Coalition Submits Letter to CMS Admin Seema Verma Regarding Medicare Advantage | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Coalition Submits Letter to CMS Admin Seema Verma Regarding Medicare Advantage

Letters to Officials

May 8, 2020

Seema Verma, MPH
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 445-G
Washington, DC 20201

Dear Administrator Verma:

Thank you for your continued strong leadership of CMS during the very challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On behalf of the undersigned organizations we are writing you today to urge you to protect the 24 million seniors who rely on Medicare Advantage from the uncertainties caused by COVID-19 pandemic.  Some of the current signers sent you a letter previously in advance of the 2021 MA Rate Notice on this same topic.

Seniors face multiple threats from COVID-19. Not only are those over sixty-five more susceptible to the physical harms of the virus, but for the 24 million who choose Medicare Advantage the distorting effects of the virus on the health care marketplace could end up harming the future affordability of their health care.

As you well know, the protective measures that physicians and hospitals have taken around the COVID-19 pandemic have meant that millions of seniors are going without their usual physician visits or elective procedures.  Several analyses have found that visits to physicians have dropped precipitously in the last few months, across both primary care and specialty providers.

Our concern is that seniors’ lower utilization of health services in 2020 will in no way reflect their true health status or future health care costs.  In addition, none of us yet know what vaccines, treatments, hospitalizations, and widespread testing will cost as we go forward.  This combination of lower costs now and potentially greater costs later creates massive uncertainty in the Medicare Advantage program that must be addressed. Without active measures on the part of CMS, millions of seniors may see higher costs and/or reduced benefits in 2021, effectively resulting in a “pandemic penalty.”

We know that these are challenging times for all Americans and appreciate the strong leadership that you and the Administration have shown already in addressing these unprecedented challenges.  We urge you to continue to use your authority to protect seniors whose health and financial well-being is at risk because of COVID-19.


James L. Martin
60 Plus Association

Saulius “Saul” Anuzis
60 Plus Association

Ryan Ellis 
Center for Free Economy

Tom Schatz
Citizens Against Government Waste

Andrew Quinlan
Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Brent Wm. Gardner 
Chief Government Affairs Officer
Americans for Prosperity 

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Coalition Letters

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