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Private Medicare Insurers Blasted by Warren for Driving Up Costs

  • Scrutiny comes as Medicare weighs high-stakes payment changes
  • Lawmakers call for end to incentives that promote overcharging
Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren

Photographer: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg
Updated on

Big insurers who manage private Medicare plans are driving up seniors’ health costs, US Senator Elizabeth Warren said, urging the Biden administration to finalize new rules that would rein in how much the program pays companies.

Insurance companies that operate private Medicare Advantage plans routinely make patients appear sicker to get bigger payments, Warren said in a letter this week to top US health officials. Unlike traditional Medicare, which pays caregivers for each medical service they provide, Advantage plans get paid lump monthly sums based on how sick their patients are.