Press Release             

Contact: Akiko Takano
Deputy Director of Communications

September 22, 2010

Statement by Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker on the Release of Medicare Advantage Program Information

New York, NY—Next year looks bright for Medicare consumers. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken significant steps to improve the coverage options available to people with Medicare in 2011. CMS has rigorously reviewed plan bids and used new authority granted through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to help keep plan premiums down even as new consumer protections are put in place. These protections in the Medicare Advantage program include limiting cost-sharing for certain services to the same amounts in Original Medicare, creating a new mandatory out-of-pocket limit and consolidating duplicative plans, which will help simplify choices for consumers.

CMS’s announcement of these improvements comes just six months after the enactment of the ACA, which includes other benefits that people with Medicare can look forward to in 2011, including the elimination of cost-sharing for many preventive services in the Medicare program. Furthermore, Medicare consumers who enter the doughnut hole in Part D drug coverage next year will receive a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs, a big step toward closing the coverage gap, which will be fully accomplished by 2020.

As in past years, we urge consumers to examine their coverage options to be sure that the coverage they have best fits their needs.

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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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