(April 4, 2017 – San Juan, Puerto Rico) Governor Ricardo Rosselló announced yesterday afternoon that Puerto Rico will experience a 7% increase in Medicare Advantage (MA) funding, which mitigates previous cuts of more than 20% on the base rates of funding resulting from the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) formula that began in 2012.
The announcement came after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released on Monday afternoon the final 2018 rates and regulations for the MA and Part D programs.
The regulation of these programs is very complex and it will take several days for the technical experts to make a comprehensive assessment of the changes and impacts to Puerto Rico. Nonetheless, the initial assessment of the change from one year to the next is in the positive for the first time since 2011.
“I appreciate the collaboration and support of the Trump administration and of the US Secretary of Health, Tom Price, recognizing the need to mitigate the previous administration’s cuts. Our team continues working arduously in Washington to obtain equal treatment in the assignment of funds destined to healthcare for American citizens who reside in Puerto Rico,” declared the Governor.
Carlos Mercader, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA,) explained that the Administrator of CMS, Seema Verma, emphasized during a teleconference with his office that, the recent meeting between Governor Rosselló and Secretary Price brought great understanding and made clear the importance of making adjustments in the funding commitments for Puerto Rico between 2017 and 2018.
These programs serve more than 580,000 American citizens residing in Puerto Rico. Mercader added that the adjustments could represent more than $300 million in 2018 for Puerto Rico.
“Although it is an important step in the route to a permanent and equitable solution, we still have a lot of work to do. We are grateful to Seema Verma for her collaboration and assistance, and will continue to support her in achieving solutions for Puerto Rico, ¨ explained the executive director of PRFAA.
In addition to the MA adjustment, the calculation of physician rates to the Traditional Medicare Rate of 2018 were increased as well. This adjustment represents a 4.4% in 2017 and for 2018 and represents a similar positive impact, estimated to total $100 million dollars for Puerto Rico in 2018.
Puerto Rico Secretary of State, Luis G. Rivera Marín, who leads the Governor’s Task Force for Healthcare Parity, emphasized the value and impact of the public-private and bi-partisan effort that was directed at this issue, declaring that “this type of joint effort will be crucial to continue pushing towards a permanent solution. With the critical assistance of Senator Marco Rubio, Representatives Carlos Curbelo and Sean Duffy, and Puerto Rico’s own Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez who led a group of 16 members of Congress, the needs and voices of Puerto Rico were heard. We are grateful for everyone’s assistance on this important step in restoring this critical funding to Puerto Rico.”
For more information, contact: