Report outlines impacts of Medicare Advantage cuts

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said on Thursday that a recently released study confirms that cuts to Medicare Advantage will hurt seniors’ access to quality and affordable care.

Seniors who rely on Medicare Advantage will have their benefits reduced and premiums increased by $65 to $145 per month over the next two years, according to a report from management consulting firm Oscar Wyman

“The Obama administration’s cuts to Medicare Advantage would hurt the quality health care that 15 million seniors receive from this popular program,” Hatch said. “Medicare Advantage has successfully increased choice and ensured greater access to quality and affordable care. But, as this report shows, seniors will pay the price of these cuts with many having to pay up to $145 a month more and others who could lose their plans, benefits and doctors all together. This isn’t right and has to be stopped. “

The Affordable Care Act cut $716 billion in Medicare funding in 2014, and Medicare Advantage payments were cut by 6.5 percent.

The study found that Medicare Advantage will see a 5.9-percent reduction in payments in 2015. The plans are also facing 9.9 percent to 11.9 percent reductions, meaning that benefits would be reduced while payments increase.

Low-income individuals will be disproportionately affected because 41 percent of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries have incomes lower than $20,000 per year, according to the report.