June 2, 2015

Statement by Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker on U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means Markup of Medicare Advantage Legislation

New York, NY—Today the U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means considers legislation on Medicare Advantage (MA). We are encouraged by some of these bipartisan policies, including provisions to make Medicare enrollment data annually available. Yet, we are deeply concerned by proposals included in this markup that would erode critical Medicare beneficiary protections.

In particular, we oppose the proposal to reintroduce an MA open enrollment period in the first three months of the plan year. This provision lacks appropriate safeguards to prevent health plans from “churning” beneficiaries from one MA plan to another. Unfairly, this policy extends a limited open enrollment period only to MA enrollees—those with a stand-alone Part D plan are not granted the same opportunity to exercise choice.

Contact: Mitchell Clark, Senior Communications Associate,, 212-204-6286

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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.

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