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Policy Positions

August 15, 2016

Care provided outside of traditional clinical settings can have a significant impact on making care
more accessible to disabled and senior beneficiaries covered by Medicare. Medicare Advantage
(MA) plans and provider organizations are bridging gaps in health care delivery by actively
engaging in partnerships with community-based organizations to meet the needs of Medicare

April 21, 2016

Download BMA's primer on the final rate notice here.

On April 4, 2016 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2017 Medicare Advantage Final Rate Notice and Call Letter that can be viewed here. Below is a summary of the key issues Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) raised in response to the Advance Rate Notice, released in February, and the policies finalized in the Final Rate Notice.

March 7, 2016


Medicare Advantage (MA) employer plans, officially known as Employer-Group Waiver Plans (EGWPs), allow employers, governments, and labor unions to provide comprehensive MA coverage to their retirees. MA employer plans provide Medicare Part A and B benefits, as well as supplemental benefits. 

These plans offer benefits tailored to specific groups of retirees, which are then available wherever the beneficiary may live. Employer-sponsored MA plans have successfully enabled millions of retirees nationwide to maintain consistent benefits and contain costs for industries, governments, and beneficiaries. CMS is proposing to move from a bidding system to a fixed payment system for this retiree coverage. The new system would be based on a methodology that fails to capture the differences between plans sponsored by employers for groups of retirees and those offered to individuals.

March 4, 2016

Better Medicare Alliance submitted this comment letter to the recently released 2017 Advance Notice and Call Letter on behalf of our alliance of nurses, doctors, plans, employers, retiree organizations, and beneficiaries who support Medicare Advantage (MA).

February 23, 2016

On February 19, 2016 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) released the Medicare Advantage (MA) 2017 Advance Notice, sometimes called the “45 Day Notice,” which includes methodological changes for calendar year 2017 for MA capitation rates, payment policies (for MA and Part D), as well as other policies and information in what’s called the “Call Letter.” The Final Notice will be released 45 days after the Advance Notice, on April 4, 2016. This primer summarizes key elements in the 2017 Advance Notice for our Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) allies.

February 17, 2016

Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) submits a letter to CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt as the agency prepares to release the CY2017 Advance Notice.

February 10, 2016

Better Medicare Alliance presents the paper, “Understanding Risk Adjustment in Medicare Advantage.” Medicare Advantage relies on accurate and stable risk adjustment that ensures plans and practitioners are able to provide high value care to all beneficiaries, including those with complex health needs.

January 15, 2016

Click here to read PDF of a letter sent to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell on January 15, 2016 to protect Medicare Advantage from employer groups including Better Medicare Alliance ally partner orga

November 17, 2015

Better Medicare Alliance responds to CMS' Request for Information Regarding Implementation of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, Promotion of Alternative Payment Models, and Incentive Payments for Participation in Eligible Alternative Payment Models.

October 30, 2015

Better Medicare Alliance recommends that the Senate Finance Committee consider policymaking in Medicare Advantage to be subjective to regulatory guidance rather than sub-regulatory guidance, and that the announcement of STAR Ratings performance targets be prospective rather than retrospective.  

June 22, 2015

Better Medicare Alliance responds to the Senate Finance Committee’s May 22, 2015 request for recommendations based on real world experience and data-driven evidence that improves care for Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions.

June 1, 2015

Better Medicare Alliance writes to express opposition to the source of the budget offset used in the 21st Century Cures Act.

March 6, 2015

Better Medicare Alliance provides comments on the Advance Notice of Methodological Changes for Calendar Year (“CY”) 2016 for Medicare Advantage (“MA”) Capitation Rates, Part C and Part D Payment Policies and 2016 Call Letter.

February 18, 2015

Better Medicare Alliance sends letter on how the Medicare Advantage program is a leader in achieving the goals set by the Secretary of value-based payment systems that increase care coordination, improve population health and promote patient engagement.