Senators Make Bipartisan Call For Changes To Medicare Advantage Funding For Puerto Rico
Letter To Secretary Azar Urges Changes To Proposed 2020 Medicare Advantage Payments
March 26, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released Part II of its 2020 Medicare Advantage Advance Notice and Draft Call Letter. While the CMS proposal appears to maintain Medicare Advantage (MA) payments in Puerto Rico at current levels, fundamental changes are essential in order to address long-standing federal funding inequities for Puerto Rico's health care system.
In a letter led by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a bipartisan group of senators asked Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar to encourage CMS to reconsider the Call Letter for Calendar Year 2020 Medicare Advantage and Part D plans for Puerto Rico, which did not include sufficient measures to alleviate the payment disparities for MA and Part D plans operating on the island. They join sixteen members of Congress and Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló in stressing the harmful consequences of the current proposal for the American citizens of Puerto Rico.
The letter, which was also signed by Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), underscored that MA "plays a critical role in Puerto Rico's health care system, providing beneficiaries with high-quality care while keeping their out-of-pocket costs low."
MMAPA President Jim O'Drobinak expressed his appreciation for the senators' efforts, saying "MMAPA applauds senators for taking a stand on this issue. We hope CMS amends its latest proposal to ensure seniors can access the care they deserve."
Over 580,000 people rely on MA on the island, yet MA payment rates have gone from 24 percent below the national average in 2011 to 43 percent below the average in 2019. MMAPA will continue to work with members of Congress, the governor, and the administration to ensure that funding inequities are addressed and that the American citizens of Puerto Rico get the care they deserve.
The Medicaid and Medicare Advantage Products Association of Puerto Rico (MMAPA) is a non-profit organization composed of the leading Medicaid and Medicare Advantage organizations in Puerto Rico. Founded in 2009, MMAPA is dedicated to promoting policy solutions to solve Puerto Rico's health care challenges.
Jim David or Meghan Pennington
Hamilton Place Strategies
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