In full transparency, the following is a media release from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office. She was elected by voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve the state in Washington DC in the US Senate. She is a Democrat. (file photo). SOURCE publishes press release from elected leaders as a community service.
WASHINGTON DC – U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sounded the alarm on a new analysis by policy experts showing that all Medicare beneficiaries – including those enrolled in Traditional Medicare (TM) – are paying higher premiums due to overpayments in the Medicare Advantage (MA) program. Senator Warren is highlighting these findings in a new letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and calling on the agency to finalize its proposed rule to ensure payments to MA plans accurately reflect the cost of care.
“I write today to bring your attention to new information revealing that seniors and people with disabilities enrolled in Traditional Medicare (TM) are paying higher premiums because of the tricks that Medicare Advantage (MA) plans use to squeeze billions of extra dollars out of the Medicare program,” wrote Senator Warren.
“These new findings from economists and health policy experts revealed that Medicare overpayments to MA plans will ultimately cost Medicare beneficiaries $145 billion in increased premiums over the next eight years. Approximately 45 percent of that amount, or $65 billion, will be paid by enrollees in TM, who do not receive any of the supplemental benefits or supposed efficiencies in MA, yet are responsible for subsidizing these overpayments to private insurance companies,” continued Senator Warren.
In February, CMS released the Calendar Year 2024 Advance Notice (Advance Notice) of Methodological Changes for Medicare Advantage Capitation Rates and Part C and Part D Payment Policies (the Advance Notice). The rule includes routine technical updates, improvements, and recalibrations that would result in an average increase of 1% to MA payments for 2024.
Without any change, over the next 8 years, experts predict Medicare will pay MA plans $960 billion more than what it would otherwise pay if beneficiaries remained in TM.
Taxpayers will be responsible for 85% of this amount, but Medicare beneficiaries will pay $145 billion through increased Part B premiums, with approximately 45%, or $65 billion, being paid by TM beneficiaries.
Senator Warren expressed her support for finalizing the Advance Notice and called on CMS to take additional steps to strengthen the integrity of the MA program.
Read the text of the Letter here.