Lawmakers urge CMS to increase Puerto Rico’s Medicare Advantage rates
Several congressional lawmakers asked the Trump administration to address a long-time disparity in Medicare reimbursement rates for Puerto Rico that has affected residents’ access to care.
Nearly 20% of the island’s population, or 580,000 people, are on Medicare Advantage plans. Lawmakers hope the CMS will boost Puerto Rico’s Advantage rates for 2019 this spring. Puerto Rico’s Medicare Advantage reimbursement rate is 43% below the national average and 26% below that of its neighbor, the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to a letter from Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón, Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.) and 23 other lawmakers to HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
In February, the CMS released a proposed pay notice that would increase the overall baseline Medicare Advantage rates by 1.84%.
“Unfortunately, the recently issued draft notice does not come close to addressing this long-standing disparity— it leaves payment rates at over 40% less than mainland rates,” the letter said.