Humana Letter Enlists Medicare Customers Against Cuts


One of the largest private health insurance providers in United State Humana sent a letter to its customers telling them they may lose some benefits if the government goes on with the Health Care reform and cuts funding for Medicare Advantage Plans. According to NPR "the Feds told the company to knock it off." The letter has spurred spats with Feds. Senator Baucus has also posted the Humana Letter on his website here (PDF).

"The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which oversees the Medicare program for the elderly and disabled and privately-run Medicare Advantage options, told Humana to stop all associated outreach until an investigation was concluded. CMS stated that Humana's letter suggests “that current health care reform legislation affecting Medicare could hurt "millions of seniors and disabled individuals who could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare advantage health plans so valuable."' The letter could violate federal regulations, it added"

As of this morning the America's Health Insurance Plans which is an industry trade group, expressed outrage that these plans would be excluded from corresponding with their members at a time when proposed cuts "will have a devastating impact on the health security of the more than 10 million seniors enrolled in the program. If these cuts are enacted, seniors will face premium increases, reduced benefits, and, in some parts of the country, will lose access to their Medicare Advantage plan altogether."


House Republican Leader John Boehner attempts to get the last word in by stating; "Would the Administration impose this sort of gag order if seniors were being given information promoting the Obama health care plan?

Boehner added this statement; I don't think so. Seniors have a right to know about the cost and consequences of the Democrats' health care bills and Republicans will continue to tell the American people the facts about the nearly $500 billion Medicare cut that Democrats are proposing.

Humana admits in a letter that Medicare and Medicaid should be run more efficiently, but adds, “if the proposed funding cut levels become law, millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many of the important benefits and services (emphasis theirs) that make Medicare Advantage valuable.

Written by Tyler Woods Ph.D.
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