Right now, Washington is discussing changes to the Medicare Advantage program. If Congress doesn’t act now, nearly 25 million Americans 65+ and people with disabilities covered by Medicare Advantage could see cuts to their program. This is especially critical during the COVID-19 crisis, when millions of Americans 65+ and people with disabilities are relying on the stable health care coverage Medicare Advantage delivers to stay healthy and happy.
Medicare Advantage plans have taken decisive action during COVID-19 to minimize the risk of infection and continue to deliver better value and better benefits for members. One important action taken by Medicare Advantage plans is the expansion of telehealth services, including audio-only telehealth or doctor appointments by telephone and not video. Expanded telehealth options for Americans 65+ and people with disabilities have removed barriers to health and helped millions of at-risk Americans receive necessary care from the safety of their own homes. Audio-only telehealth appointments are especially critical to ensuring that Medicare Advantage members who don’t have access to the technologies required for more advanced telehealth options can still get the care they need.
Americans 65+ and people with disabilities deserve better services, better access to care, and better value. The Coalition for Medicare Choices will continue to advocate for Congress to pass legislation to protect audio-only telehealth and prevent harmful cuts to Medicare Advantage during the COVID-19 crisis.