CMS Proposes 1% Rate Increase for MA Plans in 2021 and New Program Flexibilities

CMS on Feb. 5 released Part II of the Advance Notice proposing payment changes for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans for 2021, but at press time did not include the draft Call Letter. The agency also posted a proposed rule with changes to the MA and Part D programs for contract years 2021 and 2022.

Following up on Part I of the Advance Notice, which was released in January and included several expected changes to the risk adjustment model (RMA 1/16/20, p. 1), Part II called for roughly a 1% increase in MA payment rates. Although this estimate is lower than the 2.5% increase plans got in 2020, Citi Research securities analyst Ralph Giacobbe on Feb. 6 noted that it could change with the final rate notice in April. The notice did not, however, adjust rates for serving enrollees with end-stage renal disease, he pointed out.

© 2021 MMIT

Lauren Flynn Kelly Managing Editor, Radar on Medicare Advantage

Lauren has been covering health business issues, including drug benefits and specialty pharmacy, for more than a decade. She served as editor of Drug Benefit News (the predecessor to Radar on Drug Benefits) from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2011 to 2016, and now manages Radar on Medicare Advantage. Lauren graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in English.

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