Medicare Advantage enrollment will rise and premiums will decline in 2012. While plans can expect increased enrollment, they also face increasing challenges in managing the demands of increased government regulation under Health Care Reform and other new regulations, as well as rising governmental scrutiny of premiums and compliance. Consequently, while more individuals than ever are expected to sign up for Medicare Advantage Plan coverage, the plans still face significant compliance and operational challenges.
According to the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) , Medicare Advantage premiums on average will be 4% lower in 2012 than in 2011. Meanwhile HHS reports that Medicare Advantage plans project enrollment to increase by 10%. This follows an earlier HHS announcement that average prescription drug plan premiums will remain virtually unchanged in 2012.
Of people with Medicare, HHS reports 99.7% continue to enjoy access to a Medicare Advantage plan, and benefits will remain consistent with those offered in 2011. To offset declining premiums and other costs, however, many industry experts expect that plans will make greater use of technology in place of human staffing, cut back on broker compensation and utilization and implement other operational changes to help control operations costs.
While many Medicare Adtange and Medicaid Advantage Plans will benefit from increased enrollment, producing promised benefits and avoiding regulatory sanctions amid tightening budgets remains a challenge for many of these plans. Medicare and Medicaid Advantage plans are tightly regulated by federal and state law. Over the past few years, the compliance, premiums, profits and other activities of these and other health plans have been heavily scruitinzed by Congress and federal and state regulators. As part of the stepped up health care fraud and other cost containment efforts, federal regulators have stepped up audit and enforcement against these programs. Several plans have suffered administrative sanctions or other discipline under these laws. Most commentatorys anticipate this scrutiny to expand in 2012.
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For Assistance or Additional Information
Nationally and internationally known for her knowledge and work on health and other employee benefit matters and engaging and informative presentations, attorney, author and policy advocate Cynthia Marcotte Stamer will help you prepare your plan and organization to cope with these and other challenges of understanding and coping with health care reform.
Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) RPPT Employee Benefits & Other Compensation Arrangements, an ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits Council Representative, incoming ABA TIPS Employee Benefit Plan Committee Vice Chair, former ABA Health Law Section Managed Care & Insurance Interest Group Chair, past Southwest Benefits Association Board Member, Employee Benefit News Editorial Advisory Board Member, Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law and a widely published speaker and author, Ms. Stamer has more than 24 years experience advising businesses, plans, fiduciaries, insurers and governments on health care, retirement, employment, insurance, :and tax program design, administration, defense and policy and related employment, insurance and health care matters. Her experience includes extensive experience advising insured and self-insured ERISA group medical and other plans, Medicare and Medicaid Advantage plans, mini-med, high-deductible and other consumer driven medical, long-term care, occupational injury, ex-pat, association, fraternal benefit and other managed care and medical benefit plans and insurers, their service providers, insurers, sponsors, fiduciaries, technology providers and others. A primary drafter of the Bolivian pension law, Ms. Stamer also has more than 30 years experience working on legislative and regulatory health care, pension, workforce, education and immigration reform matters including extensive work on the Pension Protection & Affordable Care Act, HIPAA, COBRA, state managed care and other insurance and other laws. In addition to her experience advising governments and others internationally about these matters, she regularly advises and represents employers, employee benefit plans, insurers, health care and managed care providers and others about evolving laws and regulations and assists them in dealing with Congress, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor, Immigration and Customs, OCR, OIG, CMS and other HHS agenices, the FTC, the Justice Department, state insruance and health departments, and others.
A widely published author and popular speaker, Ms. also regularly publishes and speaks for a broad range of organizations including American Bar Association, Aspen Publishers, World At Work, Benefits Magazine, Employee Benefit News, Spencer Publications, SHRM, the International Foundation, Solutions Law Press and many others. She currently or previously has served on the editorial advisory board of Employee Benefits News, BNA Employee Benefits CDRolm and a wide range of other highly regarded publications. Her insights on these and other matters have appeared in Managed Care Executive, Health Leaders, Private Payers News, the Wall Street Journal, various publications of the Bureau of National Affairs, Aspen, Atlantic Information Serices, the Wall Street Journal, and many other industry and news publications. In recognition of this extensive record of employee benefit experience and involvement, Ms. Stamer recently was selected to be inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel.
You can learn more about Ms. Stamer and her experience, review some of her other training, speaking, publications and other resources, and register to receive future updates about developments on these and other concerns from Ms. Stamer here. For important information concerning this communication click here.
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