Medicare Advantage plans, or Medicare Part C, are Medicare-approved private health plans dedicated to providing comprehensive medical coverage to seniors over 65 or to individuals facing severe disabilities. These plans include a variety of benefits.
Nearly 20 million seniors and individuals with disabilities have chosen to enroll in a <a href=”http://www.ahip.org/issues/medicare-advantage” target=”_blank”>Medicare Advantage plan</a>.
Right now Congress is reviewing rates for the plan which will be finalized in April.
One group dedicated to protecting Medicare Advantage is the Coalition for Medicare Choices. They actively communicate with members of Congress about issues that affect coverage.
Kristine Grow is a Medicare Advantage Specialist at the Coalition for Medicare Choices. She said Utah Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee have been very supportive of the Medicare Advantage program.
“Medicare Advantage delivers very well for seniors because it allows them to save more money as well as stay healthier, in a lot of different ways,” said Grow.
“Medicare Advantage can teach a lot of different healthcare markets about how to take care of people and get more value for every dollar spent on coverage.”
She said there have been years when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services have considered taking dollars out of Medicare Advantage.
“They’re trying to use dollars in the best way possible. But we have found when you start to diminish the amount of investment you make, what happens is the benefits become less attractive, a lot of the programs people like get cut or they start to have to pay more for it.”
History shows even in years when this agency has proposed cuts, the voice of the seniors has been heard by lawmakers and the administration. Seniors say they don’t want it touched, and officials have made adjustments before they settled on final rates.
“We still have some other representatives that we would love to get signed on to some of our letters and some of our voices of support. Rep. Bishop is one that we’ve had a lot of our seniors talking to and asking him to support the Medicare Advantage Program. He did sign our letter this year, we appreciate his support.
Answers to questions are found at <a href=”http://medicarechoices.org” target=”_blank”>medicarechoices.org</a>.