On Saturday, February 2, 2019, Humana Inc.’s office building in Louisville, Kentucky was seen with signs announcing that the company would be releasing earnings data on February 6. However, shares of the company fell by more than 10%, adding to the pressure already felt by insurers due to high medical costs and challenges stemming from a recent cyberattack on UnitedHealth Group’s tech unit.

Insurers are particularly concerned about Medicare Advantage, which has historically been a source of growth and profit for the industry. The earnings announcement from Humana puts additional strain on these plans, as they face increased competition from traditional Medicare and other private insurance companies.

Late Monday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that government payments to Medicare Advantage plans are expected to rise by 3.7% from the previous year. However, if certain assumptions are taken into account, this means a final rate drop of 0.16%. Despite typically increasing the rate from the original proposal, CMS has kept the final rate at the same level as their initial proposal.

The rate set by CMS dictates how much insurers can charge for monthly premiums and plan benefits offered to consumers, ultimately affecting their profitability. Medicare Advantage is a private health insurance plan contracted by Medicare, with over half of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in such plans because of lower premiums and additional benefits not covered by traditional Medicare according to health policy research firm KFF.

By Samantha Johnson

As a dedicated content writer at newspuk.com, I immerse myself in the art of storytelling through words. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for crafting engaging narratives, I strive to captivate our audience with each piece I create. Whether I'm covering breaking news, delving into feature articles, or exploring thought-provoking editorials, my goal remains constant: to inform, entertain, and inspire through the power of writing. Join me on this journalistic journey as we navigate through the ever-evolving media landscape together.

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