This week, we have an update on Medicare Part D Coverage Gap, information on Google’s investment in Medicare Advantage with Oscar Health, and details on the changes made to Medicare Advantage under the Bipartisan Budget Act.  We also have details on BrightFire, offering website development and design discounts to CSG customers.

Closing the Medicare Part D Coverage Gap:  Trends, Recent Changes, and What’s Ahead | Kaiser Family Foundation | August 21, 2018

As of 2019, Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Part D prescription drug plans will no longer be exposed to a coverage gap, sometimes called the “donut hole”, when they fill their brand-name medications. The coverage gap was included in the initial design of the Part D drug benefit in the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 in order to reduce the total 10-year cost of the benefit. Subsequent legislative changes are phasing out the coverage gap by modifying the share of total costs paid in the gap by Part D enrollees and plans and requiring drug manufacturers to provide a discount on the price of brand-name drugs in the gap.

Read the full report on here.

Google Bets $375M on Medicare Advantage with Oscar Health Stake | Forbes | August 14, 2018

News from Oscar Health that Google-parent Alphabet plans to invest $375 million into the health insurer is the latest big bet on the privatization of Medicare.

Oscar said Alphabet plans to invest $375 million into Oscar Health, which will use the money to jump into Medicare Advantage , an increasingly popular form of health insurance seniors are flocking to and policy-makers are easing regulations to expand.

Read the full article on here.

Questions remain about MA supplemental benefits for chronically-ill members | Healthcare Dive | August 22, 2018

  • Changes made to Medicare Advantage under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 will need to balance providing MA plans flexibility to create supplemental benefits while giving adequate oversight over those offerings, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center.
  • The report suggested CMS needs to collect data to gauge the effectiveness of new benefit flexibility, especially because of questions about ROI for non-medical supplemental services.
  • CMS will also need to make sure that plans with supplemental benefits don’t cherry pick members and avoid potential risk, the think tank said.

Read the full article on here.

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