Medicare Advantage Not Hurt So Far by PPACA Cuts

Medicare Advantage plans have seen enrollment rise in recent years, despite concerns that reimbursement reductions under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would drive beneficiaries away, according to a Time report.

The healthcare reform law includes more than $100 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage, which lets seniors get Medicare coverage through private health plans, according to the report. Critics predicted the spending reductions would lead to reduced plan benefits and choices, but the Medicare Advantage program has remained popular, with enrollment increasing 30 percent between 2010 and 2013.

Last month, HHS announced the projected average Medicare Advantage monthly premium in 2014 will be $32.60, an increase of $1.64 compared with the average 2013 premium. Since the healthcare reform law took effect, CMS reported average premiums for Medicare Advantage plans have decreased by 9.8 percent.

Additionally, more than one-third of Medicare Advantage plans will receive four or more stars in 2014, up from 28 percent in 2013, according to the release. CMS calculates star ratings for the plans on a one to five scale based on quality and performance.

The average number of plan choices will remain about the same next year, and access will remain strong, with 99.1 percent of Medicare beneficiaries having access to a plan, according to CMS.

More Articles on Medicare Advantage:
Marin General Hospital Partners With Nonprofit Medicare Advantage Plan
Baptist Health System in Alabama, Viva Health to Offer Medicare Plan
Analysis: Number of Medicare Advantage Plans to Drop 5.3% in 2014 

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