U.S. government rolls back proposed Medicare Advantage cut

The Obama administration on Monday rolled back some of the more controversial cuts proposed for privately managed Medicare health plans used by the elderly following pressure from insurance companies and lawmakers. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said that on average, reimbursement for such Medicare Advantage plans in 2015 would rise 0.4 percent, reversing what is said was a 1.9 percent average reduction proposed in February. The proposed cuts had also figured into Republicans’ criticism of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law. “They were asking for flat (reimbursement) but no one ever thought they would get close to it,” said Ipsita Smolinski, managing director of Capitol Street, a healthcare consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. Shares in health insurers with large Medicare Advantage businesses, like Humana and UnitedHealth Group Inc, were trading slightly higher after the announcement.

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