Surprise: Medicare Advantage premiums to fall in 2011

September 21, 2010

This just out in the New York Times: the Obama administration expects Medicare Advantage premiums to drop slightly in 2011. With new power to negotiate with insurers and reject bids granted by the PPACA, “[CMS] negotiated more aggressively than in the past,” according Jonathan D. Blum, deputy administrator of the Medicare agency. According to the Times report:

“Medicare officials negotiated changes with most of the 300 plans. ‘As a result of these negotiations, Mr. Blum said, ‘plans improved their benefits by $13 per member per month, or 5 percent, on average. The average reduction of about $155 per member per year for the 966,000 beneficiaries resulted in estimated total savings of $150 million for beneficiaries in 2011.’

Good news for individuals and for employers who offer group Medicare Advantage plans to their retirees….

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