Medicare Advantage

Government Hikes Payment Estimate for Medicare Advantage Plans

Posted on 04/8/2014 by | General News | Comments

Bulletin TodayBy Tom Murphy, AP Business Writer The government has raised its payment estimate for Medicare Advantage plans months ahead of a busy election season during which cuts to the program promise to be a key focus for politicians and voters. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Monday that 2015 payments to the plans should increase less than 1 percent overall. That compares to a drop of nearly 2 percent that the government forecast in February. Analysts expect actual …

Will Court Block Insurers from Dropping Doctors?

Posted on 12/6/2013 by | Health | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthBy Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News In a decision that could have national implications, a federal judge in Connecticut temporarily blocked UnitedHealthcare late Thursday from dropping an estimated 2,200 physicians from its Medicare Advantage plan in that state. While the judge’s decision affects only the physicians in Fairfield and Hartford Counties who brought suit, several other medical groups are considering filing similar actions. “This is very good news from Connecticut,” said Dr. Sam L. Unterricht, president of the Medical Society …

Memo to Doctors: Why Are You Over-Drugging Seniors?

Posted on 04/17/2013 by | Personal Health and Well-being | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthWhat the heck is going on with doctors in some parts of the country who prescribe risky drugs for older adults? According to an analysis of more than 6 million seniors on Medicare Advantage, more than 20 percent are prescribed at least one high-risk medication. The problem is most common in the South, among women, and in relatively poor areas, report public health researchers with Brown University. Risky medications are ones that health authorities have specifically recommended against prescribing to …

Do Medicare Advantage Plans Skim Off The Healthiest?

Posted on 02/4/2013 by | Health | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthBy Jordan Rau, Senior Correspondent, Kaiser Health News New research finds that many seniors who switch from their HMO-style Medicare Advantage plan to traditional Medicare have higher levels of significant health problems, fueling concerns that the private plans cater to more profitable, healthy beneficiaries but don’t provide the most attractive care for the very ill. More than 13 million people, a quarter of all Medicare beneficiaries, are enrolled in these private plans. Enrollment has been growing, in part because the …

Medicare Advantage Plans: Should You Aim for the Stars?

Posted on 01/16/2013 by | Health | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthBy Ankita Rao of Kaiser Health News Older Americans are benefiting from a star rating system that ranks the quality of Medicare Advantage plans, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Authors affiliated with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) conducted a study of almost 1.3 million Medicare beneficiaries. They found a positive relationship: a one-star higher rating was associated with a 9.5 percentage point increase in likelihood to enroll. The rating system …

Medicare Trying to Nudge Seniors Out of Plans With Low Ratings

Posted on 11/6/2012 by | Health | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthBy Susan Jaffe for Kaiser Health News, in collaboration with USA Today Medicare officials are trying a novel approach during this open enrollment season to gently nudge a half million beneficiaries out of 26 private drug and medical plans that have performed poorly over the past three years. It begins with letters informing seniors they are enrolled in a plan that received low ratings. “We encourage you to compare this plan to other options in your area and decide if …