Greenwald, L.M., Levy, J.M., and Ingber, M.J.: Favorable Selection in the Medicare+Choice Program
: New Evidence.
One of the goals of both the Medicare+Choice program
and the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 was to provide Medicare beneficiaries with a wider range of healthcare options under Medicare.
The CMS also will spend $35 million to bring more beneficiaries into the Medicare+Choice program
. The money will be used to educate beneficiaries and to extend the hours of Medicare's 800 hotline (800-MEDICARE) so that it will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Just how severe the problem is likely to be will be clearer after July 1, the deadline for plans to announce whether or not the plans will be in the Medicare+Choice program
. Among the most significant changes to Medicare in this year's budget bill is the new range of insurance options available to beneficiaries.
Just 15 years ago, insurers were fleeing from a private Medicare plan program that sprang up in the 1990s, the Medicare+Choice program
, over concerns about shifts in program rules and funding levels.
The 1997 Balanced Budget Act (BBA) authorized new health plan options under the Medicare+Choice program
, providing Medicare beneficiaries with a range of choices that could potentially offer more benefits at lower cost than traditional fee-for-service Medicare.
These developments led observers in some communities to characterize the status of the Medicare+Choice program
as being in " free-fall" in their markets.
As insurers continue to exit the Medicare+Choice program
, the federal government is being urged by the industry to make the program more financially palatable.
4985, a bill with the dull but accurate title of "To Amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to Revitalize the Medicare+Choice Program
, Establish a Medicare+Choice Competition Program, and to Improve Payments to Hospitals and...." His legislation tied higher reimbursement rates for nursing homes with higher payments to the managed care organizations that operate the shaky Medicare+Choice system.
* The Center for Beneficiary Choices will key in on the Medicare+Choice program
and provide information to beneficiaries;
And they're anticipating more payment cuts as a result of a new risk adjustment methodology that the Health Care Financing Administration is implementing as part of its Medicare+Choice program