Five members of the Coalition for Medicare Choices (CMC) recently met virtually with Representative Chris Pappas (D-NH-01) to discuss the extensive benefits and services they can access through Medicare Advantage.
Coalition member Scott began the meeting by discussing the high satisfaction rate for Medicare Advantage and how rare it is for a program to receive such wide support. He went on to say that Medicare Advantage is an essential part of helping seniors feel independent. At the senior community where he works, Medicare Advantage provides coverage to people who would otherwise need to go on state assistance. He closed by saying, “the medications, care, prescription drugs, and equipment many of these folks require are costly and Medicare Advantage has been there for them.”
Lisabritt highlighted that many of the individuals and families she works with rely on Medicare Advantage for their coverage. She pointed out the efficiencies and cost-saving nature of Medicare Advantage, calling it the best of both worlds when it comes to private insurance and federal health care programs. She told Representative Pappas, “this is a real program that is making a real difference in so many lives.”
Roger, another Coalition member, echoed the others and added that he is a former insurance commissioner. He said that Medicare Advantage stands out because it offers many options to seniors and people with disabilities to select the health care plan that is right for them. He also shared, “I’m happy to see that monthly premiums for Medicare Advantage plans have dropped in recent years, a trend we all want to see continue.”
Katherine, who is a State Representative, has relied on Medicare Advantage for years due to her disability. After being diagnosed with Stage 3 uterine cancer, she said she would “frankly be homeless if it wasn’t for her Medicare Advantage coverage.” Living on a fixed income, the capped out-of-pocket costs of Medicare Advantage make a big difference. Now she doesn’t worry about financial hardship while fighting her life-threatening illness. She added that she hears “all too often” from constituents who have to choose between health care expenses and paying rent. Because of Medicare Advantage, she doesn’t have that worry.
Joan, another State Representative, retired two years ago and told the group that Medicare Advantage has been a huge relief when dealing with unexpected ailments. When she had cataract surgery, the initial bill was over $10,000, but she only had to pay less than $200. Joan said, “as a result of the surgery, I need new eyeglasses and a new prescription and that will also be covered by Medicare Advantage, which was a wonderful thing to find out.”
Representative Pappas thanked everyone for meeting with him and sharing their stories, adding “These personal stories really do make a difference when I am talking to my colleagues and leadership about important issues like [Medicare Advantage].”
The CMC is grateful to Representative Pappas for meeting with our Coalition members.