Medicare Advantage Plan Lawsuit

| May 28, 2014 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post

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The Center for Public Integrity has sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, seeking a wide range of records concerning oversight of Medicare Advantage health insurance plans for senior citizens.

The suit, filed today in U.S. District Court in Washington under the Freedom of Information Act, argues that officials have yet to release any documents sought by the Center for more than a year. Federal law generally requires a response within 20 working days.

“The information about Medicare Advantage that we are asking for should be readily available to the taxpaying public. There’s no excuse for  ignoring our request,” said Bill Buzenberg, the Center’s Executive Director.

Medicare Advantage, a privately-run alternative to standard Medicare, has enrolled nearly 16 million elderly and disabled persons at an annual cost expected to top $150 billion. The plans have been popular with seniors because they often provide extra benefits, such as eyeglasses and dental care, and can cost patients less than standard Medicare.

But the industry also has been a frequent target of government auditors and other critics who argue that federal officials overpay the plans by billions of dollars every year.

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