WASHINGTON, D.C. – (January 31, 2024) – A group of 16 U.S. House members—led by Reps. Darren Soto (FL-09), Steven Horsford (NV-04), and Ami Bera (CA-06)—sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) calling for the agency to strengthen Medicare Advantage (MA) given the program’s role as a lifeline for an increasingly diverse Medicare population. In addition, MA has provided a core foundation for addressing health disparities across more than 32 million seniors and people with disabilities.
In the letter, the Representatives note that Medicare Advantage has “proven instrumental to dismantling barriers to consistent high-quality care,” and that, “removing these barriers has been vital for diverse populations, as approximately 54% of Medicare beneficiaries from African American, Latino, and Asian Pacific Islander communities choose MA.”
Last week, a bipartisan majority of Senators also urged CMS to protect and strengthen MA as a critical coverage option given the program’s role in helping to close gaps in care across beneficiaries.
“Medicare Advantage is closing gaps in care for communities across the nation and is a particularly important coverage option for seniors living on low and fixed incomes,” said Mike Tuffin, AHIP President and CEO. “Millions of seniors who depend on the program for their health and financial protection are grateful for the leadership from these House members in protecting their care.”
Highlights from the House letter are included below:
A Vital Lifeline for Seniors:
“Studies highlight the positive impact of MA, with enrollees experiencing better outcomes, especially those managing chronic conditions in diverse and lower-income populations. The program’s supplemental benefits, care coordination, and focus on detecting and treating preventable diseases at earlier stages have contributed significantly to improved health outcomes. With over 32 million current enrollees and projected growth; the MA program is a lifeline for many, offering specialized supplemental benefits like wellness programs, financial protections, and improved health outcomes, crucial in managing chronic conditions.”
Protection from High Out-of-Pocket Costs:
“Moreover, MA has exhibited high beneficiary satisfaction, offering affordable coverage with reported annual savings of over $2,400 on out-of-pocket costs and premiums compared to traditional Medicare.”
A Trusted Coverage Option:
“As our communities navigate complex healthcare decisions, it is paramount to protect the MA program from any instability that could reduce benefits or increase cost-sharing for millions of beneficiaries already enrolled. Therefore, we request your full and fair consideration of the significant consequences of potential instability to the MA program. Preserving the choice, affordability, and quality improvements that MA offers is essential to our dedication to advancing health equity and ensuring that every American senior receives the deserving care.”
Please click here to view and download the letter.
Please click here to view and download the bipartisan Senate letter.
AHIP is the national association whose members provide health care coverage, services, and solutions to hundreds of millions of Americans every day. We are committed to market-based solutions and public-private partnerships that make health care better and coverage more affordable and accessible for everyone. Visit www.ahip.org to learn how working together, we are Guiding Greater Health.