CMS on Feb. 2 released the 2023 preliminary rate notice for Medicare Advantage plans, giving plans an average pay boost of about 8%. To arrive at an expected average change in revenue of 7.98% for 2023, CMS factored in an effective growth rate of 4.75%, which is based largely on an anticipated rise in fee-for-service Medicare costs, according to a CMS fact sheet on the subject.
Medicare Part B beneficiaries will be able to acquire over-the-counter COVID-19 tests free of charge at participating pharmacies and retailers “starting in early spring,” according to CMS. Per a CMS fact sheet, beneficiaries will not need to apply for reimbursement to get the tests: “Eligible pharmacies and other entities that are participating in this initiative to allow Medicare beneficiaries to pick up tests at no cost at the point of sale and without needing to be reimbursed.” AHIP CEO Matt Eyles applauded the move. “This is a commendable model and the right path — for Medicare-eligible people and for all Americans — to ensure equitable access, swift treatment, and an effective response to the virus,” he said in a statement.