The Impact of Rising Healthcare Costs on Medicare Advantage Insurers and the Future of Care Coordination Services

Ben H.

Hatched by Ben H.

Aug 18, 2023

3 min read


The Impact of Rising Healthcare Costs on Medicare Advantage Insurers and the Future of Care Coordination Services


The Medicare Advantage market has been experiencing a surge in utilization, leading to higher-than-anticipated medical expenses for insurers such as Humana and UnitedHealth. In response, these insurers are planning to make structural changes to their plans, including cutting benefits and increasing premiums. This article explores the challenges faced by Medicare Advantage insurers and the steps they are taking to mitigate the impact of rising healthcare costs. Additionally, we will delve into the collaboration between Humana and Strive Health to provide kidney disease care coordination services in Kentucky and Indiana.

Rising Healthcare Costs and the Response of Medicare Advantage Insurers:

Humana and UnitedHealth, two major players in the Medicare Advantage market, are grappling with higher cost trends that are expected to persist throughout the year. To offset these expenses, Humana plans to dip into its investment income and reserves while also implementing cost-cutting measures. The company has factored these considerations into its Medicare Advantage bids for the next plan year. UnitedHealth, on the other hand, reassured investors that it has adequate reserves to cover medical expenses and has already accounted for these trends in its 2024 Medicare Advantage bids.

Regulatory Changes and the Impact on Supplemental Benefits:

Regulators have tightened the auditing, payment, and quality review processes for private Medicare plans, leading some insurers to consider scaling back on supplemental benefits. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have also made adjustments to the risk-adjustment model. However, both UnitedHealth and Humana are confident that the three-year phase-in period allows them sufficient time to adapt to these changes.

The Future of Care Coordination Services:

In the midst of these challenges, Humana and Strive Health have announced a collaboration to offer kidney disease care coordination services. This partnership aims to provide eligible Humana Medicare Advantage and Commercial members in Kentucky and Indiana with specialized care coordination for kidney disease. By leveraging Strive Health's expertise, Humana seeks to enhance the quality of care and improve outcomes for individuals with kidney disease.

Connecting the Dots:

The rising healthcare costs faced by Medicare Advantage insurers have significant implications for both the insurers themselves and the beneficiaries of these plans. As insurers grapple with the need to cut benefits and increase premiums, it is crucial to find innovative solutions to improve the overall quality of care while managing costs effectively.

One potential avenue for achieving this goal is through collaborations between insurers and specialized healthcare providers, as demonstrated by the partnership between Humana and Strive Health. By offering dedicated care coordination services, insurers can ensure that individuals with complex health conditions receive comprehensive and personalized care. This approach not only improves health outcomes but also helps to mitigate the impact of rising healthcare costs.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Stay Informed: As a Medicare Advantage beneficiary, it is essential to stay updated on any changes or adjustments made to your plan. Regularly review the benefits and premiums to ensure they align with your healthcare needs and budget.
  • 2. Explore Supplemental Benefits: While some insurers may scale back on supplemental benefits, it is still worth exploring what options are available. These benefits can provide additional coverage and support for specific healthcare needs.
  • 3. Advocate for Comprehensive Care: If you have a chronic condition or complex healthcare needs, consider advocating for specialized care coordination services. Engage with your insurer and healthcare providers to ensure that your care is holistic, personalized, and aligned with the best practices for managing your condition.


The Medicare Advantage market is facing significant challenges due to rising healthcare costs. Insurers like Humana and UnitedHealth are adapting by making structural changes to their plans and collaborating with specialized healthcare providers. By prioritizing comprehensive care coordination services, insurers can improve outcomes for individuals with complex health conditions. As a beneficiary, it is crucial to stay informed, explore available benefits, and advocate for comprehensive care to make the most of your Medicare Advantage plan.

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