Letters to the Editor

Don’t disrupt Medicare Advantage

Posted

Working as a family physician, I understand the importance of quality care – from childhood on through retirement. As a senior myself, I also know the outsized health needs that older individuals in my community face.

Seniors need to find health care coverage programs that offer them quality coverage and benefits, but at an affordable price. Luckily, through my lengthy career in the healthcare field, I have become familiar with the variety of options senior patients can choose from when deciding on their health care coverage.

While there are a number of coverage plans available, only one program — Medicare Advantage — fully meets the needs of senior patients. That’s why I knew that as soon as I was eligible for a Medicare Advantage plan, I was going to enroll.

 Medicare Advantage is far and away the best option for senior health care, as it provides extensive benefits to patients without asking them to bear the brunt of high costs. The financial security that Medicare Advantage allows is crucial, because many seniors live on fixed or limited incomes after retiring, and unexpected health costs can have a big impact on their finances.

With capped out-of-pocket costs and low premiums, seniors rest assured knowing they will be able to afford the care that they need. And the care is not just affordable, but robust as well. From in-home care services to prescription drug coverage, Medicare Advantage is a one stop shop meeting all the health needs seniors have.

Particularly in retirement, seniors are not interested in experiencing abrupt change, and the stability of Medicare Advantage is one of the reasons the program is so well regarded by the community. Should there be cuts made to the funding of Medicare Advantage, unintended consequences could occur that disrupt the coordination of benefits and care for patients.

The last thing that the nearly 1 million Michigan seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage want is to see a program they rely on changed.

I encourage Senator Peters, Senator Stabenow, and Representative Slotkin to recognize the immense benefit that this program has provided to the senior community, here in Michigan and across the country. Protecting this program is critical to ensuring seniors have access to quality, affordable health care.

Dr. David Neff

(The writer is a family physician from Okemos and CEO of RediCare Okemos & Grand River Family Care.)

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