The Kaiser Family Foundation has reported that the federal government is poised to pay Medicare Advantage plans at least $12.8 billion in quality bonus payments this year, an increase of 30% over 2022. Annual bonus payments to Medicare Advantage plans have increased every year since 2015.
According to the report, UnitedHealthcare will receive $3.9 billion, the highest bonus payment. Humana will receive $2.3 billion, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans will receive $1.78 billion and CVS Health (Aetna) will receive $1.3 billion. The Medicare Advantage payers will receive these payments, padding their bottom lines, at the same time they are denying payments to providers for medical services provided to their Medicare Advantage members.
United and Humana are the largest Medicare Advantage plans, with 29% and 18% of the market respectively. Currently, more than half of eligible Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, with Medicare Advantage enrollment expected to continue to grow over the next decade.
The Kaiser Family Foundation report is linked here.