On Friday, March 31, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its Announcement of Calendar Year 2024 Medicare Advantage (MA) Capitation Rates and Part C and Part D Payment Policies (collectively, the “Rate Announcement”), which finalizes policies to stabilize and strengthen the Medicare Advantage and Part D programs. USofCare is encouraged by language in this year’s Rate Announcement that prioritizes affordability and access, topics which have been identified in our listening work as people’s top concerns with the health care system today.
Last month, USofCare submitted comments to the Advance Notice in support of reducing out-of-pocket costs and improving prescription drug affordability for people. We applaud the Rate Announcement’s focus on lowering out-of-pocket costs for people enrolled in Medicare, such as prohibiting prescription drug cost-sharing for people with catastrophic coverage and requiring all Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)-recommended vaccines to be covered for free. We are also pleased to see Medicare join an increasing number of states and drug manufacturers capping the cost of insulin at $35 per month.
Moving forward, we will continue to press the Administration to maintain its focus on improving affordability and addressing health equity wherever possible. Black people with Medicare coverage are twice as likely to report problems with health care costs compared with their white counterparts, and while the Rate Announcement takes multiple steps toward addressing the high cost of health care for communities of color, further action is needed to address their complex needs. We look forward to working with the Administration during the implementation of the Rate Announcement and will continue to seek out additional ways to promote affordable, equitable access to health care, such as through the upcoming rollout of the Inflation Reduction Act’s Drug Negotiation Program.
About United States of Care
United States of Care is a nonpartisan organization committed to ensuring that everyone has access to quality, affordable health care, regardless of health status, social need, or income.