Coalition Members Meet with the Office of Senator Tester

Four members of the Coalition for Medicare Choices (CMC) recently met with the office of Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) to discuss the valuable role Medicare Advantage plays in bringing quality health care to seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Coalition member Karen is a retired nurse and her daughter’s full-time caregiver. She said she relies on Medicare Advantage to help keep health care simple, because she is managing health care for two people. Karen said she enjoys the program’s focus on preventive care and that she doesn’t have to worry about affording high-quality coverage.

“Medicare Advantage gives me peace of mind to know my annual visits and preventive screenings are covered,” Karen said. “I am fortunate to not have a lot of health care needs right now, but I am glad to have a plan that makes it simple.”

Susan recently retired from her position as Vice President of a disability-services organization. Many of the people she worked with depend on Medicare Advantage for their coverage, she said, noting that access to services is important to people with disabilities.

“Health is not just medical appointments,” Susan said. “Vision and dental and wellness programs are all important, and it helps to keep it streamlined.”

Coalition advocate Patti teaches SilverSneakers water aerobics classes through Medicare Advantage.

“Medicare Advantage fitness classes are so vital to keeping people healthy. I am sure there are cost savings when we focus on maintaining wellness and preventing disease, because exercise is a powerful tool for that,” Patti said, adding that “Medicare Advantage’s health benefits go beyond physical wellness and include mental health and developing a sense of community for seniors.”

Senator Tester’s staff noted that the Senator had attended a SilverSneakers class a few years ago and loved meeting the participants.

Anna, another Coalition member, shared that she suffers from multiple health issues.

“Until I got on Medicare Advantage and could use SilverSneakers, I was just sitting at home feeling terrible. Going to exercise class is so important for me. It makes me feel better physically and mentally,” Anna said.  She went on to explain that Medicare Advantage is critical to her for managing her health conditions.

“With my medical bills there is no way I could afford a gym membership, so SilverSneakers has been a Godsend for me,” she said. “Without coverage, my medical bills would be sky-high. I am grateful for the coverage I get with Medicare Advantage just as much as I am grateful for SilverSneakers. I think it saved my life.”

Senator Tester’s staff member said, “The Senator knows how important having choices for coverage is for Montanans. That is why he has been a supporter of Medicare Advantage. I know the Senator will be happy to hear the feedback from this group. Hearing how Medicare Advantage is helping Montanans demonstrates why he supports the program and works to ensure access to choices.”

The CMC is grateful to the office of Senator Tester for meeting with our Coalition members and for his continued support of Medicare Advantage.