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U.S. Sets 2010 Medicare Advantage, Part D Drug Rates

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The national average growth percentage per capita for Medicare Advantage plans will increase 0.8 percent in 2010, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid said Monday.

That's higher than the 0.5 percent increase in preliminary rates announced by the CMS in February, but much lower than the 4.24 percent and 5.71 percent increases this year and in 2008, the Associated Press reported.

The main reason for the large difference is a proposed 21 percent pay cut in physician reimbursement for 2010.

Despite the 0.5 percent increase in the rate used to determine Medicare Advantage reimbursement to insurers, many analysts expect overall payment rates to decline in 2010, the AP reported.

The CMS also announced that next year there will be an average 4.66 percent increase in average per capita Part D Prescription Drug Plan spending that's used to update the deductible, initial coverage limit, and out-of-pocket threshold for defined standard benefits.

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