Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21244
Dear Acting Administrator Slavitt:
We write to express our concern regarding changes the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed in the 2017 Advance Notice that will have a direct impact on Arizona’s seniors. We are specifically concerned about the proposed 2.5-4% cut to Medicare Advantage (MA) Retiree Coverage and the changes to Risk Adjustment that could leave the most vulnerable seniors in Arizona who are receiving care in an institutional setting without access to quality care.
Over 43,000 retired teachers and other retired state employees in the Arizona State Retiree System (ASRS) depend on MA Retiree Coverage that is critical to preserve as it offers seniors robust, well-coordinated, quality care for its beneficiaries including access to disease management tools and prescription drug coverage. CMS has stated that the proposed cut to MA Retiree Coverage is 2.5 percent, and some outside analyses have suggested that the cut could be as much as 4 percent. Adopting these dramatic cuts to a popular, successful program would only place burdens on beneficiaries by increasing premiums, reducing benefits, and narrowing provider networks for Arizona’s retirees.
We also want to express concern about the significant changes to the proposed 2017 risk adjustment model. For the vast majority of plans and the beneficiaries they serve, there will be a net payment reduction. Not only will this impact care for seniors with multiple chronic conditions, but also long term institutional care beneficiaries enrolled in Institutional Special Needs Plans (I-SNP). In Arizona, there are over 70 nursing homes whose resources will be restricted as a result of this proposal.
We urge you to stop these harmful cuts in the 2017 Final Rate Notice and protect Arizona’s seniors from additional disruption.
John McCain, United States Senator
Jeff Flake, United States Senator
Martha McSally, Member of Congress
Trent Franks, Member of Congress
Matt Salmon, Member of Congress
Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S., Member of Congress