Government hikes Medicare Advantage pay estimate

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The government has raised its payment estimate for Medicare Advantage plans, months ahead of a busy election season during which cuts to the program promise to be a key focus for politicians and voters.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Monday that 2015 payments to the plans should increase less than 1 percent overall. That compares with a drop of nearly 2 percent that the government forecast in February.

Analysts expect actual funding to fall, when many other variables are considered. But the drop shouldn’t be as steep as they initially forecast.

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