The health insurance industry will be closely watching on Friday when the CMS is scheduled to release initial guidance on Medicare Advantage rates for 2015. The trade group America's Health Insurance Plans has been waging an aggressive marketing campaign, called “Seniors Are Watching,” in Washington and beyond to stave off rate cuts.
Insurers anticipate unfavorable news. In a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Humana said it expects a cut of 6% to 7% for 2015, up from the 4% to 5% previously anticipated.
But even if the CMS proposes cuts, they won't necessarily go through. Last year, the CMS initially proposed a 2.2% cut. But after heavy lobbying by insurers, the Obama administration—which needs insurance industry support for Obamacare—increased rates by 3.3%.