March 19, 2015

ICYMI: House Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means Committees Urge CMS to Prevent Further Cuts to Medicare Advantage

More members of Congress are expressing concerns about new proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage. In a letter to CMS today, members of the House Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means Committees urged the agency to reconsider policies in the 2016 Advance Rate Notice for the Medicare Advantage program. The letter was signed by House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health Chairman Joseph Pitts (PA-16), House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Health Chairman Kevin Brady (TX-08), and 34 additional members of both subcommittees.

Below are highlights from the letter:

  • “We write to express our disappointment with the proposed policy changes the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced to the Medicare Advantage program for 2016 that will impact seniors’ choices and the ability for health plans to provide important benefits to more than 16 million seniors and individuals with disabilities.”
  • “With roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 each day, many seniors are choosing high-quality, affordable MA plans that offer coordinated care, important benefits, and a dedicated network of health care providers. Despite this, the cumulative effects of the administration’s policies relating to the MA program have resulted in roughly a 10% cut to the program over the past several years.”  
  • “A recent report from Oliver Wyman suggests that the cuts and policies from the Call Letters between 2014 and 2015 cost beneficiaries, on average, an additional $60 to $140 per month. Additionally, according to CMS data, beneficiaries had their choices of MA plans reduced during this period.
  • “Instead of proceeding with finalizing the proposed changes, we encourage CMS to work with Congress to adopt more targeted improvements to the program that strengthen and improve MA.”

View the full letter here

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