It takes just a few minutes to send your letter thru this link: https://actionnetwork.org/
WHAT I WROTE (& other info on Medicare Advantage & auto-enrollment below):
We are American Retirees & future retirees from all over the country, who are all facing the same issue, having our former employer or union auto-enroll us into a Privatized – For- Profit Medicare Advantage plan and removing us from Traditional Medicare with a supplement.
Medicare Advantage Plans were founded to be a choice, not a mandate. They are inferior to Traditional Medicare, can cost more for some retirees, and many providers do not accept them, leaving retirees without continuity of care. As elected officials, you have surely heard that many of these insurers are under investigation by the Department of Justice for Medicare fraud and that the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General found these insurers to wrongly delay and deny care. If we are to protect the Medicare Trust Fund, we should not be allowing private insurers to drain the public coffers by up-coding and putting a burden on the American taxpayers.
The Center for Medicare Advocacy stated, “in December 2000, a provision was added to the statute regarding employer or union sponsored group Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, which gave the secretary the broad authority to ‘waive or modify requirements that hinder the design of, the offering of, or the enrollment in [such MA] plans. This provision paved the way for the creation of the automatic enrollment process whereby employers or unions could automatically enroll their retirees in an MA plan so long as they provide advance notice and a mechanism to opt out.”
Sadly, they were not required to provide a plan to opt out into, leaving them only to re-enroll themselves into traditional Medicare but most likely without a supplemental plan. That is because you would be subject to underwriting if over 65, and in many cases no access or expensive premiums if you are disabled and under 65.
We implore you to roll back this statute (42 U.S.C.A. § 1395w-27 (West 2003))that was implemented with no public comment period in 2000, and allow Americans the ease of access to Traditional Medicare that has been customary and requires the employers and unions to live up to the promises they made to retirees. In many situations, retirees will be forced to remain in Medicare Advantage because they cannot afford to "opt out." This only benefits the Insurer and not the Medicare Beneficiary or the United Stated Medicare Trust. This also permits the unions and employers to cease providing promised benefits to retirees who can no longer negotiate as because they are no longer employed. Many of us are currently fighting for our earned and paid for Federal Medicare. Some are in Continuing Care Residential Communities where Medicare Advantage is not accepted and many of our doctors do not accept them either.
STATE ELECTEDS: While this is a FEDERAL STATUTE ISSUE, Elected Officials on the STATE LEVEL MUST be aware, as this is affecting YOUR constituents! Employers and unions NATIONWIDE, are "auto enrolling" retirees; the disabled and seniors, into these plans and out of Traditional Medicare where they may never be able to secure a supplemental plan (pays the last 20% of medical bills Medicare does not) because of a lack of State wide guarantee issue rights.
The Federal government should not be permitting retirees, seniors and the disabled to be auto enrolled into privatized Medicare plans and out of Federal Medicare that they paid into since they earned their first paycheck.
We urge you to support retirees who want to remain enrolled in Medicare with the Supplement they were promised decades ago. Many of our former employers or unions made promised to us. Now, is not the time to renege on them.
Links to articles: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/
HHS OIG: https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/
MEDICARE ADVOCACY AUTO ENROLLMENT: https://medicareadvocacy.org/