Coalition Members Virtually Meet with the Office of Senator Tina Smith

Three members of the Coalition for Medicare Choices (CMC) recently met virtually with the office of U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) to share how their Medicare Advantage coverage provides them with access to affordable, high-quality health care.

Coalition member Janell shared that up until this year, she and her husband have both been perfectly healthy. However, over the past few months, Janell has required a pacemaker and her husband was diagnosed with epilepsy. During this stressful time, they have relied on Medicare Advantage for affordable, reliable health care coverage. Janell said that “between Bob and me, we had three surgeries last year. Between these surgeries and multiple hospital visits for MRIs and CT scans, it came to about $150,000, and we paid just $2,000.” She said it was a huge relief to have their bills covered and she is glad to be on a Medicare Advantage plan.

Roxanne, another Coalition member, explained that she has seen Medicare Advantage address social determinants of health for seniors and people with disabilities. She said, “social determinants of health are those commonsense components that we encounter throughout our lifetime — nutrition, education, transportation, and social connectedness. Medicare Advantage is one way people can find those components and access the service that’s really important to them.” She noted how important it is that organizations like the one she works for, Lutheran Social Services, continue to educate seniors on the advantages and benefits of Medicare Advantage so they can understand how valuable the program is.

Coalition member Linda praised the Silver Sneakers program, saying “it’s the one thing that we heard loud and clear from all of our seniors that is needed for those on fixed incomes to be able to supplement their activities, by being able to go out and swim and engage in physical health classes.” She explained that keeping seniors active and connected is important to a healthy life and she is grateful Medicare Advantage offers so many programs to help.

Senator Smith’s staff thanked the participants for sharing their experiences. She said “the Senator is supportive of the Medicare Advantage program and has not pushed for or signed on to any efforts that would cut Medicare Advantage. I just wanted to let you know of her support, and I know there is a lot flying around in the reconciliation package… but I can note that she is supportive of the Medicare Advantage program and would not want to sign on to cuts for it.”

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