The Honorable Andrew Slavitt
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 445-G
Washington, DC 20201
Dear Acting Administrator Slavitt,
On behalf of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), I am writing to express our concern about the proposed cuts to the Medicare Advantage (MA) Retiree Coverage plans that were included in the 2017 MA Advance Rate Notice/Call Letter.
As America’s largest Hispanic business association, the USHCC actively promotes the economic growth, development and interests of more than 4.1 million Hispanic-owned businesses that, combined, contribute over $661 billion to the American economy every year. It also advocates on behalf of 260 major American corporations and serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local chambers and business associations nationwide.
Employers are increasingly choosing Medicare Advantage plans for their retirees due to its comprehensive and affordable plan design, which includes prescription drug options; wellness and prevention and disease management programs; and supplemental benefits, like vision and dental, which many retirees would otherwise have to purchase out-of-pocket. Medicare Advantage plans also function in the same manner as an employer-sponsored plan, so there is less confusion for current employees entering retirement about their health benefits.
As you know, more than 3.3 million retirees currently receive their health benefits through an employer, comprising almost 20 percent of total Medicare Advantage enrollment. The proposed cuts would undermine the accessibility and affordability that make MA Retiree plans essential to employers who are trying to manage rising health care costs for their current employees, future retirees, and ultimately their businesses. In addition, retirees currently enrolled in MA Retiree Coverage plans could face higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs, reduced benefits, and fewer choices of doctors and hospitals.
On behalf of the 4.1 million Hispanic-owned businesses we represent, and the millions more employed by those businesses, we respectfully ask that you to reconsider the proposed cuts to the Medicare Advantage Retiree Coverage program, and restore the stability needed to maintain a competitive and innovative health care marketplace.
Javier Palomarez, President & CEO, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce