Coalition Members Meet Virtually with Representative Malinowski

Three members of the Coalition for Medicare Choices (CMC) recently met virtually with Representative Tom Malinowski (D-NJ-07) to discuss how Medicare Advantage provides seniors and those with disabilities high-quality, affordable health care.

Representative Malinowski kicked off the meeting by saying, “I think we’re in full agreement about the importance of Medicare Advantage.” He continued, “I’m 100% with you as far as Medicare Advantage is concerned.”

Coalition member Joan, who is a retired teacher, shared her personal experience with Medicare Advantage. She noted the low out-of-pocket costs and preventative services as being critical parts of her plan. She added that is has been very easy to get in touch with someone when she needs to make changes to her coverage, which she appreciates.

Denise, another Coalition member and representative of the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), told the group that Medicare Advantage is very important to union retirees in New Jersey. Roughly 80-83% of NJEA retirees participate in Medicare Advantage plans, and switching over to the program has saved the state more than $250 million. Denise highlighted that the healthy home visits program is a popular benefit that many retirees use.

Cary, a CMC advocate, explained that he regularly interacts with seniors who are wary of any potential changes to Medicare Advantage that would affect their health care coverage or costs. He asked Representative Malinowski how grassroots supporters can best advocate for Medicare Advantage. Representative Malinowski responded, “the best way to support Medicare Advantage is to continue to have conversations with everyone you know. People form opinions based on headlines and posts that are designed to make them angry. If they hear news directly from friends and neighbors, they are more likely to be receptive.”

Coalition member Clarence, a disabled veteran, was unable to join the meeting, but had asked another participant to offer remarks on his behalf highlighting that for Clarence, the wellness programs, including fitness and nutrition benefits, are very important to him. A few years ago, he was suffering from high blood pressure and high cholesterol. During a meeting, his doctor asked if he wanted to die. Ever since then, he has been using the fitness benefits available to get in better health and has seen his health drastically improve.

Representative Malinowski thanked the group for sharing.

The CMC is grateful to Representative Malinowski for meeting with our Coalition members and for his support of Medicare Advantage.