Cuts to the Medicare Advantage program were addressed Thursday by Gov. Rick Scott during a meeting of the Florida Cabinet.
“President Obama’s administration recently announced cuts to the Medicare Advantage program as part of his larger reductions to Medicare,” Scott said. “He has decided to push forward with the cuts even though more families are using it, and has increased to nearly 16 million people.”
“In Florida, these cuts will be devastating,” he added. “More than 1 million Floridians could face higher costs and less access as a result of these cuts. Patients are losing their doctors, their quality of care is decreasing, and their premiums are skyrocketing. The President should stop these cuts that are negatively impacting so many seniors who depend on Medicare Advantage.”
The concerns of two Floridians about these cuts were included in a statement released by Gov. Scott’s office:
Myra Bushnell of Clermont was very happy with her Medicare Advantage plan, but this past year, all of that has changed. Because of cuts to the Medicare Advantage funding, Bushnell’s copays and health costs in general have increased dramatically. Furthermore, there have been increased cuts to her coverage, and Bushnell and her husband are afraid that if the funding cuts continue their health care costs could go up to almost $400 dollars a month or they could be dropped from coverage entirely. Bushnell fears that one day the federal government will just try and roll everyone into Obamacare, and that is something that scares her.
Ronald Breaux in Orange Park had a Medicare Advantage Plan that worked for a decade, until passage of the Affordable Health Care Act. Breaux and his wife Helen received a letter from their Medicare Advantage insurer in late 2012 notifying them that their physicians would be dropped at the beginning of the year. By losing their Medicare Advantage Plan, Helen would lose her three heart specialists, which were difficult to replace. The other alternative was to switch to the Medicare Part B supplemental plan, which would have cost more and provided them with fewer services. The Breaux’s were forced to shop around or risk losing critical health coverage. After several months, they were able to get another Medicare Advantage plan, but fear the same could happen with their current insurer. As Breaux said, “The Obama Administration said if you like your plan, you can keep your plan – and it all ended up being a big hassle.”
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