(Bloomberg) — Health insurers participating in the Medicare Advantage program for elderly Americans, including Humana Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc., face a base payment cut of about 3.55% next year, the U.S. government said.

The payment reductions proposed yesterday are subject to negotiations with the industry and aren’t expected to become final until April 7. Insurers have predicted total cuts to the program, including additional adjustments, will be as much as 7%. A lobbying campaign to minimize the cuts had begun already, including a Feb. 14 letter to the administration from 40 senators urging the government to freeze Advantage rates.

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