February 23, 2015

ICYMI: Employers Urge CMS to Protect Medicare Advantage

With preliminary 2016 Medicare Advantage rates coming out today, we wanted to be sure you knew that thirty-five leading national and state employer organizations this week wrote CMS urging it to protect Medicare Advantage. Highlights of the employer letter are below:

“These plans are a valued form of coverage for employees and employers and represent the future of health care delivery as the system moves toward customized, integrated care.”

“MA plans provide stronger care coordination services and encourage better health outcomes for enrollees.”

“Not only do employers and employees prefer MA plans because of the innovative integrated care provided, but they also appreciate that these plans are more affordable than coverage through original Medicare FFS.”

“Annual cuts to the MA program continue to jeopardize employers, employees, providers and patient’s choices in coverage under Medicare.”

“Employees and employers are experiencing the downstream impact of these cuts through an erosion of MA benefits, increased out-of-pocket costs, and reduced access to providers and plan services.”

“We urge CMS and Congress to protect America’s senior employees and retirees from any further coverage harm and disruption that will undoubtedly occur if additional MA cuts are made during the upcoming rate setting process.”

See the full employer letter here.

Also this week:

• A bipartisan majority of U.S. Senators wrote CMS urging it to maintain Medicare Advantage payment levels to protect seniors. See the Senate letter here.

• The Better Medicare Alliance wrote CMS urging the agency to stabilize Medicare Advantage payment rates for 2016. See the Better Medicare Alliance letter here.

• The Better Medicare Alliance released a new actuarial analysis from Milliman showing that recent years’ cuts mean Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are paying more and getting less. The report found soaring out-of-pocket costs for seniors who need the most care. Seniors are losing choices, too, as Medicare Advantage is now not available in 211 U.S. counties. See the Milliman report here.

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