Press Release             

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mitchell Clark
Senior Communications Associate
212-204-6286

June 27, 2012

Medicare Rights Releases Report on Medicare Advantage Plan Landscape
--Report Examines Effects of Affordable Care Act on Plan Availability, Benefit Access and Cost --

New York, New York— The Medicare Rights Center released a report today about the effects of measures in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) to reduce federal reimbursements to private health insurance plans that provide Medicare benefits through the Medicare Advantage (MA) program in New York. The report contradicts predictions that a reduction in payments to MA plans under the ACA would cause insurers to exit the market, decrease plan benefits or immediately pass costs to Medicare beneficiaries.

The report, New York’s Medicare Marketplace: Examining New York’s Medicare Advantage Plan Landscape in Light of Payment Reform, analyzes the 2011 and 2012 MA plan landscape in New York State to examine changes in plan enrollment, benefit offerings or costs before and after the implementation of ACA cost saving measures. These measures address overpayments to MA plans by moving plan payment amounts closer to the average costs of Original Medicare by county.

 “The doomsayers were wrong when they said that a reduction in plan payments would increase costs, decrease benefits and diminish plan choices in the MA market,” said Doug Goggin-Callahan, Director of Education and New York State Policy at the Medicare Rights Center. “In fact, in New York, plan availability and affordability has remained relatively unchanged and has improved in some areas, according to our survey.”

 “The experience we document in New York is roughly similar to what has happened in the MA market nationwide, and it is reassuring that the overall MA plan landscape in 2012 appears to be as robust as it was in 2011,” said Joe Baker, President of the Medicare Rights Center. “However, as changes in reimbursements to MA plans move forward, we must continue to monitor plan benefits and make certain that insurers’ efforts to control costs and maintain their bottom lines do not fall on the backs of beneficiaries.”

The report was made possible by funding from the United Hospital Fund.

Read the report at: www.medicarerights.org/pdf/New-York’s-Medicare-Marketplace.pdf

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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.

 

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