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AHIP Statement On CMS 2020 Medicare Advantage Rate Notice And Call Letter

posted by AHIP

on April 2, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Matt Eyles, President and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), issued this statement today following the release of the 2020 Medicare Advantage rate notice and call letter:

“Nearly 22 million seniors and Americans with disabilities choose Medicare Advantage for their coverage because it delivers better service, better value, and better access to care than traditional coverage. That’s why 90 percent of enrollees are satisfied with their plan, and year-over-year enrollment continues to grow.

“We applaud and appreciate the Administration’s consistent support of private sector innovation in Medicare.  By working together – the competition and choice of the private sector with the strength and dependability of public programs – Medicare Advantage plansdeliver affordable, high-quality coverage that serves beneficiaries and taxpayers alike. We commend CMS on their continued support of Medicare Advantage, including increased plan flexibility in offering new types of supplemental benefits. Flexible benefit designs allow plans to offer more comprehensive benefits and services to seniors, drive down costs, improve health outcomes for patients, and ensure efficient and effective care coordination.

“Looking ahead to 2020, however, some major new uncertainties loom over Medicare Advantage plans that pose significant challengesand will impact seniors and other Medicare enrollees. As plans are working to finalize new 2020 plan offerings with a submission deadline in only two months (June 3), the Administration is stillconsidering major regulatory changes that could dramatically impact Medicare Advantage and Part D. For example, HHS has proposed changes to the safe harbor rules relating to pharmaceutical rebates for Part D plans, which could result in a premium increase of 25% and a $100 billion giveaway to Big Pharma. Additionally, new and highly-complex proposed rules to change interoperability standards and requirements with a January effective date that would apply to Medicare Advantage plans are still being considered. Even further, if congressional action is not taken to suspend the health insurance tax (HIT) for 2020, it would mean an additional $241 in annual premiums for enrollees.

“Medicare Advantage plans are leading the way in innovative,patient-centered programs, protecting the health and financial wellbeing America’s seniors. While we appreciate CMS’ commitment to this program, we urge the Administration to reevaluate new proposals that could undermine our ability to deliver affordable, comprehensive coverage next year. AHIP and our members look forward to working together to find thoughtful, collaborative solutions that will strengthen Medicare Advantage and continue improve the lives of millions of Americans.