The AHA generally supports the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ proposals to increase flexibility in plan design, cost sharing and enrollment for the Medicare Advantage and prescription drug programs in 2019, but recommends caution to ensure that the added flexibility provides value and does not confuse beneficiaries, the association said in comments submitted today. AHA recommends that CMS increase flexibility in MA uniformity requirements “incrementally upon evidence that such an approach supports the desired outcomes,” and “strongly supports” agency efforts to prevent and take action against any plan discrimination in out-of-pocket and cost sharing limits. The association expressed concern that eliminating the “meaningfully different” standard for organizations that offer multiple MA plans in the same county may confuse beneficiaries regarding plan options, and recommends that CMS explore better tools and resources to improve the beneficiary experience if it moves forward with the proposal. AHA also strongly recommends that beneficiaries receive adequate notice of any change in the enrollment process and can get timely answers to their questions.

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