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January 4, 2018

Recent Stories

From Medicare Advantage News - Following a directionally challenged year for Congress that ended with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (H.R. 1) killing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate penalty — but left a host of other to do’s, including stabilizing the individual insurance market and reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program — industry experts agree that Medicare Advantage is still the safest spot in health care. Read more

CMS late last month gave Medicare Advantage organizations an early look at… Read more

Marking a strategic investment in its home health business and quashing rumors… Read more

Individual Medicare Advantage enrollment as of the Dec. 1, 2017, payment date… Read more

From the Editor

Welcome to your Medicare Advantage News subscriber-only Web page

Be sure to visit often, for PDFs of issues, archives of articles, links to government documents and more!

Please e-mail me with your comments on the last issue of Medicare Advantage News, story ideas for future issues, or any other suggestions you have that can make the newsletter more useful for you.

January 10, 2018
Medicare Advantage News is about to become Radar on Medicare Advantage

With the Feb. 1, 2018, issue of MAN, we will adopt a new publication name: Radar on Medicare Advantage. While our focus is still squarely on providing strategies and analysis for Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D and managed Medicaid, our new name signals a renewed commitment to in-depth, forward-looking coverage. Every issue will bring incisive coverage of the companies, people, catalysts and trends that shape the Medicare industry today and in the future.

Radar on Medicare Advantage will join our other newly named publications: Radar on Specialty Pharmacy (formerly Specialty Pharmacy News) and Radar on Drug Benefits (formerly Drug Benefit News), available alongside Health Plan Weekly and Health Business Daily. Visit the AISHealth Marketplace for more information about our publications.

November 2, 2017
New Look, Same Great Content

Good afternoon from the editor of Medicare Advantage News! You may notice a few changes when you open this week's issue: brighter colors, new graphics, and a more readable flow of copy, to name a few. Rest assured, the content we deliver to you twice a month will feature the same in-depth coverage of issues that are critical to Medicare and Medicaid plan sponsors and their partners. But if you feel something is missing from that content, do let me know by using the link in the box above. I'm always interested in hearing from readers on what's important to them.

October 11, 2017
2018 Star Ratings Show Boost in Average Overall Score for MA-PDs, PDPs

CMS this morning posted 2018 star quality ratings data for Medicare Advantage and Part D plan sponsors, indicating a slight drop in the number of MA Prescription Drug contracts earning 4 stars or higher but a greater percentage of beneficiaries enrolled in high-performing plans and an improved average star rating for MA-PDs. Specifically, approximately 44% of MA-PDs (170 contracts) that will be offered in 2018 achieved overall ratings of 4 or above, down from 49% of plans (178 contracts) offered in 2017. Weighted by enrollment, nearly 73% of MA-PD enrollees are currently in contracts that will have 4 or more stars in 2018, compared with approximately 69% based on 2017 star ratings, CMS said. And the average star rating for MA-PDs improved from 4.02 in 2017 to 4.06 this year.

Meanwhile, the percent of PDPs receiving an overall star rating of 4 or higher rose from 49% (27 contracts) last year to 52% (28 contracts) for their 2018 Part D rating. And the average star rating for PDPs rose from 3.55 last year to 3.62 for the 2018 star ratings. Weighted by enrollment, nearly 47% of PDP enrollees are in contracts with 4 or more stars, up from 41% in the 2017 star ratings. Similar to last year, a total of 23 contracts are highlighted on the Medicare Plan Finder with a high performing (gold star) icon for achieving 5 stars; 15 of these are MA-PDs, seven are PDPs and one is an MA-only contract.

View the new data here.

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