Letter: Medicare Advantage improves costs, quality of life

March 1, 2024

Originally published in the Las Vegas Sun

Working at Oakmont of the Lakes, a vibrant assisted-living and memory care community in Las Vegas, I’m deeply invested in the health and happiness of our residents as well as seniors across Nevada. With a pivotal election coming later this year, it’s crucial to spotlight one of the issues that matters most to our residents: access to affordable health care. As seniors enter their long-awaited retirement, it’s important to provide them with the quality health care they deserve, and this is where Medicare Advantage steps in to support one of the most vulnerable groups in the country.

Medicare Advantage isn’t just another policy — it’s a lifeline that provides tailored, comprehensive and affordable health care to those who depend on it. Here at Oakmont of the Lakes, the majority of our residents are enrolled in Medicare Advantage and count on the program as an essential health resource. That’s why we urge our elected officials to support Medicare Advantage ahead of this upcoming election. Coverage through the program not only meets the needs of Nevada seniors but also presents an opportunity to enhance health care outcomes while keeping costs affordable.

Another reason we strongly support Medicare Advantage is its ability to provide seniors with a more personalized and integrated health care experience through coordinated care. This approach fosters better communication among providers, leading to more effective and efficient care.

Just like seniors benefit from a collective care team at Oakmont of the Lakes, they can benefit from a team of medical professionals working together to manage their health — rather than juggling it all themselves — resulting in fewer hospital trips, lower health care costs and, ultimately, a higher quality of life.

As our state grapples with the complex and increasingly costly issue of senior health care, elected officials in Nevada must take a closer look at the positive impact of supporting Medicare Advantage. Its comprehensive plans include many essential benefits like combined dental, vision and hearing coverage, which add to the program’s emphasis on preventive, long-term care. These offerings can significantly improve the overall health and quality of life for seniors.

Another compelling reason to back Medicare Advantage is its potential to reduce health care costs. Fortunately, Medicare Advantage plans are priced with seniors in mind, especially since many live on a fixed income in retirement. Additionally, Medicare Advantage plans often negotiate lower prices with health care providers, saving seniors’ hard-earned money. By focusing on cost-effective, high-quality care, we can ensure that seniors receive necessary medical attention at a reasonable price.

While aging isn’t something our seniors can control, Medicare Advantage gives them the ability to select the health care option that best suits their needs. By offering seniors this choice, we empower them to make informed decisions about their health care, ensuring their individual needs and preferences are considered.

With health care costs on the rise, supporting Medicare Advantage is a smart and compassionate choice for Nevada’s elected officials. This program offers seniors the care they need while promoting better health outcomes, lower costs, and enhancing their overall quality of life.

Elected officials can make a significant difference in the lives of seniors across Nevada to ensure that they receive the health care they deserve.

Nevadans are fortunate that both Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen recognize the importance of Medicare Advantage and advocate for seniors out in Washington. I hope their dedication to the program inspires other lawmakers to follow suit.

Kayla Galford is the marketing director at Oakmont of the Lakes, an assisted-living and memory care community in Las Vegas.