Hello Friends and Neighbors,
I hope you are all staying safe with the new snow on the ground. I'm sure the school-age kids probably enjoyed their "snow days."
In this week’s update, I wanted to keep you informed about an important issue impacting our district: Medicare Cost Plans. I also wanted to pass along a quick note about the Pro-Life March in St. Paul.
Medicare Cost Plans:
For background, Medicare Cost Plans were authorized by Congress in 1972 to ensure access to private health plans for beneficiaries living in rural areas and areas where Medicare Advantage penetration has traditionally been low. Today, there are 16 Medicare Cost Plans across the country with a total of nearly 700,000 enrollees. Approximately 400,000 of these enrollees live in Minnesota and are enrolled in high quality, non-profit health plans, offering decades of services for seniors in the state and region.
I am concerned about the 70% of Minnesota seniors who are currently enrolled in Medicare Cost Plans, many of whom will be notified next fall their plan is going away. These seniors are our loved ones, friends, neighbors, including nearly 6,000 living in Goodhue and Wabasha Counties and many of whom may have trouble finding comparable coverage that best meets their needs. Initial estimations point to a 50% increase in premiums and some seniors may lose access to their current providers.
Picking the right Medicare plan can be quite a difficult process. Given the large scope of this problem, we could see hundreds of thousands of seniors and their families scrambling to find answers.
The good news is there’s a solution. I spoke with Congressman Jason Lewis's staff and urged the Congressman to support legislative steps to prevent this unnecessary and avoidable disruption and confusion. Lewis met with stakeholders on the issue and sent a letter of support for Minnesota seniors who will lose their Medicare Cost Plan at the end of 2018. Knowing that there’s a solution at the federal level is encouraging, now we just need to work to help get this change enacted.
Minnesotans have seen enough market disruption over the past few years. I'm glad to have Congressman Lewis's support as I continue to advocate to make sure our seniors have the stability and coverage they need and deserve going forward.
Pro-Life Event at the Capitol:
On Monday, the annual March For Life was held in St. Paul to support the right to life. I've long been a pro-life supporter, and see true God-given value in each human life. Due to our large blizzard, I was unable to make it to St. Paul for the march, but will continue to support this cause in the legislature.
Staying In Touch:
If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding anything related to state government, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or 651-296-8635.