MEDICARE HMOs: HCFA Extends Proposal Deadline
HCFA announced yesterday that the deadline for Medicare HMOs to submit their "proposed packages of benefits and premiums for next year" has been extended to July 1 from May 1. Health plans had "complained vociferously" that the deadline "didn't give them enough time to analyze trends and estimate costs." Robert Berenson, director of HCFA's Center for Health Plans and Providers, said the new deadline would give plans "valuable additional time to collect more complete data to project costs and evaluate other meaningful market conditions before making strategic decisions on changes in premiums, benefits and service areas." American Association of Health Plans President Karen Ignagni said, "It's good for beneficiaries and good for the health plans" (Wall Street Journal, 4/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.