Letter: Access to Medicare Advantage is a boost for Nevada seniors

August 28, 2023

Originally published in the Las Vegas Sun

Nevada’s great weather, world-class entertainment and the extensive nature that fills our state make it a top-tier destination for tourists, but also families and workers. One demographic that is growing fast in our state is seniors, with many folks moving here to spend their retirements by making use of our recreation options, performance venues and relatively low cost of living.

Part of the reason why retirement has been so great here is that seniors have top-notch health care coverage through Medicare Advantage, which allows them to maintain their health and do what they love without worrying about finances.

The Medicare Advantage program is a private-public partnership between insurers and the federal government, offering seniors health care plans that can be tailored to individual needs without hurting their wallets. Most plans have an average premium of just $18, making it a real bargain, especially when considering the litany of additional benefits that Medicare Advantage offers in comparison to original Medicare.

One of the biggest benefits of Medicare Advantage is the care coordination aspect, by which professionals help enrollees find the right specialists, schedule appointments and ensure they get the care they need. Some plans even offer transportation to and from the doctor’s office. These options are extremely helpful in bringing seniors peace of mind, as they don’t have to juggle all this or feel alone in their health care journey.

Beyond this, there is a big focus on flexibility in Medicare Advantage plans. From at-home prescription drug and grocery deliveries to telehealth, there are new options that allow enrolled seniors to receive care and treatment the way they want to. Plus, for those in Nevada outside of the bigger cities, getting the care and medications they need can take a lot of effort, from driving to and from the doctor to navigating the pharmacy — Medicare Advantage takes these right out of the equation.

Programs like Medicare Advantage are rare. Not only in its widespread popularity — over 31 million Americans are enrolled in one of these plans — but also in that it has garnered significant bipartisan support over the years. One of the driving forces of that support is Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., who has routinely demonstrated her commitment to strengthening and preserving the program over the years.

Earlier this year, Rosen joined a bipartisan effort among roughly 60 senators to issue a letter of support for Medicare Advantage as federal officials debated cutting funding for the program, ultimately proving successful as cuts were limited. Efforts like this encapsulate the dedication that Rosen has for her constituents, as well as her understanding of the plight that many seniors have in finding health care.

Medicare Advantage is a program that has proved life-changing for many, and I know it can do the same for other Nevada seniors. With leaders like Rosen leading the way, the program is sure to benefit older folks in Nevada and beyond for years to come.

Tuan Pham is a retired wealth advisor and dedicated community volunteer who lives in Las Vegas.