The Wall Street Journal, September 23, 2010

The Obama administration said Tuesday it denied rate increases and benefit cuts sought by some privately run Medicare plans.

The move is a sign of the toughening regulatory climate for health insurers that could prompt some of them to leave the Medicare market in coming years.

The majority of people 65 and over get their Medicare benefits directly from the government. But some 11 million people are in Medicare Advantage, where a private insurer provides coverage. Medicare Advantage plans may supply additional benefits, such as gym club memberships, while giving people a narrower choice of doctors.

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