A Bush administration official spoke out Tuesday against letting states have more say over Medicare Advantage plans.
“State regulation of these plans is neither appropriate nor feasible,” said Abby Block, director of the Center for Beneficiary Choices at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Unlike the basic Medicare and Medicare supplement insurance programs, in which states play a large role, Medicare Advantage “is managed and almost entirely subsidized by the federal government,” Block said.
Block spoke here at a public hearing organized by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ new Medicare private plans subgroup.
Guenther Ruch, administrator for the division of regulation and enforcement at the Wisconsin Department of Insurance, chaired the meeting.
Speakers, including representatives for a California health care advocates’ group and the insurance commissioners of Louisiana and Ohio, testified about problems with Medicare Advantage marketing and operations.
Ruch asked witnesses whether regulation by “50 little monkeys rather than one large gorilla” would be more effective.