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Medicare Advantage Overpayments Help Insurers More Than Beneficiaries

April 9, 2014

I noted yesterday that health reform scales back overpayments to private Medicare Advantage plans, thereby lowering premiums for all Medicare beneficiaries and extending the solvency of Medicare’s trust fund.  Insurers, arguing that curbing the overpayments results in direct benefit cuts for...

Early Data Show Decline in Uninsured Under Health Reform

April 9, 2014

How many uninsured people have gained health coverage since the Affordable Care Act’s major coverage expansions took effect January 1?  While 2014 health coverage data from the major federal surveys won’t be available until mid-to-late next year, new data from three independent surveys suggest that health reform’s Medicaid expansion and subsidized marketplace coverage likely are already making...

Retain Health Reform’s Medicare Advantage Savings

April 8, 2014

The Obama Administration’s announcement yesterday that it will modify some payment policies related to private Medicare Advantage insurers, while implementing health reform’s scheduled reductions in overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans, has prompted critics to demand that it roll back some — or all — of the Medicare Advantage savings that health reform requires.  That would be a mistake....

Ryan Budget Again Proposes a Medicaid Block Grant, Adding Millions to the Ranks of the Uninsured and Underinsured

April 1, 2014

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s new budget again proposes to radically restructure Medicaid by converting it into a block grant, and it would cut federal Medicaid funding steeply, by $732 billion over the next decade.  It would also repeal health reform’s Medicaid expansion.  The combined total cut to Medicaid would exceed more than $1.5 trillion over ten years, relative to current...

CBO: Five-Year Individual Mandate Delay Means 13 Million More Uninsured, Higher Premiums

March 12, 2014

Delaying health reform’s individual mandate for five years, as a House bill would do to offset the cost of permanently cancelling scheduled cuts in Medicare payments to physicians, would mean about 13 million more uninsured Americans in 2018 compared to current law, with similar increases in most years...

Revisiting the Medicare Part D Myth

March 5, 2014

Insurers, conservative analysts, and Senate Minority Leader...

Delaying Penalty for Lacking Health Coverage Would Mean More Uninsured, Higher Premiums

March 4, 2014

The House is expected to vote tomorrow on a bill to effectively delay health reform’s individual mandate by eliminating the penalty for failing to have coverage in 2014.  As we...

Sequestration No Reason to Halt Health Reform’s Medicare Advantage Changes

February 24, 2014

I explained earlier today that the Medicare Advantage payment rates that the Administration announced Friday didn’t include any cuts beyond those required by current law, despite misleading claims to...

As Expected, No New Medicare Advantage Cuts

February 24, 2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the preliminary 2015 payment rates for private “Medicare Advantage” plans that serve some Medicare beneficiaries and, just as we...

Don’t Believe the Hype About New Cuts to Medicare Advantage Rates

February 13, 2014

The federal government is expected later this month to announce the preliminary 2015 payment rates for private “Medicare Advantage” plans that serve some Medicare beneficiaries.  The health insurance industry’s trade association, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), has launched a preemptive campaign against the expected rates, ...