PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Two recent advertisements have claimed President Biden plans to make huge cuts to private Medicare coverage, but as with many political ads, there is more than meets the eye.
To Verify the ad's claims, we turned to these sources: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the organization that funded the ad, Better Medicare Alliance.
We can tell you that the ad is false; the Biden administration is not proposing cuts to Medicare Advantage plan benefits.
But, the federal government is proposing some changes to how insurance companies that provide Medicare Advantage are paid.
Medicare Advantage is sometimes called Part C and is offered by private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare.
Under the proposed rule change, the federal government would change its process of auditing those insurance companies and would be allowed to recoup overpayments.
According to HHS and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, private insurance companies have taken billions in overpayments from the government, and the changes would cut down on fraud and waste.
The government is also looking to change how the companies get paid based on patient diagnoses. Some insurers might see more money, others might see less.
HHS says it is not a cut to individual benefits. Medicare experts tell our national Verify team the affected insurance companies have enough financial cushion to absorb any loss of revenue without having to pass it on to customers.
The ads running on WNEP are funded by Better Medicare Alliance. Its website says it advocates for Medicare Advantage coverage.
The organization receives some of its funding from UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, and Humana, three companies that provide Medicare Advantage coverage.
Viewers also asked Verify why we would run an ad that may be misleading. The answer to that is the first amendment.
As long as the ad identifies who paid for it and it does not contain any obscene material, the advertiser has the right to pay for ad time on WNEP.
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