Possible Cuts to Medicare Advantage Program Pose Threat to Humana

WASHINGTON (AP) - Perhaps no health insurer has more to lose than Humana as Congress considers cutting payments to private companies that run Medicare plans.

Many major insurance companies participate in Medicare Advantage, the privately-run component of the government health plan for seniors. According to Prudential Equity Group, Louisville, Kentucky-based Humana makes nearly half its earnings through the program. By comparison, competitors Aetna ("ET-na") and UnitedHealth make less than 14 percent of their profits through their Medicare Advantage plans.

A House subcommittee meets Wednesday to look at how much the government spends to insure senior citizens in Medicare Advantage compared with those in traditional government-run Medicare.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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