Medicare Advantage Premiums Drop an Average of 7% and Enrollment Is Up 10%—That Must Make Republicans Just Want to Cry

Robert Laszewski

Posted 2/6/12 on Health Policy and Marketplace Review

Medicare Advantage would appear to be a fantastic success—senior premiums are dropping and enrollment is increasing.

Listening to Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius last week, you would think private Medicare plans were a Democratic idea and this is their success. Many industry observers, including me, have worried that Medicare Advantage benefits would shrink and premiums would rise because the new health care law reduced federal payments to the plans by $136 billion over the next decade.

Continue reading “Medicare Advantage Premiums Drop an Average of 7% and Enrollment Is Up 10%—That Must Make Republicans Just Want to Cry”

Big Government Brings Big Profits To Texas Health Plans

Michael Millenson

Posted 12/11/11 on Forbes

Governor Rick Perry of Texas speaking at the R...While Texas Governor Rick Perry rails against the evils of  federal involvement in health care on the GOP presidential campaign trail, businesses back home are busy raking in record profits from government dollars.

“By largely exiting the employer market and focusing on Medicare and Medicaid, Texas HMOs have enjoyed strong and growing profits in the last six years,” concluded the newly issued Texas Health Market Review 2011, an analysis of financial filings by state plans. It added, “HMOs here now are focused on the niche businesses of Medicare and Medicaid, both of which were strongly profitable in 2010. Overall, Texas HMOs reported net income of $404.1 million in 2010, or 3.3% of underwriting revenues of $12.41 billion.”

Continue reading “Big Government Brings Big Profits To Texas Health Plans”

Karl Rove’s Criticism of AARP Was an Uninformed Cheap Shot

ROBERT LASZEWSKI

Originally published 1/06/11 on Health Policy and Marketplace Review

Readers of this blog know that I am willing to call AARP out when I think they deserve it. Witness my recent post criticizing their reaction to the chairs of the Deficit Commission and their preliminary report when AARP acted more like a narrow minded advocate than an enlightened organization that understands the inevitability of fundamental reform to the entitlements.

And, I have never been comfortable with their advocacy for both the Republican Part D program as well as the Democratic health care bill when a big share of their revenue comes from health insurance commissions.
Continue reading “Karl Rove’s Criticism of AARP Was an Uninformed Cheap Shot”