2011 CMS memo helped Medicare Advantage stocks soar

Insurers that offer Medicare Advantage (MA) plans reaped big rewards in February 2011 after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a memo saying it was rethinking a move to ratchet up audits, reported NPR Shots. Stocks soared after CMS issued the memo, which was sent to MA plans but wasn't made available to the public. While CMS officials stated the memo was routine, it appears to have violated CMS regulations that mandate officials wait until markets close to release information that could impact stocks. On Feb. 3, 2011, after CMS sent the memo, shares in three major MA insurers "shot up" as a result. UnitedHealth Group, the nation's second-largest MA insurer, rose 4 percent. Article