Coalition Members Meet with Office of Representative-elect Salinas

January 5, 2023

Six members of the Coalition for Medicare Choices (CMC) met virtually with the office of Representative-elect Andrea Salinas (D-OR-6) to discuss how Medicare Advantage provides comprehensive, high-quality, affordable health care to seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Former state Rep. Margaret Doherty began the conversation by sharing that she joined Medicare Advantage after recently turning 65. She emphasized that a lot of the services seniors use like vision and dental coverage are not covered by original Medicare. State Rep. Doherty also shared the story of her friend who had two heart procedures at the Mayo Clinic but only had to pay for the airfare and hotel because of Medicare Advantage. She said, “I think it’s absolutely essential for the financial stability of seniors to have the Medicare Advantage program.”

Coalition member Roger shared that he and his wife have been enrolled in Medicare Advantage for 13 years. Roger said he was recently diagnosed with a rare skin condition. Without the high-quality coverage Medicare Advantage provides, he said he would have faced high monthly prescription costs.

Lynn, another Coalition member, discussed the importance of dental and prescription drug coverage for her family. Lynn said that without Medicare Advantage, they would have to use their retirement savings to afford medication.

Coalition member David shared that the gym membership component of his Medicare Advantage is important in keeping him healthy. David also mentioned that his dental coverage allows him to see the dentist he wants with no barriers.

CMC member Candace told her story about being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer seven years ago that required treatment at Boston Mass General. She said that prior to joining Medicare Advantage, she was paying around $3,000 a month for a supplemental insurance plan to get the care she needed. When she decided to make the switch to Medicare Advantage, the customer representative she spoke to helped her understand the how Medicare Advantage would provide all the benefits and care services she needed under one plan, and she is excited to start saving money in 2023 now that she is on Medicare Advantage.

Coalition member Rosie closed the meeting by sharing that two recent emergency room visits only cost her $90 each time. The original cost was more than $5,000. If Rosie had original Medicare, which has no cap on out-of-pocket costs, she said she would have owed 20% of the bills.

Representative-elect Salinas’ staff thanked the seniors for sharing their stories. She remarked on Representative-elect Salinas’ experience in health care and asked how the Representative can be helpful to Coalition members while in office.

The CMC is thankful to the office of Representative-elect Salinas for meeting with our Coalition members.