“There has been talk about changing the calculation in a way that would result in fewer federal dollars being transferred to states,” McDonald wrote in his report. “The states, of course, aren't too thrilled by this idea, as they are already struggling to control Medicaid costs. If it happens, it would presumably pressure the Medicaid managed-care industry, heightening what is already a difficult budget situation in the states,” he continued. “Otherwise, most of the proposed changes have more impact on provider groups, such as initiatives to charge higher co-pays for lab tests and home healthcare.
Meanwhile, the report said analysts are not aware of discussions to directly reduce Medicare Advantage reimbursement—something they said would have been targeted a few years ago. One likely positive in this segment, the research note said, is a proposal to require Medicare Supplement plans from offering first-dollar coverage. “If implemented, this would presumably cause Med Supp premiums to fall, but overall, we'd argue the change would make Med Supp policies more difficult to sell to seniors, potentially increasing the attractiveness of the Medicare Advantage product.”
Another proposal is Medicare means-testing—which the president mentioned as a option in a news conference Friday—but the effect of that would be neutral, according to McDonald's analysis.