NEW YORK, Feb 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. government on Thursday proposed an increase of 1.84 percent on average in its 2019 payments to the health insurers that manage Medicare Advantage insurance plans for more than 20 million elderly or disabled people.
The government will finalize the rate in April after a public comment period. UnitedHealth Group Inc, Humana Inc, Aetna Inc and Wellcare Health Plans Inc are among the largest players in the Medicare Advantage market in which private insurers are paid a set rate by the government to cover member healthcare costs.
The government payment rates affect how much insurers charge for monthly premiums, plan benefits and ultimately, how much they profit. (Reporting by Caroline Humer, editing by G Crosse)