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Today, I received more disturbing news on Medicare from: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Weekly Medicare Consumer Advocacy Update
Turn Off the Spigot
December 4, 2008 . Volume 8, Issue 48
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has now issued three successive sets of regulations on the commissions that Medicare private health plans pay their agents.
The result: Major insurance companies will be paying $500 or more for each new Medicare Advantage enrollee in 2009, followed by five years of renewal commissions worth at least $250 per year.
That means about half the average annual overpayment a Medicare Advantage plan receives per enrollee-the amount taxpayers pay in excess of what it would cost to provide care under Original Medicare-will be paid out to agents for each enrollment they secure. In 2008, the excess payment per enrollee is estimated at $986. In the past two years, it has topped $1000.
To recap: Taxpayers are paying more in subsidies to insurance companies-$8.5 billion in 2008-so that insurance companies can pay agents commissions to enroll more people with Medicare in private plans that cost taxpaers more money.
Of course not! Your friends, children, and immediate relatives as well as some of us, and all taxpayers are burdened with these costs over traditional Medicare.
Asclepios goes on to say that "Congress needs to elimate the excessive subsidies paid to Medicare Advantage plans."
I urge all members of this group to subscribe to this e-mail weekly update to remain informed and to demand a change, reform, and/or return to traditional Medicare over the partial privatization of Medicare by MMA2003.
I guess i shouldn't be surprised at the agent's payment. It fits with the subsidization by Medicare of the HMO replacement. It's apparently somebody's idea of "reducing medicare costs". If a private co. did such blatant things to push business their way it would be illegal or at least unethical.