WASHINGTON, D.C. – Jack Ebeler, president and CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP), issued the following statement today in reaction to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) announcement of health plans and companies that will offer Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans this year:
“Today’s announcement sets the stage for 40 million Americans with Medicare to decide whether and how to get prescription drug coverage. A marketing avalanche of gigantic proportions is about to hit. With so many important decisions to make, beneficiaries need to take steps to prevent information overload.
“Everyone should consider the new drug benefit carefully, but there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. A retiree who currently receives drug coverage from a former employer should check with that employer before deciding. People with Medicare who already belong to a health plan could jeopardize their access to providers and medical benefits under that plan if they sign up for a prescription drug only plan. Medicaid beneficiaries and others who need financial assistance should check with their state for more information.
“Medicare recipients can identify programs in their area and compare offerings and premiums online at www.medicare.gov or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE. They should consider the prescriptions they take and other health care needs to determine which option provides the right level of coverage at the best cost. The quality of the care that plans provide is also important. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (www.ncqa.org) and Medicare offer online resources to help people compare plans.
“When people with Medicare choose prescription drug coverage this fall, the best options will offer comprehensive benefits, high-quality, well-coordinated care and lots of experience in Medicare and their communities.”
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ACHP is a leadership organization that brings together innovative health plans and provider organizations that are among America’s best at delivering affordable, high-quality coverage and care to their communities. Drawing on years of experience, members collaborate to identify problems, share information and work toward solutions to some of health care’s biggest challenges. Their work is the foundation for ACHP’s advocacy on behalf of better health care nationally. ACHP members have delivered Medicare benefits to consumers for years and comprise 20 percent of the current Medicare Advantage market. More information about ACHP is available at www.achp.org.
Capital Health Plan; CareOregon; Fallon Community Health Plan; Group Health Cooperative; Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin; Health Alliance Plan; HealthPartners; HIP Health Plan of New York; Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and the Permanente Federation; M•Plan; OSF HealthPlans; UCare Minnesota; UPMC Health Plan