For Immediate Release: August 21, 2014
Rancho Cordova, CA – The Coalition for Medicare Choices (CMC) and CAPG hosted a roundtable discussion today with Congressman Ami Bera, M.D., local seniors, and physicians about the importance of the Medicare Advantage program to millions of seniors in California.
Congressman Bera, a medical doctor, has seen the benefits of Medicare Advantage to beneficiaries firsthand and was recognized by the Coalition for Medicare Choices as a 2014 Medicare Advantage Champion for his work in Washington to protect seniors in the program. The discussion with the congressman focused on the value of Medicare Advantage and the importance of continuing to protect seniors in Medicare Advantage in the future.
According to Congressman Bera, “As a doctor, I know firsthand how critical strengthening Medicare is for our seniors. Medicare Advantage plans cover 44 percent of Medicare recipients in Sacramento County, delivering improved health outcomes while bringing down costs for nearly 100,000 seniors. We must keep the promises we’ve made to our seniors, and ensure this critical program is there for the people who need it.”
Medicare Advantage is the part of Medicare through which private health plans provide comprehensive medical coverage to seniors and other Medicare Advantage beneficiaries. Research shows that 9 out of 10 Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are satisfied with their coverage. Members of the Coalition relayed their personal Medicare Advantage stories to the Congressman.
“The value (of Medicare Advantage) to us as a family is beyond description,” said Medicare Advantage recipient Gordon Lipp of Carmichael, while telling a story of how his Medicare Advantage plan saved his family $50,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses. “As far as value is concerned, when you are talking about medical care, I just don’t know how you can put a value on that.”
More than 15 million Americans nationwide, including more than 2 million Californians, choose Medicare Advantage because of the better services, higher-quality care, and added benefits these health care plans provide. Physicians who participated in the discussion shared their experience treating patients in the program and the value of Medicare Advantage to seniors.
“Patients enrolled in Medicare Advantage have access to a coordinated care system that focuses on prevention and team-based primary care,” said Dr. Amy Nguyen, chief medical officer of CAPG. “All of this results in patients receiving high quality care that is essential, especially for patients that have multiple chronic conditions. As we heard today, Dr. Bera shares the view that this program is among the best available examples of coordinated care for Medicare patients.”
Source: Coalition for Medicare Choices and CAPG
Clare Krusing (Coalition for Medicare Choices), (202) 778-8494, CKrusing@ahip.org
Kelly Rivas (916) 635-0505, Kelly.Rivas@mail,house.gov
Coalition for Medicare Choices: Founded in 1999, the Coalition for Medicare Choices is a fast-growing, national grassroots organization of more than 1.6 million people who receive their health care coverage through a Medicare Advantage health plan. For more information, please visit: http://www.medicarechoices.org/.
CAPG is the largest association in the country representing physician organizations practicing capitated, coordinated care. CAPG members include more than 160 multi-specialty medical groups and independent practice associations (IPAs) across 20 states. For more information, please visit: www.capg.org.