WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) led 62 colleagues today urging President Biden to support for the Medicare Advantage program, which provides quality health care to 27 million seniors and individuals with disabilities.
“The Medicare Advantage program enables plans to take a holistic approach to care, including by addressing social determinants of health to meet seniors’ needs and improving health equity,” said the senators. “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.”
“We ask you to ensure that payment or policy changes allow Medicare Advantage plans to continue to provide the patient-centered care that 43 percent of Medicare-eligible Americans rely on every day,” continued the senators.
Cassidy and Cortez Masto were joined by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC), Ted Cruz (R-TX), John Cornyn (R-TX), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Richard Burr (R-NC), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Kennedy (R-LA), John Hoeven (R-ND), James Risch (R-ID), John Boozman (R-AR), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Braun (R-IN), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Todd Young (R-IN), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Tom Cotton (R-AR), James Lankford (R-OK), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-AL), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Rand Paul, M.D. (R-KY), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Michael Bennet (R-CO), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Marsha Blackburn (D-TN), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), James Inhofe (R-OK), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Barrasso (R-MO), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tina Smith (D-MN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Carper (D-DE), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Rick Scott (R-FL), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Angus King (R-ME), Steve Daines (R-MT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Bob Casey (D-PA), John Thune (R-SD), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Jon Tester (D-MT).
Read the full letter here or below.
Dear Administrator Brooks-LaSure:
We write to express bipartisan support for the Medicare Advantage program and the high-quality, affordable care it provides to over 27 million older adults and people with disabilities. We appreciate the Administration’s ongoing commitment to preserve and strengthen the program, as demonstrated in the proposed CMS 2023 Medicare Advantage and Part D Advance Notice. As you consider annual updates for plan year 2023, we ask you to ensure that payment or policy changes allow Medicare Advantage plans to continue to provide the patient-centered care that 43 percent of Medicare-eligible Americans rely on every day.
The Medicare Advantage program enables plans to take a holistic approach to care, including by addressing social determinants of health to meet seniors’ needs and improving health equity. 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. In fact, over 95 percent 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.
Medicare Advantage also consistently delivers high-quality care and value that provides beneficiaries with more coordinated access to enhanced benefits, innovative clinical care models, and greater financial protections. Currently, 90 percent of enrollees are in Medicare Advantage plans rated 4 or more Stars. Additionally, the program supports an increasingly diverse population with varied health and socioeconomic backgrounds. For 2022, 65 percent of MA enrollees are in zero- premium plans and the average monthly Medicare Advantage premiums will reach historically low premiums, even while the availability of supplemental benefits continue to increase.
For plan year 2023, we urge the Administration maintain stability within Medicare Advantage, including advancing flexible in-plan benefit offerings and promoting care coordination. We are committed to ensuring that our constituents who rely on Medicare Advantage enjoy the same access to affordable benefits in order to get the care they need, particularly as they navigate the persistent challenges of the pandemic. We look forward to partnering with you and working on behalf of the tens of millions of older adults and people with disabilities whose health and economic security are protected under this program.