(Daily360.com) – The Biden administration has continued to work to lower healthcare costs for Americans, particularly senior citizens. Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced the proposal of a new rule that would address issues with Medicare Advantage plans. These types of plans are paid for by the government but sold by agents representing private insurance companies.
The rule would regulate how much compensation agents and brokers could receive when selling Medicare Advantage plans. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator said that the proposal would “further our efforts to curb predatory marketing and inappropriate steering” that currently jeopardizes competitiveness.
Nearly half of Medicare recipients are also enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. The rule would also limit the amount of bonuses that insurance companies could pay out to agents and brokers. It would also regulate a fixed compensation of $632 per plan sold. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said that the new rule would prevent “anti-competitive actors from deceiving seniors and people with disabilities.” Other regulations would focus on providing more Americans with access to behavioral health services and allow more healthcare providers to become eligible to accept Medicare Advantage plans.
The rule would also require companies that sell Medicare Advantage plans to keep their enrollees up to date on the latest services by sending an update halfway through the benefit year. Mental health services offered would also be included with vision and dental benefit updates. CMS believes that the rules are necessary because so many more people are enrolling in Medicare Advantage plans. The goal is to ensure that companies are not simply trying to sell more policies without providing transparency about the services offered. Over the next year, President Biden will likely focus on lowering healthcare costs to help secure his reelection in 2024. The most recent polls show former President Trump beating Biden if the election were held today.
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