Today’s Hot Topics in Medicare News

cigna expansion

Cigna plans major expansion of Medicare Advantage business

BY ALIA PAAVOLA: Cigna is planning to expand its Medicare Advantage footprint by 14 percent next year, according to Forbes. 

The insurer plans to enter 37 new counties with individual health maintenance organization plans and 43 new counties with individual preferred provider organization Medicare Advantage plans in 2020.

“We see tremendous growth opportunity in MA, starting in 2020,” Cigna CEO David Cordani told analysts on the company’s second-quarter earnings call, according to Forbes. (read more)

Financial Performance of Medicare Advantage, Individual, and Group Health Insurance Markets

BY GRETCHEN JACOBSON: The Medicare Advantage, individual (also known as non-group), and fully-insured group (employer) health insurance markets are three distinctly different markets. Each of these private insurance markets has unique features that affect the profitability for insurers, and which in turn affect coverage for eligible people. These markets are dominated by many of the same health insurers, with most of the country’s largest health insurers offering plans in all three markets. (read more)

5 things you probably didn’t know about Medicare

BY ALESSANDRA MALITO: Medicare has officially been around for 54 years, but there are still some facts Americans may not know about the health insurance program.

There are now more than 60 million beneficiaries of the program enrolled for Parts A and B, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. By 2030, that figure is expected to rise to 79 million, according to AARP. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law on July 30, 1965, with 19 million entering the program the year after. (read more)

The Difference Between a ‘Public Option’ and ‘Medicare for All’? Let’s Define Our Terms

BY MARGOT SANGER-KATZ: Democrats, the many running for president as well as energized members of Congress, are talking big about health care again. Among other things, that means brace yourself for some jargon.

Here’s your neighborhood health care nerd to help define some terms.

Various proposals are floating around, each of which would change the health care system in distinct ways. Some, like one from Senator Bernie Sanders, would do away with all private health insurance. Some would make small expansions in existing public programs. Some would try to cover all Americans through a mix of different insurance types. (read more)

‘It Is Absurd.’ Data Breaches Show it’s Time to Rethink How We Use Social Security Numbers, Experts Say

BY PATRICK LUCAS AUSTIN: Justin Rice is sick of being on the phone. After having his family’s personal information exposed after the 2017 Equifax breach, Rice had to cancel about $3,000 in fraudulent transactions, and, along with his wife, has spent dozens of hours on the phone disputing claims.

“The hours you have to put in talking to customer representatives is crazy,” says Rice, who has had to deal with over 10 fraud-related incidents in the two years since the breach. He also had to close his oldest line of credit, negatively affecting his credit score. “It just gets old after a while.” (read more)

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