CMC Seniors Mobilize Ahead of New Administration’s Changes to Medicare Advantage
JANUARY 12, 2017
“I’m hopeful that the new president is going to protect seniors and keep my health care costs down. I’m paying close attention to what happens to my Medicare Advantage coverage,” said CMC member Frank Little of Virginia Beach.
The Coalition for Medicare Choices (CMC), the nation’s largest and most influential organization dedicated to protecting Medicare Advantage (MA), is mobilizing its 2 million members across 30 states to protect MA. This mobilization will be supported by a seven-figure advertising campaign to raise awareness about the value and importance of MA plans.
In February, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will issue a “rate notice,” which announces its planned changes to MA – including program funding. Those changes could affect the nearly 18 million beneficiaries who depend on MA and how much they pay for their coverage.
The rate notice will be one of the first actions on health care under the new Administration. With President-Elect Donald J. Trump’s vocal support for Medicare, seniors are optimistic.
“My Medicare Advantage is so important to my health, and I’m a strong supporter of the program,” said CMC member Shirley Cressman of Lancaster, PA. “The new president has a real opportunity to protect and improve health care for seniors. I’m excited about the possibilities for Medicare Advantage.”
Medicare Advantage Works
The MA program delivers better value for taxpayers and better coverage for more seniors:
- The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) announced average payments to MA plans are now equivalent to traditional Medicare costs. That means that MA and traditional Medicare have the same cost to taxpayers, but because MA plans offer much more than traditional Medicare, such as additional benefits, out-of-pocket spending caps, and prescription drug coverage for no additional premiums, it delivers greater value.
- Physicians and other health care providers in MA provider networks are using innovative and effective techniques for how they serve all Medicare beneficiaries, not just MA enrollees. As a result, more enrollment in MA is leading to a slower rate of growth in traditional Medicare costs, particularly in areas where MA is popular.
- Research continues to show that MA is more efficient and produces better outcomes than traditional Medicare. A new peer-reviewed study found that MA beneficiaries used less health care services yet were less likely to be readmitted to a hospital than enrollees in traditional Medicare.
Seniors Connecting with Congress
Because of the value their MA coverage delivers every day, CMC seniors are mobilizing in 30 states and Washington, D.C., to inform and educate their representatives. Seniors will deliver tens of thousands of letters, phone calls, social media posts, and in-person meetings to demonstrate their support for Medicare Advantage. Last year, this nationwide grassroots action resulted in more than 400 Members of Congress – from both parties – expressing their support.
Founded in 1999, the Coalition for Medicare Choices is a national grassroots organization of more than 2 million Medicare Advantage beneficiaries and supporters from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Visit www.MedicareChoices.org to learn more.