This week, MMAPA joined community and partner organizations in Puerto Rico to send a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure highlighting the urgent need for equity in the island’s Medicare Advantage (MA) program. This letter notes Puerto Rico's severe disadvantage under the current MA rate-setting formula, which puts the island at a staggering 42% below the national average for MA funding.
The letter points out: "Seniors in Puerto Rico are poorer and have more chronic conditions than the MA population in the states, and yet federal payments for these seniors continue to fall significantly relative to the states. The absolute dollar distance to the bottom of the MA benchmarks for Puerto Rico gets larger every year, and additional administrative fixes are necessary to break this spiral to the farthest bottom."
MA is a crucial pillar of health care on the island, supporting 630,000 American seniors in Puerto Rico. The letter calls attention to the benefits of addressing perilous inequities, including enhanced care for the vulnerable, prevention of a continued exodus of health care professionals, and further investment in much-needed island infrastructure.
The Biden-Harris Plan for Recovery spoke specifically to addressing MA inequities, and now is the time to act.