Barletta, Entire PA Delegation Fight Medicare Advantage Changes

Mar 18, 2016
Press Release
Letter to HHS Secretary Urges Caution, Warns of Potential Harm to Seniors

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today joined all Pennsylvania members of the House of Representatives from both parties in writing to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, urging that proposed changes to the Medicare Advantage program for 2017 be stopped before they are finalized.  In the letter to Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the lawmakers expressed concern about a new risk adjustment model and planned cuts to Medicare Advantage Retiree Coverage, known as Employer Group Waiver Plans.  The risk adjustment change would result in a loss of funding for Medicare Advantage of 0.6 percent, while the change to the Retiree Coverage would represent a significant cut to the program. 

The House members wrote that they are concerned that the new risk adjustment model “underestimates the potential detrimental effect these resulting payment reductions will have on beneficiaries with chronic illnesses who may not be dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.  The Agency should not narrowly view ‘complex vulnerable populations’ as dual eligible beneficiaries.”

The lawmakers noted that the proposed change to the Medicare Advantage Retiree Coverage was scored last year as a cut of $7.2 billion over ten years.

“Protecting MA Retiree Coverage is critical for 200,569 seniors in Pennsylvania, including state and local government, labor union, and private employer retirees,” the letter reads.  “Among the Medicare Advantage beneficiaries in our state, approximately 20% have MA Retiree Coverage.”

The letter was signed by Barletta, along with Rep. Pat Meehan (PA-7), Rep. Robert Brady (PA-1), Rep. Mike Kelly (PA-3), Rep. Bill Shuster (PA-9), Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15), Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8), Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-6), Rep. Scott Perry (PA-4), Rep. Brendan Boyle (PA-13), Rep. Tom Marino (PA-10), Rep. Joe Pitts (PA-16), Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-17), Rep. Keith Rothfus (PA-12), Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA-5), Rep. Chaka Fattah (PA-2), Rep. Tim Murphy (PA-18), and Rep. Mike Doyle (PA-14). 



Click here to see the PA delegation letter to Sec. Burwell.