Infographics

More States Offer Health Benefits to Retirees Exclusively Through MA Plans

As of this year, a dozen states provide health coverage to their Medicare-eligible retirees only through Medicare Advantage plans, according to a recent KFF review.

Employer-sponsored health care coverage for retirees was generally designed to coordinate with or wrap around traditional Medicare. Yet over the past few years, many states have shifted to contracts with private insurers to provide all Medicare-covered benefits and extra benefits for their retirees. These moves may help states reduce spending on retiree health costs and simplify administration.

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© 2024 MMIT

More States Offer Health Benefits to Retirees Exclusively Through MA Plans

As of this year, a dozen states provide health coverage to their Medicare-eligible retirees only through Medicare Advantage plans, according to a recent KFF review.

Employer-sponsored health care coverage for retirees was generally designed to coordinate with or wrap around traditional Medicare. Yet over the past few years, many states have shifted to contracts with private insurers to provide all Medicare-covered benefits and extra benefits for their retirees. These moves may help states reduce spending on retiree health costs and simplify administration.

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© 2024 MMIT

Under New Rule, DACA Recipients Can Sign Up for ACA Marketplaces in 2025

Under the Biden administration’s new regulations — which will allow Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients to receive federal health care coverage — more than 100,000 uninsured DACA recipients are expected to enroll in Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace plans next year, according to CMS.

As of Dec. 31, 2022, there were 580,000 active DACA recipients and almost 28% of them resided in California. A KFF survey showed that most people who were likely eligible for DACA lived in a family with at least one full-time worker and over half of them worked full time themselves. However, they were much less likely than U.S.-born individuals in their age group to receive health care coverage.

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© 2024 MMIT

Remote Physiologic Monitoring Use Among Medicaid Enrollees Skyrocketed From 2019 to 2021

Between 2019 and 2021, the use of remote physiologic monitoring (RPM) via wearable devices and mobile applications soared by more than 1,300% among Medicaid enrollees, which was driven by a small number of providers, according to a recent Health Affair study.

Based on Transformed Medicaid Statistical Information System Analytic Files data from Jan. 1, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2021, the study found that the number of RPM recipients per 100,000 Medicaid enrollees increased from 2.1 recipients in 2019 to 29.6 recipients in 2021 and started to accelerate with the March 2020 onset of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Among over 5,600 distinct providers who billed RPM claims for Medicaid enrollees in 2021, more than half of the claims were from 5% of providers.

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© 2024 MMIT

Hospitals Charged Private Health Plans 2.5 Times Medicare Rates in 2022

Employers and private insurers, on average, paid 254% of what Medicare did for the same inpatient and outpatient services at the same facilities in 2022, according to a new RAND Corp. study.

The report examined data from more than 4,000 hospitals across all U.S. states except Maryland and found that average relative prices paid by private insurers increased from 241% of Medicare rates in 2020 to 254% in 2022, which was largely driven by growth in inpatient relative prices.

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© 2024 MMIT

Specialty Drug Benefits Survey Spotlights Gene Therapy, Biosimilar Strategies

While over 90% of health plans receive specialty medication rebates under the pharmacy benefit, the receipt of medical-benefit rebates has risen in the past one to two years, according to the 2024 Trends in Specialty Drug Benefits Report, published by Pharmaceutical Strategies Group, an EPIC company. The report also covered topics like the management strategies of Humira biosimilars and the financial risk associated with cell and gene therapy.

The report is based on responses from 185 benefits leaders from employers, unions/Taft-Hartley plans and health plans representing plan sponsors of approximately 86.6 million covered lives, conducted from Sept. 18, 2023, through Oct. 13, 2023.

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© 2024 MMIT

Amount of Medicaid Funds Flowing to MCOs Is Poised to Rise, KFF Predicts

Taking a look at the overall state of Medicaid managed care, KFF earlier this month compiled data from prior years of its surveys and analyses to identify notable trends. About 75% of all Medicaid beneficiaries are enrolled in risk-based managed care — with that percentage set to grow as Oklahoma transitions away from fee-for-service (FFS) Medicaid — and most states spend at least 40% of total Medicaid dollars on payments to MCOs. KFF noted that spending could increase as states shift higher-cost, higher-need beneficiaries, such as disabled individuals and adults aged 65 and older, into managed care. Moreover, most states (32 states including Washington, D.C.) with managed care carve in their pharmacy benefits to MCO contracts, observed KFF.

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© 2024 MMIT

CMS Minority Health Report Suggests Similar Patient Experiences, Varied Outcomes

As CMS continues efforts to advance health equity, the agency on May 2 released its annual report on disparities in the Medicare Advantage program based on race, ethnicity and sex. Racial and ethnic minorities are consistently more likely to enroll in Medicare Advantage versus the traditional, fee-for-service Medicare program. The 2024 report, released by the CMS Office of Minority Health in partnership with The RAND Corp., examined patient experience measures based on responses to the 2023 Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey, as well as clinical care measures based on the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) that is collected from administrative data and patients’ medical records, reflecting care received in 2022.

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© 2024 MMIT

MCO Stock Performance, April 2024

Here’s how major health insurers’ stock performed in April 2024. Elevance Health, Inc. had the highest closing stock price among major commercial insurers as of April 30, 2024, at $528.58. Humana Inc. had the highest closing stock price among major Medicare insurers at $302.09.

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© 2024 MMIT

HSA-Eligible Plans Have Mixed Impact on Health Care Use, No Impact on Spending

People with health savings account-eligible high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) use less outpatient services and fill fewer prescription medications than people with PPOs, but HSA plan enrollment appears to have no impact on total health care spending, according to a recent study published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

As of 2022, 57.9% of employees were enrolled in an HSA-eligible health plan, while 32.3% of them were in an HDHP that was not associated with an HSA.

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© 2024 MMIT