Four members of the Coalition for Medicare Choices (CMC) recently participated in a virtual meeting with the office of Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) where they discussed how Medicare Advantage provides better services, better access to care, and better value.
Coalition member Karen has been on Medicare Advantage for several years. She enrolled in the program after working as a nurse for many years and seeing how much happier her patients with Medicare Advantage were, she said. As a full-time caregiver to her daughter, Medicare Advantage helps Karen balance her own care needs with those of her daughter. She added that some of her favorite benefits include the integrated dental, vision, and hearing benefits, as well as the SilverSneakers fitness classes.
Susan, another Coalition member, recently retired from her position at an organization that cares for disabled individuals. She said she appreciates that Medicare Advantage goes beyond managing doctor appointments, saying, “MA’s vision and dental and wellness programs are all important and it helps to keep it streamlined.” The care coordination aspect is helpful for patients who juggle multiple conditions, she said.
Senator Daines’ staff member noted her appreciation that Medicare Advantage covers more than just medical benefits.
Patti, another Coalition member, is a water aerobics instructor with the Medicare Advantage SilverSneakers program. She said the program provides a social aspect that helps seniors combat loneliness. Patti noted that seniors in her classes say SilverSneakers is their favorite Medicare Advantage benefit.
Coalition member Anna, who had joined Patti’s SilverSneakers class that morning, told the group that she suffers from several health conditions that require her to make many appointments. Medicare Advantage helps her coordinate these appointments, she said, and it covers their costs. She said SilverSneakers has been a gift to her health, adding that she wouldn’t be able to afford a gym membership otherwise. “Until I got on MA and could use SilverSneakers I was just sitting at home feeling terrible,” Anna said.
Senator Daines’ staff member thanked the group for sharing their experiences. She said, “The stories [I have] heard today are a testament to the importance of MA and Silver Sneakers.” She said she would relay the individuals’ stories and their appreciation for Medicare Advantage to the Senator.
The CMC is grateful to the office of Senator Daines for meeting with our Coalition members and for his continued support of Medicare Advantage.
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