Rate Notice Cites COVID Costs, Leaves Some Issues Unresolved

With less than a week to spare before the Jan. 20 inauguration of President Joe Biden, CMS on Jan. 15 followed up on its promise for an early release of the 2022 Medicare Advantage and Part D Rate Announcement, indicating that MA organizations will see an average reimbursement increase of more than 4%. At the same time, CMS issued a 272-page rule finalizing several Part D policies that will largely apply to the 2022 plan year. It also codifies some longstanding guidance, potentially making it harder for the Biden administration to quickly reverse course on certain policies, suggests one industry expert.

Although neither document contained anything “earth shattering,” the hefty pay increase is welcome news to plans as they face cost unknowns due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, suggests Milliman Principal and Consulting Actuary Brad Piper.

© 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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