With weeks to go before federal regulators set the final figure for a payment rate cut to the Medicare Advantage program, insurers and financial analysts are predicting the blow will be twice as hard as what CMS proposed last week.
Confusion continues to swirl around Friday's release of the 2015 federal notice for Medicare payment rates that calls for a cut of at least 1.9 percent. But insurers and financial analysts believe the final payment cut figure that will be set on April 7 will be at least twice as deep.
In an email released on Monday, America's Health Insurance Plans predicted the payment cut to Medicare Advantage in the federal fiscal year beginning in October would be at least 4 percent. The Medicare Advantage payment rate was cut more than 6 percent for the current fiscal year.
See Also: CMS Proposes MA Payment Cut
"While we continue to evaluate the proposed rate notice and its impact on overall Medicare Advantage payments, estimates released over the past few days from a broad array of analysts help highlight the magnitude of the proposed cut facing seniors in Medicare Advantage next year," AHIP said in prepared statement that included quotations from industry analysts predicting MA payment rate cuts as deep as 9.3 percent.
Christopher Cheney is the senior clinical care editor at HealthLeaders.