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U.S. Senate to Vote Today on Legislation That Would Cut $96 Million From the Medicare Advantage Program in Alabama
Date:7/9/2008

WASHINGTON, July 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Alabama seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage face significant funding cuts under legislation currently being considered in the U.S. Senate, according to data released by America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).

As Congress considers ways to halt the impending cut to physician payments in Medicare, many are looking at the Medicare Advantage program to pay for the fix. The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on legislation today (H.R. 6331) that would cut $96 million from the Medicare Advantage program in Alabama alone over a five year period and severely cut back the areas where Medicare private fee-for-service plans can operate, adversely impacting the 20,000 Alabama seniors enrolled in these plans.

"Congress should fix the physician payment cut without forcing seniors to pay for it," 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."

Nearly 150,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Alabama currently rely on Medicare Advantage to meet their health care needs. These plans offer additional benefits and services that are not available in traditional Medicare, including reduced out-of-pocket costs; $0-premium comprehensive drug coverage; vision, hearing, and dental coverage; wellness programs; and disease management and care coordination programs. Medicare Advantage enrollees save an average of $90 per month - through improved benefits and lower out-of-pocket costs - compared to what they would pay in traditional Medicare.

A recent survey found that most seniors, including those in traditional Medicare, opposed cutting Medicare Advantage to fund the physician fix and believe these cuts would have a negative impact on Medicare Advantage beneficiaries. Click here to learn more about this survey: http://www.ahip.org/content/pressrelease.aspx?docid=23678.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) 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.

America's Health Insurance Plans - Providing Health Benefits to More Than 200 Million Americans


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SOURCE America's Health Insurance Plans
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