House To Push Millions Of Seniors Out Of Medicare Advantage

Armen Hareyan's picture

Medicare Advantage Coverage

Three million seniors could lose their Medicare Advantage coverage, while millions more would face benefit cuts and higher out-of-pocket health care costs under legislation passed by US House of Representatives.


Noting that 49 percent of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries have incomes of less than $20,000 per year, Karen Ignagni, President and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), said the legislation would have a devastating impact on seniors' health security.

"The House bill shreds the safety net for millions of seniors who depend on Medicare Advantage," said Ignagni.

In testimony before the Ways and Means Committee last week, Peter Orszag, Director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, said that Medicare Advantage enrollment would fall by 33 percent under the legislation passed today by the House. A study from an independent researcher and former senior health care official in the Clinton Administration, Ken Thorpe, estimates that the proposed cuts would result in 3.2 million seniors losing their Medicare Advantage coverage and that Medicare Advantage would no longer be available to seniors in 22 states. Seniors in these states would have to enroll in the fee- for-service Medicare program, where they would likely receive fewer benefits and pay higher out-of-pocket costs than they do in Medicare Advantage.

AHIP also reiterated its support for strengthening the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which is a key element of AHIP's comprehensive proposal to cover the uninsured. AHIP has run advertisements in support of raising tobacco taxes to finance SCHIP and joined with a diverse group of national organizations to promote the program through the Health Coverage Coalition for the Uninsured. America's Health Insurance Plans -- Providing Health Benefits to More Than 200 Million Americans.