WASHINGTON—U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), members of the Senate Finance Committee, introduced legislation to require Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to publicly report the supplemental benefits they offer and the extent to which beneficiaries use them, making sure that the program is using Medicare-funded benefits to better serve seniors. Specifically, the legislation would require Medicare Advantage plans to report enrollee-level data on supplemental benefits to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and report eligibility for benefits, the types of benefit categories offered and data on utilization of and payments for such benefits.
“As more and more seniors turn to Medicare Advantage for their health coverage, it’s important that we properly evaluate the effectiveness of the program,” said Sen. Warner. “That’s why I introduced legislation to make Medicare Advantage data more readily available so that we can better evaluate plans in order to give seniors the best coverage for their needs and to ensure the sustainability of the Medicare program as a whole.”
In recent years, the use of MA has skyrocketed, with 39% of all Virginia Medicare beneficiaries and more than half of eligible beneficiaries nationwide choosing to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. However, there is currently no statutory requirement to specifically report on supplemental benefits, making data on available benefits and their utilization unreliable. Sen. Warner’s legislation would ensure this data is available to understand beneficiary use of supplemental benefits and their impact on the sustainability of the Medicare program.
This legislation builds on Sen. Warner’s efforts to expand and protect health care access for Medicare beneficiaries, including through legislation like the Preserving Patient Access to Home Infusion Act and CHRONIC Care Act.
Full text of the bill is available here.