Washington, D.C. – Better Medicare Alliance, a community of more than 460,000 beneficiaries and 143 ally organizations supporting Medicare Advantage (MA), responded today to the CY2021 preliminary Medicare Advantage Advance Notice and Call Letter released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
“With Medicare Advantage serving a record 24 million enrollees, delivering 94 percent consumer satisfaction, and saving beneficiaries over $1,200 a year versus Traditional Medicare, a stable rate environment is critical to ensuring the program continues to deliver the low-cost, high-quality, coordinated care that is the hallmark of MA today,” said Allyson Y. Schwartz, President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance. “While Better Medicare Alliance continues to review the proposed regulation, we note that CMS has offered reforms that improve network adequacy by allowing greater use of telehealth – a solution long championed by BMA.”
Schwartz continued, “It is unclear, however, whether the proposed regulation offers the changes needed to address issues previously identified by BMA in the treatment of MA coverage for End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients who are eligible for enrollment beginning in 2021. An independent study commissioned by BMA found that payment to Medicare Advantage remains inadequate to cover the cost of care for ESRD patients in many highly-populated regions. Ensuring appropriate payment for coverage of these vulnerable beneficiaries protects both ESRD and non-ESRD enrollees.”
Schwartz concluded, “As a fuller picture of the proposed regulation emerges in the coming days, we will work closely with our Ally organizations and grassroots beneficiary advocates to respond appropriately, including submitting formal comments. We look forward to our engagement with CMS as we work to protect and strengthen the value of MA coverage for all beneficiaries.”