rely on Medicare Advantage plans for their health benefits and coverage, " the Cigna representative said.

 "While the recently announced final changes are slightly more favorable than the initially proposed draft rates, the Medicare Advantage program is still facing cuts in 2015 on top of the significant impact seniors already bore as a result of CMS's six percent cuts in 2014. "

Aetna officials also urged CMS to avoid any potential cuts to MA health plan payments in 2015.

 "CMS's final rates announcement recognizes the great value that approximately 15.9 million seniors receive from their Medicare Advantage plans, which yield satisfaction rates of 90 percent, " a spokeswoman said in an email Thursday.

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