Ask Your Representative to Cosponsor the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act
More seniors than ever before are choosing Medicare Advantage plans for their health insurance needs. A Medicare Advantage plan is a private health insurance plan that includes Part A Hospital Insurance, Part B Medical Insurance, and may or may not include prescription drug coverage. According to a 2019 Kaiser Family Foundation report, Medicare Advantage enrollment has nearly doubled in a decade. One-third (34%) of all Medicare beneficiaries — 22 million people — are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, and nearly four out of five enrollees (79%) are in plans that require prior authorization for some services. Prior authorization is a common tool where a member of the health care team must obtain approval from a patient’s health insurer to determine if a prescribed procedure, medication, service, or device will be covered by the health insurance plan, prior to the patient receiving it. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans will rise to nearly half of all Medicare beneficiaries (about 47%) by 2029.
Introduced by Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Roger Marshall, MD (R-KS), and Ami Bera, MD (D-CA), the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act legislation would help protect patients from unnecessary delays in care by streamlining and standardizing prior authorization under the Medicare Advantage program, providing much-needed oversight and transparency of health insurance for America’s seniors.
Specifically, the bill would:
- Create an electronic prior authorization process;
- Minimize the use of prior authorization for routinely approved services;
- Ensure prior authorization requests are reviewed by qualified medical personnel;
- Require regular reports from Medicare Advantage plans on their use of prior authorization and rates of delay and denial; and
- Prohibit the use of prior authorization for medically-necessary services performed during pre-approved surgeries or other invasive procedures.
The Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act currently has 262 cosponsors. Of those health care bills with more than 250 co-sponsors, H.R. 3107 is the most bipartisan health care bill, with a nearly even numbers of Democrats and Republican cosponsors.
Please lend your voice to this important issue by using this form to contact your Representative to ask them to cosponsor the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act.