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From Radar on Medicare Advantage - The newly released 2019 Advance Notice and draft Call Letter proposes easing several restrictions around Medicare Advantage benefit design, which reflects the administration’s theme of “empowering” MA plans. “The many flexibilities — a new broad definition of supplemental benefits, health condition specific benefits, geography specific benefits — have the potential to significantly change Medicare Advantage, by letting MAOs embrace leading practices from the employer and Medicaid markets,” says Michael Adelberg, a principal with FaegreBD Consulting and a former top CMS MA official. Read more

From Health Plan Weekly - Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s plans to jointly launch an independent health care company worried some stakeholders, while delighting others. “We welcome anybody pulling on our end of the rope in this tug of war,” CEO Rob Andrews of the Health Transformation Alliance (HTA), a group of more than 40 major employers, tells AIS Health. The three titans issued a jointed statement Jan. 30, saying they are “partnering on… Read more

From Health Plan Weekly - Creative and strategic ad campaigns and other efforts helped drive enrollment growth in some state-run public health insurance exchanges, despite what marketplace executives called a confusing and shortened enrollment period. In Connecticut, Access Health CT (AHCT) experienced its most successful enrollment result since 2013, with a 2.3% increase over the previous year. Read more

From Radar on Medicare Advantage - Insurers that offer web-based decision-support tools may be best positioned to win tech-savvy Medicare Advantage enrollees, according to the software solutions provider Connecture, Inc. Age-ins are more digitally savvy than in years past. During the most recent Medicare Annual Election Period, total enrollments through its web-based consumer shopping platform went up 16% from last year’s AEP, according to Connecture. Moreover, there is a “surge” in consumer shopping traffic and consumer conversion… Read more

From Radar on Specialty Pharmacy - Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA) launched a nurse navigators pilot program to make sure cancer patients receive comprehensive care after their treatment through an oncology medical home. The program will allow nurses to follow cancer patients after they leave the oncologist’s office, serve as a resource to address their needs and conditions, and help them access community services. Read more

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