ICYMI: Report: Healthcare law cuts put Medicare Advantage benefits at risk in some states

March 12, 2012

Healthwatch - The Hill's Healthcare Blog
By Julian Pecquet

Seniors in a number of states risk losing their Medicare Advantage benefits because of cuts in President Obama's healthcare reform law, according to a new report from Avalere.

The law contains about $200 billion in direct and indirect cuts to private Medicare plans through 2017. Their effect would be felt unevenly throughout the country, however, because the additional benefits and reduced cost-sharing offered by Medicare Advantage plans vary greatly by state.

As of 2010, Avalere calculated, the average MA beneficiary received $73 in extra benefits and reduced cost-sharing per month over enrollees in traditional fee-for-service Medicare. The savings varied from $0 in Alaska to more than $100 in Texas, Louisiana and Florida.

"As the MA payment cuts are fully implemented over the next few years," Avalere concludes, "it is likely that beneficiaries in areas where rebates are currently high will still see some additional benefits, at no cost to them ... while beneficiaries in areas with lower current rebates may not."

Seven states in particular currently offer between $0 and $25 in extra value, putting them at extra risk of not being able to offer any added value after the health law cuts go into effect they are Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Delaware.

To read the article on The Hill's website, click here.

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