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U.S. to raise Medicare payments to insurers 0.45 percent in 2018

(Corrects lead to Advantage from Avantage)

NEW YORK, April 3 (Reuters) - The U.S. government on Monday said it would increase payments to health insurers who offer Medicare Advantage insurance by 0.45 percent on average, a slightly better outcome for insurers than initially proposed in February.

Medicare Advantage plans, in which private insurers manage health benefits for people aged 65 or older and the disabled, are the fastest growing form of government healthcare, with enrollment of 18 million people last year.

On Feb. 1, the government proposed an increase of 0.25 percent. Monday's is a final rate. (Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing byn Steve Orlofsky)