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U.S. reduces subsidies for private Medicare

Wall Street Journal, April 7, 2009

The federal government made good on its plan to cut 2010 payments for private Medicare plans, whittling the subsidies to health insurers sooner than the industry originally expected. The cuts are slightly less severe than the 5% reduction the federal agency signaled in February, but still raise concerns about what has been a critical source of profit growth for many health insurers. Reimbursements to private insurers that administer so-called Medicare Advantage plans would fall by as much as 4% to 4.5% next year.