Letter to the Editor: Senator King must protect Medicare Advantage

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My name is Maria Dyer, and I work for the Senior Planning Center, where we help seniors with their healthcare needs. I have seen first hand the huge affects Medicare Advantage Plans, (Part C), have had on the lives of seniors and individuals on social security disability. It is my understanding that Congress is proposing a 100 billion dollar budget cut to Medicare Advantage, and I am writing this letter in order to advocate for the clients that I serve.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 40% of those enrolled in Medicare are also enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, and an even higher percentage of Maine residents. The number of people using Part C of Medicare has grown dramatically from almost zero since 1998 to 26.5 million in 2021. There are many reasons for this immense growth.

Medicare Advantage plans are more affordable than original medicare, giving the consumer lower copays, lower deductibles, and the opportunity for a maximum-out-of-pocket. They also eliminate the need to enroll in a costly supplemental plan as well as a prescription drug plan. Advantage plans provide more services, more coordinated care and more value than Original Medicare. Hearing, vision, and dental benefits are just three of the many benefits Advantage plans offer that original Medicare does not. Medicare Advantage plans can also be paired along with the Medicare Savings Program, (MSP), making a consumer’s healthcare even more affordable.

A consumer enrolled in an advantage plan and eligible for the MSP, is no longer responsible for plan premiums, copays, deductibles, and never have to pay outrageous amounts for their prescription drugs. I could ramble on about how drastically Aadvantage plans have changed the lives of those we serve, but I will let my client tell you in their own words:but I will say this: Senator King must protect Medicare Advantage from cuts. It’s too vital a system and needs to be upheld. I urge Senator King to protect Medicare Advantage from cuts.

Maria Dyer

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