New curbs on private Medicare plans - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New curbs on private Medicare plans

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is putting new curbs on private insurance plans that are popular with seniors in Medicare, but have been criticized for marketing abuses and high costs to the government.

Administration officials said the changes include winnowing down the number of versions of a plan that insurers can offer and discouraging insurers from shifting costs to patients with chronic diseases. The changes also include banning a sometimes common practice of charging patients more for brand name drugs.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the information has not been publicly released. A formal announcement was planned later Monday. The new policies reflect an effort by the administration to put its stamp on private plans in Medicare.

Online Executive Producer Nate Leding

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