CMS Releases Proposed Rule Effecting Medicare Advantage

December 6, 2017

On November 16th, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that will result in lower premiums and increased plan choices for Medicare beneficiaries. During this year’s Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment, which started October 15th and runs until December 7th, seniors enrolling in Medicare Advantage have seen average monthly premiums drop by 6%.  CMS is proposing changes to continue affordable options for Medicare beneficiaries that meet their unique health needs.

Medicare Advantage remains a popular choice among beneficiaries and has high beneficiary satisfaction. Enrollment in Medicare Advantage is at an all-time high as approximately one-third of Medicare beneficiaries are in a Medicare Advantage plan. The number of Medicare Advantage plans available for individuals across the country to choose from  is increasing from about 2,700 to more than 3,100.  In addition, more than 85% of Medicare beneficiaries will have access to 10 or more Medicare Advantage plan choices.

The proposed rule also furthers CMS’ Patients Over Paperwork initiative. Specifically, the proposed rule would reduce regulatory burdens by:

  • allowing CMS to permit electronic delivery of more materials to beneficiaries;
  • improving transparency of the Medicare Advantage Star Ratings to that give patients information about each plan’s quality rating;
  • streamlining government review and approval of materials that Medicare Advantage plans use to communicate with beneficiaries; and
  • eliminating burdensome enrollment requirements for providers that bring value to Medicare Advantage beneficiaries.

For a fact sheet on the proposed rule, click here.

To download the proposed rule (CMS-4182-P) from the Federal Register, click here.

We hope you find this information valuable.  As always, we are here to help.  If you have any questions about this proposed rule, please contact us.

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