Strengthening Medicare Advantage For Current And Future Beneficiaries

posted by Dan Durham

on June 1, 2015

Nearly 22 million seniors depend on Medicare Advantage for patient-centered care that makes a tremendous difference in their health. Medicare Advantage’s care coordination programs offer patients the support they need to effectively manage their chronic conditions. Particularly for low-income beneficiaries, Medicare Advantage is a critical coverage option that promotes quality of care and quality of life. Which is why protecting this popular program is incredibly important for the millions who rely on it.

Recent bipartisan proposals introduced by members of the House Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce Committees will strengthen the Medicare Advantage program for current and future beneficiaries. Proposed initiatives would:

  • Allow health plans to design affordable coverage options tailored to meet beneficiaries’ health needs (H.R. 2570, introduced by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)) and H.R. 2581 introduced by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX));
  • Ensure low-income individuals continue to benefit from Medicare Advantage plans’ programs and services (H.R. 2506 introduced by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY));
  • Support health plans’ early intervention efforts to make sure seniors managing chronic conditions and low-income beneficiaries receive the right care at the right time – before their health conditions worsen or become more serious (H.R. 2579 introduced by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA));
  • Provide more detailed data on Medicare Advantage enrollment to help inform policies that could impact seniors’ coverage (H.R. 2505 introduced by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI));
  • Enhance transparency though an extended comment period around the annual Medicare Advantage rate notice (H.R. 2507, introduced by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA); and
  • Offer seniors greater choice and flexibility when selecting their coverage options during open enrollment (H.R. 2488, introduced by Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA), Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN)).

Together, these initiatives build on the overwhelming bipartisan support of more than 340 members of Congress for beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage. By advancing these policy initiatives, policymakers will take an important step to ensure that millions across the country continue to benefit from the vital programs and services that Medicare Advantage provides.

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