America's Health Insurance Plans See Danger in Cuts to Medicare Advantage
America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) the largest trade organization of the health insurance industry has launched an on-going ad campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of cuts in Medicare Advantage. AHIP hope the ads get the message out to seniors, and send a clear signal to Congress not to cut the funding to Medicare Advantage, a program which many seniors rely on for affordable medical coverage.
The ad campaign has been designed to remind Americans and congress how detrimental to seniors it was the last time funding was cut to the affordable health insurance program for seniors. About 10 years ago congress reduced the funding to the heath insurance program then called Medicare Plus Choice, now known as Medicare Advantage. That cut amounted to almost 23 billion dollars over a five-year period, and left almost one and half million seniors without the security of the Medicare health plan insurance.
The ad campaign called “Last Time” informs readers and viewers that Congress now wishes to cut over 150 million dollars to Medicare Advantage over the next ten years, which can put almost 3 million seniors in danger of losing their affordable medical benefits this time around. According to the television and radio ads, besides those that lose their health insurance coverage entirely, such large cuts in funding could leave millions of other seniors with higher out of pocket costs for their health care,
The ad campaign coincides with AHIP’s Coalition for Medicare Choices, an advocacy group started in 1999 whose ranks have now swelled to over 400,000 seniors. Members of the Coalition are running a grass roots campaign targeted at Congress urging them not to cut the senior health insurance benefits. Coalition members go to town hall meetings, and devise and participate in direct mail and phone call campaigns aimed at congress.
Seniors have been extremely happy with the Medicare Advantage healthcare plans. A recent survey found that ninety percent of beneficiaries were satisfied with the low-cost health insurance plans. That’s up 84% since the last time such a survey was taken.
Currently more than eight million seniors nationwide rely on Medicare Advantage healthcare insurance plans. The health insurance plans save seniors on average over $1000.00 a year according to AHIP, through lower out of pocket healthcare costs and superior health insurance benefits than standard Medicare.