Lawmakers reintroduce bill to rename Medicare Advantage plans

A trio of U.S. representatives has reintroduced a bill that would rename Medicare Advantage plans, prohibit private insurers from using "Medicare" in plan titles or advertisements and impose "significant fines for any insurer that engages in this deceptive practice."

Rep. Mark Pocan, one of the bill's sponsors, said in a Jan. 31 news release shared with Becker's that "only Medicare is Medicare" and that Medicare Advantage plans run by private insurers "undermine traditional Medicare." 

Under the proposed legislation, Medicare Advantage would be called the "Alternative Private Health Plan" program. 

Mr. Pocan and Rep. Ro Khanna first introduced the legislation in October. It was introduced after The New York Times reported Oct. 8 that federal audits show that eight of the 10 biggest Medicare Advantage insurers have submitted inflated bills.

Less than one month into the new legislative session, the proposal has been reintroduced. Rep. Jan Schakowsky is also a sponsor of the reintroduced bill. 

The reintroduction comes one day after CMS said it will implement stricter audits of Medicare Advantage plans, a move that could leave payers on the hook for billions in repayments to the federal government.

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