KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

CMS Issues MLR Rules For Medicare Plans

Also in the news, Medicare beneficiaries are slated to receive a reduction in out-of-pocket drug costs.

Bloomberg: Medicare Drug Costs To Be Reduced For Seniors, U.S. Says
Elderly and disabled patients enrolled in Medicare will for the first time receive an annual reduction in out-of-pocket costs for drugs, the government announced. The standard deductible for plans in Medicare’s drug program, called Part D, will be $310 in 2014, about 4.6 percent less than this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in a statement today. Copayments also will be reduced for the program that began in 2006 (Wayne, 2/15).

Medpage Today: CMS Issues Rules On Loss Ratios For Medicare Plans
Rules that spell out what Medicare plans must spend on care rather than marketing and overhead will mirror those of commercial plans, the Obama administration said late Friday. Starting in 2014, Medicare Advantage plans and Part D prescription drug plans will have to spend 85 percent of revenue on clinical services, prescription drugs, quality improvements, and other direct patient benefits, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said in a proposed rule that details medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements established by the Affordable Care Act (Pittman, 2/18).

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