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Americans Agree On Protecting Medicare Advantage For The People It Serves

posted by Alicia Caramenico

on June 2, 2021

Medicare Advantage is a public-private partnership that
results in better care and better value.

More than 26 million seniors and people with disabilities choose MA because it delivers better services, better access to care, and better value. And that’s why a growing number of Americans choose Medicare Advantage year over year.

Medicare Advantage has enjoyed strong bipartisan support that continues today.

As the nation works to come together to end the COVID-19 crisis and get back to moments we miss, MA is a bright spot of bipartisan agreement. Bipartisan bills have been introduced in both the Senate (S.150) and the House (H.R. 2166 ) to allow for audio-only telehealth services to count as a doctor visit under MA.

Medicare Advantage has strong bipartisan support because it is a prime example of the government and free market working together to deliver lower costs, more choices, and better outcomes for the American people. MA plans in 2021, for example, will deliver basic Medicare benefits at 87% of the cost of the traditional Medicare program.

Most recently, 70 lawmakers from both parties representing districts where the majority of eligible seniors choose to enroll in Medicare Advantage came together to support Medicare Advantage, signing a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra to protect and strengthen the program for the tens of millions of seniors who rely on it

The letter was led by Reps. Val Demings (D-FL), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Marc Veasey (D-TX), and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL). In these districts, over 50%, and in some cases, over 60% of seniors chose to enroll in MA. So they know firsthand that Medicare Advantage can be an important driver in improving health equity and remains a crucial lifeline for diverse, low-income populations:

  • Nearly half of all racial/ethnic minorities eligible for Medicare choose Medicare Advantage
  • MA covers more racially diverse populations (32%) than traditional Medicare (21%)
  • 40% of MA enrollees make less than $25,000 per year*
  • About 9 million have income below 200% of the federal poverty level*
  • 56% of Medicare Advantage enrollees are women

Medicare Advantage enrollees—including seniors and the most vulnerable Americans with disabilities—deserve to know they can count on the essential benefits and affordable, high-quality coverage they need to stay healthy.

*Based on AHIP analysis of 2018 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey Public Use File.