U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Tim Scott (R-SC) recently led a bipartisan group of 63 Senators in urging the Biden Administration to continue support for the Medicare Advantage program, which provides quality health care to 27 million seniors and individuals with disabilities.
The Feb. 18 letter asks Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator, to do what she can to support Medicare Advantage program continuity in 2023.
“As you consider annual updates for plan year 2023,” wrote the Senators, “we ask you to ensure that payment or policy changes allow Medicare Advantage plans to continue to provide the patient-centered care that 43% of Medicare-eligible Americans rely on every day.”
The letter is signed by notable Democrats including Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Republicans Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida and Susan Collins of Maine.
Notable Senators who did not sign the letter include Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Vermont independent Bernie Sanders.
“Enrollees in the program benefit from out-of-pocket cost limits and plan options that can include access to telehealth services, in-home care, nutrition services, and transportation benefits to meet seniors’ individual needs,” the Senators continued. “In fact, over 95% of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries have access to meal services, telehealth, transportation, dental, fitness, vision, and hearing benefits. Access to these benefits and care provided under the Medicare Advantage program have helped enrollees stay healthy and safe throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
The full text of the letter is available HERE.
The letter comes on the heels of a similar letter sent in late January signed by 346 of the 435—or 80%—of members of the House of Representatives.
“Medicare Advantage continues to reach new highs in enrollment, beneficiary satisfaction, and now, Congressional support,” said Mary Beth Donahue, President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance, after the House letter was sent. “At a time of increasing polarization in Washington and around the country, Medicare Advantage garners overwhelming bipartisan support because it delivers on its commitment to achieve lower costs and better outcomes for seniors.”