Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) are urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to improve care for millions of seniors and people with disabilities by strengthening their oversight of Medicare Advantage (MA) health plans following shortfalls in data collection and reporting practices. With more than half of eligible Nevadans choosing these health plans for their Medicare coverage, it’s critically important to increase the transparency of this vital program to better serve beneficiaries.
“For the first time, over half of all Medicare beneficiaries are choosing to enroll in MA plans. However, in the last few years, federal watchdogs have released numerous reports examining concerning trends in MA,” wrote the senators. “These findings raise important questions about ensuring the integrity and fiscal sustainability of the Medicare Advantage program.”
“While CMS already requires MA plans to submit some of these data – such as seniors’ cost-sharing liabilities and enrollment data by demographic – much of this information is collected for internal purposes only or made available with a significant time delay, which further hurts transparency efforts,” continued the senators. “In both cases, a lack of public data prevents seniors and people with disabilities from making informed decisions about which plan fits their needs.”
The full text of the letter is available HERE.
Senator Cortez Masto has worked to strengthen the Medicare program to provide affordable, quality health care for seniors. She passed legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and cap the cost of insulin at $35-a-month for Medicare recipients through the Inflation Reduction Act. She recently introduced bipartisan legislation to improve transparency of Medicare Advantage plans and has pushed pharmacy benefit managers to help continue to lower prescription drug costs.