Humana and seniors hit hardest with Medicare Advantage plans disappearing

Written by Alyssa Clark We have all been patiently waiting to see how the issue of private Medicare plans would do underneath the new Obamacare legisl...

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|Jan 8|magazine7 min read

Written by Alyssa Clark

 

We have all been patiently waiting to see how the issue of private Medicare plans would do underneath the new Obamacare legislation, and it appears that the public is beginning to get some answers. More and more cuts have been applied to these “Medicare Advantage” plans, making it nearly cease to exist at all in the upcoming year. It was also recently announced that there will be another additional round of reductions in the 2015, which will inevitably force the Medicare choice for seniors to slip away because of the pressure that insurance companies are placing on them.

Researchers and analysts speculate that the reason for the Medicare slowdown is due to a severe decrease in Medicare spending, since the slack of the economy has forced programs to reduce utilization of certain available medical services. Since numbers are already trending extremely low for the upcoming year, Medicare programs recently stated that the low per capita costs will force Medicare Advantage plans to take another big hit in 2015. The private plans are receiving this news, and the public is reacting to it.

Following these projected totals, the rates that the federal government would pay these Medicare Advantage plans would change from an estimated 1.7 positive percent to a negative 2 percent decrease. This decrease being the cherry on top to the other cuts which have already been set in stone for the year of 2014, those who depend upon these Medicare Advantage plans seem to be running out of luck— and quickly at that. With these plans expecting and preparing for small increases, those patients underneath these suffering plans are beginning to look for ways out, seeing as how there doesn’t seem to be any light at the end of this tunnel for senior Medicare patients.

Most importantly, the public fears for the healthcare of much-in-need senior citizens, but this kind of change is forcing the public to consider big-picture industry ramifications as well. What does/will this mean for corporations who have invested in these Medicare plans?

Forbes reports on this issue, discussing Humana’s ties and investments in these programs and what it stands to lose as a result as it.

“Hardest hit are going to be the health plans that have made the biggest investments in Medicare Advantage. At the top of this list is Humana.”

“Humana has about 2.5 million Medicare Advantage members and 3.3 million participants in Medicare Part D drug plans. The company’s Medicare business accounts for 70 percent of its revenue. So watch the plan as a bellwether for the impacts of these policy trends.”

The government has attempted to appease the public and ratify the problem, but the “solutions” have their fair-share of shortcomings. Many Medicare Advantage plan holders have been transferred over to state-run healthcare programs, enrolling seniors in HMO’s used by similar Medicaid programs. The backlash is going to be tough to argue against, seeing as how it’s difficult to argue that state-run HMOs are better off than the private Medicare SNPs.