Managers of the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plan programs seem to be trying to make sure the programs will look about the same next year.
The managers’ new 2018 Advance Notice packet for the programs looks about the same as the Medicare program advance notice packets posted in the past.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is predicting that the program changes it has proposed will increase issuers’ 2018 revenue by an average of 0.25 percent. That’s down from an increase estimate of 1.35 percent in the advance notice for 2017 coverage.
In the past, issuers have often persuaded CMS to adjust Medicare program terms between the time officials released the advance notice and the time bidding began.
The Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage programs gives insurers a chance to sell health plans that serve as an alternative to traditional Medicare coverage.
The Part D prescription drug plan programs lets insurers sell subsidized drug coverage to Medicare program enrollees.
Nineteen million U.S. residents have Medicare Advantage coverage, and 41 million have Part D coverage.
President Donald Trump entered the White House Jan. 20. The new advance notice packet will create the plan menus for the first Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plan annual enrollment periods to start during his administration.
Trump has said that he will name Seema Verma, an Indiana Medicaid and Affordable Care Act program designer, to run CMS.
A year ago, the press release announcing the 2017 advance notice included a statement from Andy Slavitt, President Barack Obama’s acting CMS administrator.
This year, the press release announcing the 2018 advance notice includes a brief statement from Patrick Conway, the current acting CMS administrator.