Humana CEO: Sending anti-reform letters was important

A couple of months ago, Humana got considerable flack for sending out letters to Medicare beneficiaries suggesting that Democratic health reforms could cut their benefits. It seems the criticism didn't stick, however. This week, Humana CEO Mike McCallister told a health conference audience that he has "no regrets" about sending the letter, a comment which almost guarantees that the plan will do it again.

The letter told Humana's Medicare patients that the Democratic reform bills could harm "millions of seniors and disabled individuals [who] could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare Advantage health plans so valuable." The letter referred to proposals which might lower Medicare Advantage payments to plans like Humana in an effort to fund broader coverage.

McCallister continues to argue that his company should act to let seniors know when their benefits are in question. But that hasn't deterred federal officials, including CMS leaders, who are investigating whether Humana violated federal regulations when it sent out the letters.

To get more background on Humana's position:
- read this Kaiser Health News piece

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