Issue Background


Seniors need good choices in healthcare. Medicare covers over 47 million Americans and is the nation's largest health insurance program for seniors. NAHU has worked diligently to benefit seniors and address their unique medical needs for decades. Despite Medicare's long-term success, NAHU knows that more work can be done to strengthen the program and ensure its functionality and viability for many years to come. 

NAHU is specifically concerned by is how Medicare recipients have been impacted by the implementation of the health reform.  Due to the new health reform law, beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan who wish to make a plan change only have one option, dis-enrolling from their Medicare Advantage plan to enroll in traditional Medicare. Unfortunately, other selections are no longer available to consumers. Furthermore, prior to the passage of the health reform law, beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan could make a one-time switch to another Medicare Advantage plan or return to traditional Medicare for 90 days after the beginning of each calendar year. Also known as "open enrollment," this safeguard was designed for consumers to be confident in their choice and not be locked into a plan if it did not suit their needs. Since the passage of the health reform law, this is no longer an option. 

NAHU supports legislation which restores the open enrollment period that had allowed Medicare beneficiaries the opportunity to make a one-time switch to a plan that best suit their medical and financial needs, and also gives individuals the opportunity to stay on an employer’s group health plan for up to 36 months after leaving employment and qualifies as creditable coverage.

NAHU believes our seniors deserve more from health reform, and we are actively lobbying to expand their options. As we continue to navigate health reform, NAHU is ready to tackle the challenges facing our seniors as they work through a complex market of options.