Medicare Advantage in the headlines: 10 recent updates

Insurers are pushing back against CMS' proposed Medicare Advantage rates for 2025, and an Anthem Medicare Advantage contract is under fire from New Hampshire state officials. 

Here are 10 Medicare Advantage updates Becker's has reported since Feb. 19. 

  1. Walgreens will allow Medicare Advantage members to purchase products using supplemental benefits online. The pharmacy chain said it is the first community pharmacy to accept supplemental benefits online. 

  2. Medicare Advantage beneficiaries could see their supplemental benefits reduced or cost-sharing increase by $33 a month on average in 2025, according to an analysis from the Berkeley Research Group. The projected impacts vary by state, with beneficiaries in Nevada and Texas expected to see the largest decreases. 

  3. Recent research on Medicare Advantage has uncovered differences in the types of care and experiences Medicare Advantage enrollees report when compared to their peers in fee-for-service. Here are three Medicare Advantage findings Becker's has reported. 

  4. New Hampshire officials are planning to leverage fines against Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield for issues with mail-order prescriptions. Members of New Hampshire's executive council, which oversees the state's executive branch, said retirees have faced extended delays for delivery of mail-order medications and incorrect out-of-pocket charges for prescription drugs. 

  5. Medicare Advantage enrollees are more likely to report delays in care than their counterparts in traditional Medicare, according to a survey from the Commonwealth Fund. 

  6. Community Healthcare System is dropping Humana and Aetna Medicare Advantage plans June 1, citing unreasonable denials and delayed payments. 

  7. MediGold, the Medicare Advantage subsidiary of Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health, received an estimated $3.7 million in net Medicare Advantage overpayments in 2017 and 2018, according to an audit from HHS' Office of Inspector General. 

  8. Aetna's Medicare Advantage membership is outpacing the competition, boasting 15% growth during the annual enrollment period and around 4 million total members. Becker's sat down with Aetna's Medicare president, Terri Swanson, to learn more about the strategy driving CVS' industry-leading growth.

  9. CMS needs to do more to account for rising utilization rates in Medicare Advantage, the Better Medicare Alliance argued. In a Feb. 15 news release, the insurer-backed advocacy group said the agency should use more "recent and complete" data in its rate proposals for 2025. 

  10. Medicare Advantage enrollees received less intensive post-acute care than their counterparts in traditional Medicare but did not have a significant change in short-term outcomes, a study published in JAMA Health Forum found. 

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