America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) has launched a new national television ad campaign reminding Congress about the devastating impact on seniors of cuts to Medicare Advantage.
Titled “Last Time,” the ad follows passage of legislation by the House of Representatives that would cut the Medicare Advantage program by $157 billion over ten years.
“History has shown that cuts to this Medicare program have a direct impact on seniors’ health security,” said Karen Ignagni, President and CEO of AHIP.
Ten years ago, Congress reduced Medicare + Choice (now Medicare Advantage) funding by $22.5 billion over five years which resulted in more than 1.5 million seniors losing their Medicare health plan. The ad notes that the much larger cuts approved this month by the House could push approximately three million seniors out of Medicare Advantage and that millions more could face higher out-of-pocket costs and lose important health care benefits.
The ad complements the grassroots campaign run by AHIP’s Coalition for Medicare Choices, which was founded in 1999 and now includes more than 400,000 seniors. Coalition members are participating in town hall meetings, visiting district offices, and reaching out to Congress through phone calls, letters and emails.
The ad begins running this week on national cable television and in key markets across the country.
More than eight million seniors depend on Medicare Advantage plans. Government officials estimate that the program saves seniors on average $1,032 each year through lower out-of-pocket costs and better benefits when compared to basic Medicare coverage.