Chamber of Commerce wants Medicare Advantage rates to stay stable

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services not to cut rates for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans that are expected in 2015. In a letter to the agency, the businesses expressed their concerns that the cuts would have a negative impact on beneficiaries. "As employers, our member companies remain stalwart in their commitment to preserving the viability and continuity of trusted, meaningful coverage through MA plan offerings for their retirees," the letter said. "Therefore, we urge you to hold 2015 MA reimbursement rates flat to avoid undermining the healthcare coverage long-trusted and valued by millions of retirees and the employers that offer it." The chamber added that the last round of cuts to Medicare Advantage, which affected this year's rates, increased out-of-pocket costs, reduced benefits and dropped access to some providers. What's more, the group claims the cuts also led to 5 percent of Medicare Advantage insurers withdrawing from the program. Letter (.pdf)