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- Bruce Bell on Why Medicare Advantage is Here to Stay
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Tag Archives: Health Reform
In at least 23 states, governors are allowing a “Federal takeover” in the form of a federally facilitated exchange (FFE). Now, CMS has published the first draft of the application that health plans need to complete to become a qualified health plan (QHP) in the CMS FFE. To be sure, the exchange regulation allows individual exchanges flexibility in defining rules and operations, provided they meet the basic requirements. This flexibility applies equally to how CMS interprets its role in operating exchanges in the FFE states.
The New York Times reports that Hospitals fear they may bear the brunt of Medicare cuts. I should hope so! But not because they are wildly profitable at the expense of efficiency and innovation elsewhere.
It’s hard to argue this wasn’t a decisive victory for the President and Democrats in the Senate. What remains to be seen is whether intractable Congressional Republicans will come to the table to get stuff done.
Now that President Obama has been re-elected, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will not be repealed and the ACA provisions impacting Medicare Advantage (MA) plans and Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) will continue to be implemented.
It appears that Medicare beneficiaries who use the most health care services and are often considered the least able to shop over the internet for health insurance may have been the trailblazers for how health insurance will be purchased in the future. Medicare took a first step in the 1990s when it created a voluntary online marketplace where Medicare beneficiaries could select a Medicare Advantage private plan from the government run internet site “Medicare Compare”. Medicare expanded the experiment when it implemented the Part D prescription drug plan benefit in 2006. At that time, all seniors and disabled beneficiaries who were not covered by an employer drug plan were required to shop and select from an online menu of new prescription drug plans during a short open enrollment period.
The most frequent question I get is “what will the elections mean to Medicare and Medicaid?” We’ve said here the Republicans’ only hope of repealing the Affordable Care Act and enacting entitlement reform comes from making President Obama a one-termer, maintaining their majority in the House, and retaking the Senate. At the moment the Presidential race remains largely unchanged, with Mitt Romney getting a disappointing bounce from the GOP convention; Republicans will likely hold the House, but their grip on retaking the US Senate is slipping — and with it, any chance of ObamaCare repeal or major changes to Medicare and Medicaid.