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Letter to the Hon. Seema Verma, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services - Guthrie, Cárdenas, Blumenauer, Kelly Lead Bipartisan Effort to Secure Medicare Advantage

Letter

By: Liz Cheney, Carol Miller, Alex Mooney, David McKinley, Mike Gallagher, Glenn Grothman, Gwen Moore, Ron Kind, Mark Pocan, Bryan Steil, Denny Heck, Adam Smith, Kim Schrier, Derek Kilmer, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dan Newhouse, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Rick Larsen, Suzan DelBene, Gerry Connolly, Jennifer Wexton, Morgan Griffith, Abigail Spanberger, Ben Cline, Denver Riggleman III, Donald McEachin, Elaine Luria, Ben McAdams, John Curtis, Chris Stewart, Brian Babin, Filemon Vela, Jr., Marc Veasey, Colin Allred, John Carter, Sylvia Garcia, Henry Cuellar, Roger Williams, Kenny Marchant, Will Hurd, Pete Olson, Jodey Arrington, Bill Flores, Veronica Escobar, Vicente Gonzalez, Randy Weber, Sr., Mac Thornberry, Mike Conaway, Michael McCaul, Lizzie Fletcher, Lance Gooden, John Ratcliffe, Dan Crenshaw, Steve Cohen, David Kustoff, Mark Green, John Rose, Scott DesJarlais, Chuck Fleischmann, John Moolenaar, Bill Huizenga, Jack Bergman, Jared Golden, David Trone, Andy Harris, Bill Keating, Stephen Lynch, Seth Moulton, Katherine Clark, Lori Trahan, Jim McGovern, Garret Graves, Ralph Abraham, Mike Johnson, Clay Higgins, Cedric Richmond, Andy Barr, Hal Rogers, John Yarmuth, James Comer, Jr., Ron Estes, Steven Watkins, Jr., Roger Marshall, Trey Hollingsworth III, Larry Bucshon, André Carson, Greg Pence, Susan Brooks, Jim Banks, Jackie Walorski, Darin LaHood, Cheri Bustos, Adam Kinzinger, John Shimkus, Lauren Underwood, Rodney Davis, Mike Bost, Brad Schneider, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Danny Davis, Robin Kelly, Bobby Rush, Russ Fulcher, Steve King, Cindy Axne, Dave Loebsack, Abby Finkenauer, Tulsi Gabbard, Edward Case, Tom Graves, Jr., David Scott, Rick Allen, Barry Loudermilk, Jody Hice, Doug Collins, Austin Scott, Rob Woodall, Lucy McBath, Drew Ferguson, Buddy Carter, Donna Shalala, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Mario Diaz-Balart, Frederica Wilson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Alcee Hastings, Sr., Francis Rooney, Brian Mast, Greg Steube, Vern Buchanan, Ross Spano, Charlie Crist, Jr., Gus Bilirakis, Daniel Webster, Val Demings, Darren Soto, Bill Posey, Stephanie Murphy, Michael Waltz, Al Lawson, Jr., John Rutherford, Ted Yoho, Neal Dunn, Matt Gaetz, Jahana Hayes, Jim Himes, John Larson, Ed Perlmutter, Doug Lamborn, Ken Buck, Scott Tipton, Joe Neguse, Diana DeGette, Susan Davis, Scott Peters, Mike Levin, Harley Rouda, Alan Lowenthal, Lou Correa, Katie Porter, Nanette Barragán, Ken Calvert, Mark Takano, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Gil Cisneros, Linda Sánchez, Karen Bass, Raul Ruiz, Norma Torres, Jimmy Gomez, Ted Lieu, Grace Napolitano, Pete Aguilar, Brad Sherman, Tim Burchett, Phil Roe, Dusty Johnson, Tom Rice, Ralph Norman, Jr., William Timmons, Jeff Duncan, Joe Wilson, Sr., Joe Cunningham, Mike Doyle, Jr., Conor Lamb, Mike Kelly, Jr., GT Thompson, Jr., Guy Reschenthaler, John Joyce, Fred Keller, Lloyd Smucker, Scott Perry, Dan Meuser, Matt Cartwright, Susan Wild, Chrissy Houlahan, Mary Scanlon, Madeleine Dean, Dwight Evans, Brendan Boyle, Brian Fitzpatrick, Kurt Schrader, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Kendra Horn, Tom Cole, Frank Lucas, Markwayne Mullin, Kevin Hern, Anthony Gonzalez, Steve Stivers, Dave Joyce, Tim Ryan, Mike Turner, Warren Davidson, Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson, Bob Latta, Jim Jordan, Joyce Beatty, Brad Wenstrup, Steve Chabot, Brian Higgins, Joe Morelle, John Katko, Tom Reed II, Anthony Brindisi, Elise Stefanik, Paul Tonko, Antonio Delgado, Sean Maloney, Eliot Engel, José Serrano, Adriano Espaillat, Yvette Clarke, Hakeem Jeffries, Nydia Velázquez, Grace Meng, Gregory Meeks, Kathleen Rice, Thomas Suozzi, Pete King, Lee Zeldin, Steven Horsford, Susie Lee, Dina Titus, Xochitl Torres Small, Mikie Sherrill, Don Payne, Jr., Tom Malinowski, Joshua Gottheimer, Chris Smith, Andy Kim, Donald Norcross, Ann Kuster, Chris Pappas, Kelly Armstrong, Ted Budd, Mark Meadows, Patrick McHenry, Dan Bishop, Richard Hudson, Jr., David Rouzer, Mark Walker, Virginia Foxx, Greg Murphy, George Holding, G.K. Butterfield, Jr., Greg Gianforte, Steven Palazzo, Michael Guest, Bennie Thompson, Trent Kelly, Jason Smith, Billy Long, Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Ann Wagner, Lacy Clay, Jr., Peter Stauber, Collin Peterson, Tom Emmer, Ilhan Omar, Betty McCollum, Dean Phillips, Angie Craig, Jim Hagedorn, Brenda Lawrence, Haley Stevens, Paul Mitchell, Tim Walberg, Fred Upton, Dan Kildee, Tony Cárdenas, Adam Schiff, Julia Brownley, Salud Carbajal, Devin Nunes, T. J. Cox, Jimmy Panetta, Zoe Lofgren, Jim Costa, Eric Swalwell, Mark DeSaulnier, Josh Harder, Jerry McNerney, Paul Cook, Ami Bera, Doris Matsui, Mike Thompson, John Garamendi, Doug LaMalfa, Greg Stanton, Debbie Lesko, Ruben Gallego, David Schweikert, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Ann Kirkpatrick, Tom O'Halleran, Bruce Westerman, Steve Womack, French Hill, Rick Crawford, Terri Sewell, Gary Palmer, Mo Brooks, Robert Aderholt, Mike Rogers, Martha Roby, Bradley Byrne, Donald Young, Brett Guthrie
Date: Feb. 5, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

Dear Administrator Verma:

We write to express strong bipartisan support for the Medicare Advantage program, which 40 percent of eligible Medicare beneficiaries, more than 22 million people, choose to enroll in.[1] We appreciate your ongoing commitment to preserving and strengthening the Medicare Advantage program for current and future Medicare beneficiaries. As the Administration considers updates to the program for plan year 2021, we urge you to ensure that the Medicare Advantage program will continue to offer affordable, high-quality, patient-centered coverage options for the diverse populations the program serves, including beneficiaries with End Stage Renal Disease who for the first time will be able to choose a Medicare Advantage plan.

Millions of seniors depend on Medicare Advantage plans to provide comprehensive, affordable health care as they age. In 2020, average premiums are expected to decline by 14 percent to their lowest point in the last 13 years while enrollment is projected to increase to more than 24 million.[2] Further, the average number of plan choices has continued to increase; in 2020, 93 percent of individuals on Medicare have access to a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage for no additional premium.[3]

Medicare Advantage offers affordable, high-quality care coordination, disease management programs, out-of-pocket spending limits, access to community-based programs, additional supplemental benefits such as vision and dental coverage, and often prescription drug coverage for no additional premium. The program also serves vulnerable and underserved populations that have special needs and chronic conditions and provides supports for seniors at critical times of their life. Moreover, as a result of greater flexibility in plan benefit offerings, next year nearly 14 million enrollees will have access to additional telehealth benefits, and an estimated 2.6 million beneficiaries will have access to more supplemental benefits, including adult day care services and in-home support services to help them manage their health. In addition, up to 1.2 million enrollees will have access to new benefits that address social barriers to accessing care such as food assistance, transportation, and home modifications.

For plan year 2021, we urge the Administration to continue its efforts to promote flexibility and innovation, incentivize quality improvements, and support value-based arrangements with health care providers. It will be important to ensure that any substantive changes to the Medicare Advantage program provide plan sponsors with sufficient time for thorough evaluation, and implementation. We also encourage the Administration to build on the enhanced supplemental benefits that were offered this plan year by providing additional flexibility, such as expanding telehealth services for underserved and rural communities, to help drive the next generation of innovative approaches in Medicare to improve health outcomes, while also maintaining robust beneficiary protections.

We look forward to continuing to work with you to further strengthen the Medicare Advantage program and ensure millions of seniors have access to comprehensive, affordable health coverage choices.


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