Health insurance company shares decline as last Medicare Advantage rates fall short – NBC Chicago

The decision by the Biden administration not to increase payments for private Medicare plans as much as expected has put additional pressure on U.S. health insurers, which are already dealing with high medical costs and uncertainty following a ransomware attack on UnitedHealth Group’s tech unit. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), government payments to Medicare Advantage plans are only expected to rise by 3.7% year over year, which has caused shares of several health insurers to fall.

CVS Health’s stock price fell over 8%, while UnitedHealth Group’s stock slid nearly 7%. Elevance Health and Centene also experienced stock declines of more than 3% and 6% respectively. Humana, which is heavily reliant on private Medicare plans, saw its stock fall by over 10%.

The announcement is particularly impactful for companies that rely on Medicare Advantage plans for growth and profits. The rates set by CMS have significant implications for insurers, impacting monthly premiums, plan benefits, and ultimately, profitability. Medicare Advantage plans are a popular option for over half of Medicare beneficiaries due to their lower monthly premiums and added benefits not available with traditional Medicare plans, according to KFF.

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