NEW HAVEN, CT—Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) today announced she will introduce the Medicare Advantage Participant Bill of Rights Act. The legislation was developed as a result of UnitedHealth Group’s unprecedented dropping of doctors from their Medicare Advantage networks, including the entire Yale-New Haven Hospital network. The legislation was endorsed today by the Connecticut State Medical Society. Over 32,000 Connecticut Medicare Advantage participants were affected by this last year. DeLauro previously requested a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation into Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) oversight of UnitedHealth’s actions.
“The timing and scale of UnitedHealth Group’s provider cuts have been extremely disruptive to patient care and put participants at risk. The CMS have a responsibility to ensure that Medicare Advantage plans are serving the needs of their participants. The protections they announced Monday are a step in the right direction, but we can do better. That is why I will be introducing the Medicare Advantage Participant Bill of Rights Act, which would prohibit Medicare Advantage organizations, like UnitedHealth, from dropping providers at any time during the year without cause. Congress has to hold these companies accountable, and make sure they are putting the care of their enrollees ahead of their profits.”
The Medicare Advantage Participant Bill of Rights Act would:
· Prohibit Medicare Advantage Plans from dropping providers during the middle of the year. This will ensure that enrollees do not lose access to their doctors and other providers in-between the open enrollment periods when they are unable to change Medicare Advantage plans.
· Require Medicare Advantage Plans to finalize their provider networks 60 days in advance of the annual enrollment period for Medicare Advantage. This will ensure that enrollees know what providers will be covered before they enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan.