There had been a lot of changes in Medicare Advantage plans because of the pandemic. Adjustments were made to cater to the needs of Medicare beneficiaries, which includes additional benefits. This article contains detailed changes that occurred on Medicare Advantage and potential changes in the future.
Impact of COVID-19 on Medicare
When the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread, Congress and the Trump administration responded with a series of legislative, administrative, and sub-regulatory reforms to the Medicare program. The reform is intended to benefit health care providers, Medicare Advantage groups, and Part D plans to adapt to the pandemic to provide relief from some Medicare laws.
Changes in Flexibility
The amendments made also waived Medicare participation requirements to allow patients to be treated in alternative health care settings. Other reforms allowed doctors and other providers to receive telemedicine service reimbursements from Medicare.
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Medicare Advantage plans now have the ability to waive some coverage and cost reduction conditions. Some Medicare Advantage insurers have confirmed that they are voluntarily waiving cost-sharing conditions for COVID-19 treatment in response to the COVID-19 emergency.
Changes in Price and Distribution
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Protection (CARES) Act, the COVID-19 stimulus package, provided $100 billion in new funds for hospitals and other health care agencies. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently made $30 billion of these funds available to health care providers, resulting in higher hospital payments in some states than in others.
Hospitals could have lower overall Medicare fee-for-service reimbursement in states with higher shares of Medicare Advantage enrollees. As a result, individual hospitals and other health care providers could be reimbursed less than they would if payments earned on behalf of Medicare Advantage enrollees were taken into account in the distribution of funds.
Many revisions to Medicare Advantage plans have significant positive and negative consequences on Medicare recipients and the health care systems that provide them. As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, both policymakers and policyholders should carefully evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of these policy changes.
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