Insurers operating a slightly different type of private Medicare plan, private fee for service, are already running into difficulties, the Wall Street Journal reports. "More than 660,000 seniors next year will lose the private Medicare plans they now have because some insurers are dropping coverage in response to tougher federal requirements." Lawmakers voted last year to require the special plans to develop provider networks, like managed care plans, in an effort to curb costs. Many plans have complied, but other are dropping out (Zhang and Johnson, 10/1).
Advantage plans, meanwhile, are increasing their premiums for some seniors, Kaiser Health News reports. In Philadelphia, for instance, seniors will have to pay $52 monthly premiums; this year they were required to pay nothing. On average, Advantage enrollees will face a $7 increase this year and are expected to pay $39 premiums (Galewitz, 10/1).
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