April 7 The U.S. government on Monday said that
final payments to private health insurers for 2015 private
Medicare Advantage plans would rise 0.4 percent for the average
plan compared with a proposed cut of 1.9 percent.
During a news briefing, the health agency said that costs
for Medicare health services continued to drop and that it now
expected a decline of 3.4 percent versus the 1.9 percent on
which it initially based its payments.
In addition, the agency said that it would delay other
changes to risk adjustments and for requiring home health
assessments, which will effectively lessen the cuts to insurers.
The proposed cuts were announced on Feb. 21. The final
document was released on Monday by a division of the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services. It affects private
insurers such as UnitedHealth Group Inc, Humana Inc
and Aetna Inc that provide Medicare Advantage.
(Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)