2 Reasons to be Happy about Medicare Advantage Plans in 2016

How do you decide what to share with your blog readers?

One of the ways we decide is by reviewing what others are reporting.
It just so happens that we received three different emails from
different sources all talking about the anticipated changes to
Medicare Advantage plans.

Two of the 3 articles focused on the Reuters‘ article entitled:

Thanks to www.ncpssm.org for the image

“Gov’t payments for Medicare Advantage plans to rise in 2016”

In this article, Caroline Humer wrote:

“Payments to health insurers operating Medicare Advantage plans for the elderly and disabled will increase by 1.25 percent in 2016, the U.S. government said on Monday, in response to expected growth in health spending….

“More than 16 million people are enrolled in these plans, in which healthcare benefits are managed by private insurers, including UnitedHealth Group Inc, Humana Inc and Aetna Inc….

“The increase comes after many years of cuts to Medicare Advantage payments, because of an overall decline in healthcare spending and changes under the Affordable Care Act that seek to align payments more closely with the government-run Medicare fee-for-service program.

“The increase is larger than expected, Leerink Partners analyst Ana Gupte said, and bodes well for insurers that sell these plans next year….

“‘All of these numbers are averages and the bottom line 2016 impact is going to vary by plan, by location, by star rating and by coding practices,’ Smolinski said. (Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)”

Why should this make you happy?
More doctors will be happy to see Medicare Advantage patients
if they can bill more for those visits in 2016 than in 2015,
making it easier to find a doctor and book an appointment
within a reasonable time!

The third article is about the rise in Medicare Advantage enrollments,
even before the reports about the rising payments, as noted by Mark Farrah Associates’ research:

“About 17.3 million people were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans as of March 2015, an increase of more than 1.3 million members year-over-year, according to a study by Mark Farrah Associates. Eighty-two percent of Medicare Advantage members have individual plans while only 18% are in employer group health plans.

“All but two leading Medicare Advantage companies grew their membership. Group membership rose 6%, primarily driven by UnitedHealth plans. UnitedHealthcare is the top Medicare Advantage organization with 3.4 million enrolled, gaining 271,245 new Medicare Advantage members. UnitedHealth owns nearly 20% of the market with Humana a strong second at 18%. Humana added 369,747 new members for a net gain of 13.2%. Aetna and Kaiser Permanente also saw significant gains with more than 1.2 million Medicare Advantage. Carriers with more than 250,000 members cover 67% of all Medicare Advantage enrollees….

“HMO plans have been the predominant type of coverage in the Medicare Advantage segment for several years. As of March 2015, about 62% of members were enrolled in an HMO plan. PPOs, including local and regional plans, covered 31% of Medicare Advantage enrollees.

“The Medicare Advantage market is still ripe for growth with an unpenetrated market of 37 million and growing, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).”

Why should this make you happy?
The more this market grows, the better you will be treated because the market will demand it!

How does this news affect your health care plans for 2016?
Please share in the comments below, or, if you need assistance,
please call one of our specialist at 877.789.5831.

We look forward to helping you!

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