Talking Points: 6 March 2023

A quick roundup of the issues driving the healthcare reform conversation.


MEDICARE ADVANTAGE VALUE A deep dive into why Medicare Advantage has become so popular – and, so important – to the millions of Americans enrolled in the program.

Quick takeaway: As we’ve been highlighting, Medicare Advantage (MA) continues to distinguish itself from traditional Fee-for-Service (FFS) Medicare through its focus on a coordinated, comprehensive approach to care for the more than 30 million American seniors and individuals with disabilities enrolled in the program.

Further context: Unfortunately, MA – and, those millions of beneficiaries – are now at risk from recently proposed cuts to the program by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  In fact, analysts estimate that these cuts could reduce MA benefits by $540 per beneficiary next year. 

What it means: Study after study reinforces the value of MA – in terms of better health outcomes and potential cost savings:

  • MA beneficiaries are less likely to be hospitalized than those enrolled in FFS
  • MA beneficiaries with type 2 diabetes have better health outcomes compared to those enrolled in FFS
  • MA has been recognized for its successes in addressing health disparities and advancing health equity
  • MA serves some of the most vulnerable populations, including the more than half of beneficiaries who live on annual incomes below $24,500, the nearly one-quarter of beneficiaries who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, and the 63 percent higher rate of beneficiaries who enroll in Medicare due to a disability
  • MA saves beneficiaries nearly $2,000 a year compared to FFS

And, the program continues to get better at what makes it better, with more MA plans offering extra supports for vulnerable beneficiaries.

It’s no wonder MA enrollment has exploded, increasing 337 percent between 2006 and last year.

Which is why so many have rushed to defend the program from these harmful cuts.  And, more importantly for elected officials, why so many senior voters are looking to them to protect MA.

Take Action: Already, thousands of Health Action Network advocates, like you, have stepped up, urging lawmakers to protect the millions of Americans enrolled in MA plans from the increased premiums, higher out-of-pockets costs, loss of benefits, and limited access that would all result from these proposed cuts. If you haven’t already, take action today!

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