Letter: Medicare Advantage makes health care easy: Congress should continue to fund it

March 6, 2024

Originally published in Penn Live

We’ve been married for 36 years, and you’d think we could say with certainty, we’ve seen it all. But as we continue growing older, the unpredictability of our health means that our well-being has to be a priority — whether we are ready to accept that or not.

As we reflect on all the adventures and the challenges we’ve faced, we’re frequently confronted with the inevitable truths of aging. And now that we are both retired and navigating our future on fixed incomes, our story underscores the critical role Medicare Advantage has played in our lives.

For Ken, he’s faced some unexpected health challenges in recent years, including a cancer diagnosis. This was scary and could have easily overwhelmed us, both emotionally and financially. But thanks to Medicare Advantage (MA) that was not the case.

The value of Ken having MA coverage became evident early on as we began to navigate his diagnosis and what it meant. We witnessed firsthand the complexity and cost of care. We would not have been able to afford the level of care Ken received if we did not have access to Medicare Advantage and its emphasis on care coordination and individualized treatment. Medicare Advantage ensures the best care, service, and treatment possible without the added financial stress on our wallets.

Before retiring, Ken also underwent knee surgery. The healing process threatened his hobbies such as gardening and exercising. Once retired, he still needed to have physical therapy and follow-up care to maintain his quality of life. The MA benefit has not only aided his recovery but has allowed him to continue doing what he loves. For Clarice, she has peace of mind knowing Ken has the coverage he needs.

For us, Medicare Advantage is more than just health insurance. With this plan, we know that our health and financial well-being are protected. The comprehensive coverage, from preventive care (i.e. Silver Sneakers) and prescription drugs to specialized treatment and recovery programs, has enabled us to focus on enjoying our lives together, rather than worrying about the next health care bill.

This is why we urge our leaders in Washington D.C. to work with their colleagues to ensure Medicare Advantage has full funding. This program provides health care coverage to more than 1.3 million seniors and individuals with disabilities in Pennsylvania and more than 33 million nationwide — it is a vital program for so many.

As we look forward to more years together, filled with gardening, family gatherings, volunteering in our community, and quiet evenings, we are grateful for the role Medicare Advantage has played in our lives. It’s a reminder of the importance of accessible, affordable, and comprehensive health care for all seniors. We stand in support of its full funding, not just for our sake, but for the well-being of countless others who rely on it for a secure, healthy and fulfilling retirement.

Ken Cox, is a Medicare Advantage enrollee. He and Clarice Cox live in Susquehanna Township, Pa.