Dear Secretary Sebelius,
We write today on behalf of the millions of seniors we represent to strongly urge your immediate action to reconsider the proposed changes in the 2015 Advance Notice on payments for beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. We believe that these provisions will have a severe and negative impact on the beneficiaries who depend on these plans, threatening benefits, provider access, and plan options.
Medicare Advantage continues to offer seniors and individuals with disabilities additional choices for high quality and coordinated care in their communities. With a focus on innovative services, prevention and disease management, MA plans have consistently delivered improved health outcomes while containing costs and requiring smaller co-payments or deductibles from beneficiaries. Further consistent with the goals of your agency, these plans reduce hospitalizations and readmissions, decrease the length of stay in nursing facilities and manage high-risk, high-need patients more effectively.
We urge you to take the necessary actions to keep MA payment rates stable in 2015. Since the initial proposal to reduce payment rates was released on February 21, we have heard an outcry of concern from our constituents who rely on this program. And at a time of great transition in health care coverage across our country, we must ensure that seniors and individuals with disabilities have access to quality care on which they can depend.
We urge you to reverse course and keep Medicare Advantage rates level to ensure the sustainability of this critical program.