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Impact Of Medicare Advantage Cuts On Seniors Sharply Disputed

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Enrollees in HealthNow New York, a Medicare HMO in upstate Erie County, saw their premiums jump from zero to $28 a month. Those in UnitedHealthcare's plan in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, pay $15 more to see a specialist this year, bringing their total co-pay to $45. The health insurance industry points to these examples as some of the more extreme cases of beneficiaries feeling the sting of federal funding cuts to Medicare Advantage plans that cover nearly 16 million senior citizens. They say the Obama administration's additional proposed 1.9 percent in cuts to the plans for 2015, which was announced Friday, will mean millions more will see reductions in benefits and higher out-of-pocket costs.  But health policy experts and advocates for seniors say most Medicare health plans have largely kept costs and benefits stable and believe the industry is scaring seniors unnecessarily. Read More »