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37 HEALTH & ADVOCACY GROUPS URGE CONGRESS TO DELAY HEALTH INSURANCE TAX FOR SENIORS

Washington, DC – Today Better Medicare Alliance (BMA), the leading advocacy coalition for Medicare Advantage sent a letter signed by 37 organizations to members of Congress calling for action to extend delay of the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) through 2020.

Currently, the approximately $22 billion tax is scheduled to impact 20 million seniors and disabled individuals enrolled in Medicare Advantage in 2020. If Congress does not take timely action to delay the HIT for 2020, millions of American seniors and others with health insurance coverage could face a major premium increase, including $500 in additional annual premiums for the typical Medicare Advantage couple according to an Oliver Wyman report.

Medicare Advantage is an important source of health coverage for low-income beneficiaries and beneficiaries on fixed incomes. More than half of Medicare Advantage enrollees live on less than $30,000 annually. According to a recent analysis, 62% of retirees age 65+ years old, as well as about three out of four non-retired adults age 50 to 64, have less in total retirement savings than what experts recommend saving for health care costs alone.

“At a time when Americans are looking for help to lower health care costs, the HIT would be seriously detrimental for far too many seniors who count on Medicare Advantage and do not have the resources to cover this additional cost. Congress made the right decision delaying the HIT before and should take action to protect current and future retirees. Delaying the HIT would also offer greater stability for providers and sustain the move to value-based care lead by Medicare Advantage plans and providers,” said Allyson Y. Schwartz, BMA President and CEO.

Last year, BMA successfully advocated for delaying the HIT for the 2019 calendar year. The coalition sent the letter this week in advance of anticipated votes in Congress on urgent legislative action prior to the annual August recess.

 

FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER SIGNED BY:

Area Agency on Aging Palm Beach / Treasure Coast, Inc. (Florida)

Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness

Better Medicare Alliance

ChenMed (Florida)

Coalition of Texans with Disabilities

Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey

Connecticut Association of Health Underwriters

Consumer Action

Council for Affordable Health Coverage

Einstein Healthcare Network (Pennsylvania)

Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health

Healthcare Leadership Council

International Council on Active Aging

Iora Health (Massachusetts)

Martin’s Point Health Care (Maine)

Meals on Wheels America

National Association of Dental Plans

National Association of Health Underwriters

National Association of Hispanic Nurses

National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP)

National Hispanic Council on Aging

National Hispanic Medical Association

National Medical Association

National Minority Quality Forum

New Jersey State Nurses Association

Northwell Health (New York)

Nurse Practitioner Association New York State

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging

Pittsburgh Business Group on Health

Population Health Alliance

Prevea Health (Wisconsin)

Public Sector Healthcare Roundtable

SilverSneakers by Tivity (Tennessee)

SNP Alliance

Summa Health System (Ohio)

Teachers’ Retirement System of Kentucky

The Latino Coalition

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