Congresswoman Diana DeGette

Representing the First District of Colorado
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Rep. DeGette Bill to Improve Medicare Advantage for Chronically Ill Seniors

Jun 29, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) has teamed up with colleagues to introduce bipartisan legislation that lets Medicare Advantage insurance plans offer a wider array of benefits to chronically ill enrollees. The bill, H.R. 3044, waives uniformity requirements among Medicare Advantage plans and lets insurers offer plans better tailored to meet the individual needs of patients with chronic illness.

“I'm proud to support this bipartisan bill, which will facilitate better care coordination for millions of seniors affected by chronic illness,” Congresswoman DeGette said. “By allowing plans to cover supplemental benefits that are not traditionally covered by Medicare Advantage, such as case management and meal delivery, we can deliver better health outcomes and quality of life for seniors who have complex care needs.”

“Increasing rates of chronic illness among older Americans and an aging population are real challenges for our health care system,” said Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-PA). “Chronic illnesses account for 70 percent of deaths in Pennsylvania each year, and seniors with chronic conditions are more likely to visit an emergency room or require hospitalization. More than a million seniors in Pennsylvania utilize Medicare Advantage plans. This bill will help seniors obtain a Medicare Advantage plan with benefits that best meet their needs. The result will be improved care and services for seniors coping with diabetes, arthritis and other chronic conditions.”

“Many benefits necessary to improving health outcomes and quality of life for our seniors affected by chronic illness are not traditionally covered by Medicare Advantage,” Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL) added. “For the 363,000 Alabamians enrolled in Medicare Advantage who suffer from one or more chronic illnesses, our bipartisan bill will enable better care coordination so they can access the benefits that meet their needs, including transportation services, nutrition programs, in-home support services, and more. Protecting our seniors’ health should not be a partisan issue, and I’m proud to have worked across the aisle to introduce bipartisan legislation to help seniors living with chronic conditions, like so many in Alabama.”

“Many New Jerseyans count on Medicare Advantage,” said Congressman Lance. “I am pleased to join Congressman Meehan in this legislation to further advance the goals of Medicare Advantage and help craft a plan to provide patient-specific benefits for chronically ill enrollees.  Expanding supplemental benefits can improve the lives of chronically ill individuals enrolled in Medicare Advantage.  We want to improve health outcomes while also ensuring the Medicare program is stable and continues to provide high quality health care.”

“On behalf of the senior advocates, aging professionals, providers, and beneficiaries in our coalition, we commend this first step taken by Representatives Patrick Meehan, Terri Sewell, Diana DeGette, Joseph Kennedy and Leonard Lance to enable Medicare Advantage to offer a wider range of enhanced benefits critical to the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective health care to beneficiaries with multiple chronic illnesses,” said Allyson Y. Schwartz, President & CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance.