Biden Admin Aims to Cut Back on Medicare Advantage

( – President Joe Biden is taking a risk by cutting how much the government will pay to Medicare Advantage next year, implementing a plan that will see base payments to insurers cut by 0.16%. The news sent shockwaves in the healthcare industry, with shares for companies like UnitedHealth, Humana, CVS Health, and Centene taking a tumble in trading.

The initiative is ostensibly an attempt to make Medicare Advantage payments more accurate. The Biden administration has been implementing changes to its healthcare risk adjustment coding system towards more accurate payments since last year.

In the old system, the more documented health issues an enrollee has, the more money an insurer can collect. While the government said that the changes are aimed at preventing the abuse of the old system – which observers and experts say cost taxpayers billions of dollars – health insurance providers and a number of Republicans argue that the implementation of the revisions is essentially a reduction in benefits seniors get from Medicare Advantage.

The changes will result in a reduction of supplemental benefits for affected enrollees, as well as a jump – which could be as high as $33 a month beginning in 2025 – in cost-sharing payments. Experts and industry observers say that roughly more than half of Medicare enrollees will be affected by the change, seeing that many elderly Americans utilize Medicare Advantage for their healthcare needs.

In contrast, former president Donald Trump has pledged to leave Medicare and Social Security benefits alone. Breitbart News reported that the former chief executive said that he would look to cut government spending elsewhere.

“We’re not going to do anything to hurt them [Social Security and Medicare],” he told the news outlet.

The former president stressed that the excesses and wastefulness in government are in other sectors, not in benefits largely enjoyed by America’s older population.

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