With your help, Medicare Advantage plans have been at the forefront of promoting, utilizing, and optimizing benefits and services that meet the needs of more than 14 million Medicare beneficiaries.
As a physician who works with seniors and individuals with disabilities in the Medicare Advantage program, you are probably aware that this vital program has been slated for funding cuts as part of the Affordable Care Act. These cuts will be harmful to Medicare Advantage beneficiaries and will impact the physicians who treat them.
At risk are a wide range of benefits, services, and innovations not available from traditional Medicare fee-for-service plans including vision, hearing, and dental services; wellness programs; and disease management and care coordination programs. These programs are particularly critical to the well being of thousands of low income individuals who may not qualify for Medicaid and would therefore lack access to chronic disease management services. Out-of-pocket costs for seniors and individuals with disabilities could also rise and $0 premium comprehensive drug coverage would be in jeopardy.
Your expert voice is critically important, both as a professional and a constituent.
Many lawmakers are unfamiliar with the success of the Medicare Advantage program and the important role private plans play in improving patient care, offering expanded benefits, and holding down out-of-pocket costs for seniors and individuals with disabilities. Cuts could limit millions of seniors to fee-for-service Medicare, causing them to lose access to the benefits and value-added services that Medicare Advantage provides. And physicians who treat these patients will, of course, be reimbursed at lower Medicare fee-for-service rates.
Congress needs to hear from you, the experts delivering care each day, to appreciate the value of Medicare Advantage plans and to understand that funding cuts severely limit your ability to provide coordinated, expansive care for these seniors and individuals with disabilities.