AHIP Launches TV Ad Campaign to Stop New Medicare Advantage Cuts
For Immediate Release
March 6, 2013
CMS’ Proposed Medicare Advantage Cuts Will
Result in Higher Costs, Fewer Benefits for Seniors
D.C. – America’s Health Insurance
Plans’ (AHIP) Coalition for Medicare Choices, which represents over 1.3 million
Medicare Advantage beneficiaries, is launching a TV and online ad campaign to
urge lawmakers to speak out against new cuts to Medicare Advantage recently
proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The new cuts combined with the reform
law’s deep payment cuts and new health insurance tax will result in Medicare
Advantage beneficiaries next year facing higher out-of-pocket costs, reduced
benefits, and fewer health care choices.
new ad, called “Too Much,”
highlights the cumulative impact the Medicare Advantage cuts would have on
seniors and urges Congress to help fight these cuts. The ad will run on cable TV, in targeted
broadcast markets, and online. Visit the
Coalition for Medicare Choices at www.MedicareChoices.org
to view the new ad.
cuts to Medicare Advantage resulted in seniors experiencing benefit cuts
and premium increases, and many lost their Medicare Advantage coverage
altogether,” said AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni, citing significant
enrollment declines in the early 2000s following cuts to the program. “Urgent action is needed to protect seniors
in Medicare Advantage from once again facing significant disruption in their
health care coverage.”
Advantage is the part of Medicare through which private health plans provide
comprehensive medical coverage to seniors and other Medicare
beneficiaries. More than 14 million Americans, or roughly 28 percent of
all Medicare beneficiaries, are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan because
of the better services, higher-quality care, and additional benefits these
a 2.2 percent reduction in Medicare Advantage payments for 2014, at a time when medical costs are projected to
increase by three percent. The new proposed payment cuts are in addition to the
billions of dollars in Medicare Advantage cuts and a new health insurance tax
included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A recent
report from Oliver Wyman estimates that the cumulative impact of these cuts
and the new health insurance tax will result in an estimated 6.9 to 7.8 percent
cut to Medicare Advantage plans in 2014, leading to benefit reductions and
premium increases of $50 to $90 per month for a typical Medicare Advantage
submitted to the agency, AHIP offered a series of recommendations to stabilize
the program and avoid significant disruption for seniors enrolled in Medicare
Advantage. The 2014 Medicare Advantage
payment rates will be finalized on April 1.
new proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage are coming despite overwhelming
evidence that beneficiaries are satisfied with the coverage their Medicare
Advantage plan provides. A new survey
released this week from North Star Opinion Research found that nine out of 10
seniors are satisfied with their Medicare Advantage plan. Moreover, seniors expressed very high
satisfaction with specific aspects of their Medicare Advantage plan, including
the quality of care they receive (94 percent), their choice of doctors (92
percent), the benefits they receive (90 percent), preventive care coverage (89
percent), and prescription drug coverage (82 percent).
recently released a report which found that low-income and minority Medicare
beneficiaries continue to rely on the high-quality health care coverage
provided by Medicare Advantage plans.
According to that report, 41 percent of Medicare beneficiaries with Medicare
Advantage coverage had incomes of $20,000 or less. By comparison, 37 percent of all Medicare
beneficiaries had incomes of $20,000 or less.
In addition, 31 percent of African-American Medicare beneficiaries and
38 percent of Hispanic beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans.
Fact check on
ACA cuts to Medicare Advantage: Current discussions about the impact
on seniors of the ACA’s $200 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage have largely
ignored the fact that only four percent of those cuts have gone into effect
through the end of 2012. The
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that, when fully phased in, these
cuts alone will result in three million fewer people enrolled in the program. In addition, Medicare Advantage enrollees
also will be impacted by the new health insurance tax established by the ACA
that starts in 2014. Oliver Wyman
previously estimated that this tax alone will result in seniors facing $220 in
higher out-of-pocket costs and reduced benefits next year and $3,500 in
additional costs over the next ten years.
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Providing Health Benefits for Over 200 Million Americans.