New State-by-State Data on Impact of CMS’ Proposed Cut to Medicare Advantage

For Immediate Release
March 21, 2013

Robert Zirkelbach


 Less Than Two Weeks before Proposed Medicare Advantage Cut is Finalized 

Washington, DC – Seniors all across the country will experience higher premiums and reduced health care benefits if a new cut to the Medicare Advantage program takes effect next year as was recently proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that oversees the Medicare program.  A recent analysis by Oliver Wyman found that the new proposed cut combined with the billions of dollars in Medicare Advantage cuts and the new health insurance tax included in the health care reform law will result in seniors in Medicare Advantage facing $50-90 per month in higher premiums and/or benefit reductions.  New Oliver Wyman data released today by America’s Health Insurance Plans’ (AHIP) Coalition for Medicare Choices (CMC) provide a breakdown of how much seniors will be impacted in specific states.   

Below is an infographic that highlights the states where seniors will be most impacted by benefit cuts and premium increases.  State-specific infographics are also available on our website here 

Medicare Advantage Cuts
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The following map shows how the proposed Medicare Advantage cut will impact seniors across the country.   


MA Cuts Map 
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The following chart provides a breakdown of the percent of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries that are likely to face different ranges of impact:  

MA Impact
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The new data follow recent ads released by the CMC opposing the Medicare Advantage cuts.  One ad launched this week, called “Drastic,” features Medicare Advantage beneficiaries sharing their concerns about what deep new cuts to Medicare Advantage would mean to them.  A previous ad, called “Too Much,” highlights the cumulative impact the Medicare Advantage cuts would have on seniors and urges Congress to help fight these cuts.  These ads can be viewed at  

Members of Congress Speak Out Against New Proposed Cut to Medicare Advantage 

In the past week, more than 120 members of Congress have shared with CMS their concerns about the impact the new cut will have on seniors.  

Twenty-two (22) Senators sent a bipartisan letter to CMS this week raising concerns about the proposed payment cut, saying “we are concerned that the proposals could result in reduced access for our constituents who are enrolled in Medicare Advantage.  Plans have informed us that they may exit certain markets as a result of CMS’ proposal.” 

These letters have focused on, among other things, the fact that in setting Medicare Advantage payment rates CMS is assuming a cut in physician payment rates that everyone in Washington knows will never happen.    

“CMS continues the illogical policy of assuming the scheduled 25 percent reduction in the Medicare physician fee schedule (SGR) will be implemented on January 1, 2014,” said a bipartisan letter signed by 98 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.  “The assumption on the SGR is particularly problematic because it almost certainly will turn out to be wrong and it directly translates into lower funding to support the health benefits of the 14 million Medicare beneficiaries who currently are enrolled in MA plans.” 

In comments submitted to the agency, AHIP offered a series of recommendations to stabilize the program and avoid significant disruption for seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage. The 2014 Medicare Advantage payment rates will be finalized on April 1.  

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