On April 20, 2022, 19 members of the House and Senate sent a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure “highlighting concerns about overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans that line the pockets of big insurance companies” according to a press release posted by Rep. Rosa DeLauro titled “Porter, DeLauro, Schakowsky, Warren Lead Letter Calling on CMS to Address Overpayments and Increase Transparency in the Medicare Advantage Program” (4/20/22). The letter “urges CMS to mitigate the announced payment increases so they are on par with payments to Traditional Medicare” and “also calls on CMS to increase transparency in the Medicare Advantage program.”
Raising concerns about the impact of Medicare Advantage (MA) overpayments on the Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) Trust Fund, the letter states: “Instead of failing to curb overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans for 2023, we encourage CMS to recoup these overpayments and reduce them over time to extend the life of the HI [Medicare Part A] Trust Fund, ensure parity in payment between Medicare Advantage and fee-for-service Medicare, and improve and equalize benefits for all Medicare beneficiaries.”
Noting that “Medicare Advantage has failed to achieve savings in any year since its inception” the letter states that “[t]axpayers and Traditional Medicare beneficiaries are subsidizing the surplus profits of Medicare Advantage plans.” Further, MA “plans frequently deny costly treatment options and require burdensome pre-authorization requirements that prevent beneficiaries from getting the care they need” and “[i]mpediments to timely, high-quality care lead many patients with complicated conditions […] to disenroll from Medicare Advantage plans.”
Led by Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA-45), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), the letter was also signed by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI-02), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-07), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ-03), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL-20), Judy Chu (D-CA-27), Jesús G. “Chuy” García (D-IL-04), Jahana Hayes (D-CT-05), Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12), Cori Bush (D-MO-01), Mondaire Jones (D-NY-17), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13).
As noted in the press release, the Center for Medicare Advocacy is among the organizations endorsing this letter.
April 21, 2022 – D. Lipschutz