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Pennsylvania Seniors' Medicare Advantage Benefits at Risk
Date:7/11/2008

Pennsylvania to see approximately $850 million in cuts

WASHINGTON, July 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania seniors could lose important benefits and pay more out of pocket for health care, while thousands more could lose their Medicare Advantage plan altogether under legislation approved this week by the U.S. Congress.

The legislation (H.R. 6331) would cut nearly $14 billion from the Medicare Advantage program over a five year period, including cutting an estimated $850 million in Pennsylvania alone and severely cut back the areas where Medicare private fee-for-service plans can operate, adversely impacting more than 100,000 Pennsylvania seniors enrolled in these plans.

"It's unfortunate that Congress chose to cut the Medicare Advantage program that so many seniors rely on," said Karen Ignagni, President and CEO of AHIP. "Seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage could face limited choices, reduced benefits, and higher out-of-pocket costs if these cuts became law."

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that H.R. 6331 would decrease enrollment in Medicare Advantage across the country by about 2.3 million individuals over the next five years. The full report is available here: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/95xx/doc9550/hr6331GreggLtr.pdf.

Following passage of the legislation, seniors across the country have been voicing their strong opposition to the proposed reduction in funding for Medicare Advantage. White House officials have stated that the president intends to veto the bill and send it back to Congress. Two-thirds super-majorities are required in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to overturn a veto.

More than 800,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Pennsylvania currently rely on Medicare Advantage to meet their health care needs. These plans offer additional benefits and services that are
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SOURCE America's Health Insurance Plans
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