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U.S. proposes hike in Medicare Advantage payments; insurer shares rise

The U.S. government on Friday proposed raising payments by 1.35 percent on average next year to the health insurers who offer Medicare Advantage health benefits to elderly and disabled Americans.

Payments to insurers will vary under the 2017 Medicare Advantage proposal, based on the region the plans are sold and on the size of bonus payments insurers can receive based on quality ratings, the government said.

Shares of health insurers rose in after-hours trade. Analysts said the proposal looked positive for insurers at first glance, but cautioned that they needed to parse it fully.