Press Releases
April 6, 2020

Better Medicare Alliance Responds to CMS Final 2021 Rate Announcement

Washington, D.C. – Better Medicare Alliance (BMA), the leading research and advocacy organization supporting Medicare Advantage, responded today to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 2021 Rate Announcement, finalizing Medicare Advantage payment rates for the year ahead.

“In this critical moment, the Medicare Advantage community is working diligently to provide care to beneficiaries and bring help to those most in need, from waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 screenings to the many Medicare Advantage plans offering $0 telemedicine visits and no-cost in-network medical treatment for COVID-19,” said Congresswoman Allyson Y. Schwartz, President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance. “We are encouraged that, as Medicare Advantage protects seniors, CMS is protecting the coverage they depend on with a rate that, while less than the rate increase allotted for 2020, represents an improvement from the Advance Notice issued earlier this year. Still, further guidance from CMS is needed to better understand what costs are anticipated to be for COVID-19 treatment in 2021. Stability and certainty are critical for patients and plans alike in order to maintain the quality, cost-effective care that is saving beneficiaries nearly $1,600 a year compared to Traditional Medicare.” 

“In addition, it is disappointing that CMS did not make necessary changes to ensure adequate payment for the care of beneficiaries with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Our advocacy work on behalf of this vulnerable patient community will continue. We ask that CMS monitor the enrollment and cost of care for ESRD patients in Medicare Advantage in 2021 and remain open to future changes to ensure that plans and providers have the resources to care for these medically-fragile beneficiaries,” added Schwartz. We further recognize that additional reforms will be needed this year, whether through legislation or regulatory action, to account for the extraordinary circumstances created by COVID-19. This includes solutions such as flexibilities around risk adjustment and appropriate financial protection against unanticipated losses arising from this pandemic. We look forward to our ongoing dialogue with policymakers and staff on behalf of the 24.4 million beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage today.” 

See the full Calendar Year 2021 Rate Announcement HERE.

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