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Area Seniors Rally to Support Medicare Advantage Health Plans
Date:4/28/2009

Members share stories, write letters, and videotape messages to Congress opposing funding cuts

PHILADELPHIA, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Area senior and disabled members of Medicare Advantage plans today joined together for a rally to share stories about how they benefit from their health plans and voice their concerns about recently announced federal funding cuts, which are expected to result in higher plan premiums.

Invited members from local Medicare Advantage plans, including Independence Blue Cross, learned about legislative activity in Washington, DC, and wrote letters and videotaped messages to their elected officials to tell them how vital they believe these plans are for area seniors. The issue is particularly important to members who may have to drop their current coverage if rates increase, and return to a traditional Medicare plan, which has higher out-of-pocket costs and fewer benefits like comprehensive wellness and disease management programs.

Held at Penns Landing Caterers on Columbus Boulevard in Philadelphia, the meeting is hosted by the Coalition for Medicare Choices, a national advocacy group of more than 810,000 Americans with Medicare Advantage health coverage. Similar meetings are being held in other cities throughout the country.

"I really appreciate the coverage I have with my Keystone 65 Medicare Advantage plan," said Michael DiRenzo of Philadelphia. "I have wonderful care and great doctors with this plan. It has also saved me from high out-of-pocket costs when I recently had a hernia operation."

Medicare Advantage plans offer a different approach to health care coverage than beneficiaries experience under fee-for-service Medicare. Instead of focusing almost exclusively on treating beneficiaries when they are sick, these plans place a strong emphasis on preventive health care services that help keep beneficiaries healthy.

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SOURCE Independence Blue Cross
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