In Kathy Kristof's campaign to eliminate subsidies to Medicare Advantage, she would disproportionately harm millions of low-income seniors ("Tough Rx: possible ways to fix Medicare" June 24).
MA plans offer more comprehensive benefits than traditional Medicare, and studies show these plans are an especially important option for low-income and minority seniors. These seniors are less likely to have supplemental retiree medical coverage, and most cannot afford to buy private Medigap policies to supplement Medicare. They are attracted to the lower costs and better benefits offered through Medicare Advantage.
Medicare Advantage plans often cover a host of benefits that regular Medicare doesn't cover, such as vision and dental care, added preventive services, protection against catastrophic medical costs, and prescription drug coverage at no added cost. Medicare Advantage gives more than $1,000 a year in added health services to the average beneficiary, or $86 a month over standard Medicare coverage. This is not money that is being wasted but which is going to provide better coverage to seniors who couldn't otherwise afford this comprehensive coverage.
Clearly Medicare Advantage plans are popular since more than 8.3 million seniors are enrolled. Why would anyone want to harm our most vulnerable seniors by taking away this option? Far from being a give-away to insurance companies, the subsidies to Medicare Advantage create a valuable option for America's struggling low-income seniors.
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Alexandria, VA 22320