Medicare is making important strides to address the needs of those who are chronically ill. As noted in the article, though, most of the new Medicare benefits aimed towards individuals with chronic conditions will be limited to those who enroll in private Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. On the one hand, MA enrollees may have access to benefits and services that they previously did not have, but plans will have much discretion about the scope of such extra benefits and to whom they will be available. On the other hand, such benefits are not being expanded to the two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries who choose not to enroll in MA plans.
It is critical that the Medicare program continues to expand to meet the needs of all beneficiaries, regardless of how they choose to access their coverage.
JUDITH STEIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR MEDICARE ADVOCACY
JOE BAKER, PRESIDENT, MEDICARE RIGHTS CENTER