CMS Proposes Increase in Payments to Medicare Insurers in 2021

The U.S. government has proposed increasing its payments to the insurers that manage Medicare Advantage plans by an average of 0.93% in 2021. The final rate will be announced in April 2020.

At the beginning of each year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) releases their proposed rate for Medicare Advantage plans for the following year, then opens a public comment period which could drive the final rate higher or lower.

UnitedHealth, Humana, Anthem, CVS Health, and Centene are among the largest organizations in this market. Medicare Advantage plans cover about 22 million people who are over age 65 or disabled, and about one-third of the people enrolled in the government’s Medicare program. Government payment rates affect insurers’ profits by influencing how much they will charge for plan benefits and monthly premiums.

Source: Reuters, February 5, 2020.