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Federal officials significantly reduced the quality scores of next year’s Medicare Advantage plans, a move that was widely expected but will still affect millions of older adults and people with disabilities who have migrated to the growing program.

The lower scores also will drain billions of dollars in bonuses that flow to health insurers that get high marks.


CVS Health, through its Aetna Medicare plans, took one of the biggest hits. The government downgraded the company’s primary Medicare Advantage contract that covers 1.9 million retirees, or 59% of its membership. CVS’ Aetna, the third-largest Medicare Advantage plan by enrollment, did not disclose how much money it would lose from the lower ratings.

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