2010-04-09 / Top Stories

CMS Sets Medicare Payment Rates

The 2011 payment rates and plan requirements for Medicare private health and drug plans (also known as the Call Letter) that were announced on Monday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) begin the implementation of health care reform contained in legislation recently signed by President Obama, according to Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker.

“Changes such as the start of the phase-out of the so-called ‘donut hole’ represent major victories for Medicare consumers and advocates, who have been fighting for these changes since the passage of the Medicare Modernization Act in 2003,” Baker said.

Enrollment periods will also be simplified next year. Starting on January 1, 2011, there will be a new 45-day Annual Disenrollment Period (ADP), when people who are dissatisfied with their Medicare Advantage plan can switch to Original Medicare.

“CMS’s announcement acknowledged that further steps need to be taken to ensure that people with low incomes are in plans that best serve their needs, but fell short of implementing them for the 2011 plan year,” Baker added. “We look forward to working with CMS to ensure that the needs of this vulnerable population are better met.”

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