Seniors speak out against Medicare Advantage cutsNews added by Benefits Pro on March 28, 2013

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By Kathryn Mayer

America’s Health Insurance Plans said this week that tens of thousands of seniors across the country are speaking out proposed Medicare Advantage cuts.

More than 40,000 seniors have called, wrote or met with their congressional offices to oppose the Obama administration’s proposed 2.2 payment cut before it is finalized on April 1, AHIP said.

AHIP has been pushing back hard against the proposed cut, the latest in a series of reductions to Medicare Advantage. The industry association says the cut will “lead to higher costs, fewer benefits, and limited health care choices for beneficiaries.”

According to a recent survey from North Star Opinion Research, commissioned by AHIP, nearly all seniors (nine out of 10) are satisfied with their Medicare Advantage coverage. Ninety-four percent of MA patients said they are satisfied with the quality of care they receive, 92 percent are satisfied with their choice of doctors, and 81 percent are satisfied with their out-of-pocket costs, the poll found.

AHIP on Monday touted the responses of several Medicare Advantage beneficiaries who say the cuts would be harmful.

“Living on a small restricted limited income in a world where the cost of living goes up regularly, my Medicare Advantage plan has consistently provided me with coverage that has allowed me to get the medications I need, see the doctors who treat me best, and have dental care for the past four years,” said Marietta Hanley of Auburn, N.Y. “A cut to this program would be devastating to me.”

“My husband just had two operations and is currently doing much better,” said Margaret Hill of Knoxville, Tenn. “If they keep cutting things or raising what I pay for my Medicare Advantage plan, it won’t just affect me, but it will also affect what we can afford for my husband's care. It really will hit us hard.”

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