Letter: Ensuring Quality and Affordable Health Care for Georgia Seniors

March 13, 2024

Originally published in James Magazine Online

My grandmother, Ernestine Harris lived to be 102 young years of age. She was a retired educator, and after serving the state of Georgia with pride for years, she deserved her peace in retirement. Georgians wholeheartedly value hard work, and when we retire, we deserve to have top-notch health care. Therefore, it is imperative that we support programs like Medicare Advantage. It provides quality, affordable coverage to over a million Georgians and has become a lifeline for our seniors across Georgia.

One of the most compelling aspects of Medicare Advantage is its emphasis on preventive care. By promoting regular check-ups, well visits, and screenings, this program helps seniors stay proactive about their health with the goal of reducing serious illnesses and hospitalizations. This preventive approach not only enhances the quality of life for our seniors but also alleviates the strain on our health care system by preventing many medical emergencies.

Medicare Advantage plans include additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage and integrated vision, dental, and hearing care. These benefits provide a comprehensive approach to health, and for seniors living on a fixed income with varying financial circumstances, the low monthly premiums and capped out-of-pocket expenses have proven to be truly invaluable.

Furthermore, Medicare Advantage provides seniors with flexibility and choice when it comes to selecting their health care providers. What I have consistently heard from constituents across my district is that these plans offer broad local provider networks, allowing seniors to choose the right doctors for their unique health needs. Throughout my tenure in the State House, I have fought for greater access, and this flexibility ensures that seniors can access the care they need. Between innovative telehealth options, care coordination, and in-home caregiver support, Medicare Advantage helps seniors overcome social barriers to health and maintain their independence.

With recent news of proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage, we must be vigilant in safeguarding the health and wellness of our seniors, ensuring that they have the resources and support they need to thrive in their golden years. They deserve this and more.

As we navigate the complexities of health care policy, it is imperative that our leaders in Washington work to fully fund programs like Medicare Advantage to ensure it remains a dependable and accessible health care option for our senior population. It is my hope that our seniors can thrive in their golden years, with the necessary healthcare resources to give them comfort and peace.

Inga Willis is a Democratic member of the Georgia House of Representatives, representing District 55.