On June 28, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held an oversight hearing on Medicare Advantage plans with federal officials. The hearings focused on medical plan use of prior authorizations in the program, spurred by a Health and Human Services Inspector General report released in April. Additionally, chairperson Pallone (D-NJ-07) included in his opening remarks:

“One benefit to enrollees under the Medicare Advantage program is that plans can use portions of their funding to provide supplemental benefits beyond what traditional Medicare offers. These supplemental benefits include transportation to and from appointments, nutrition planning, memberships for fitness centers or dental coverage.

These supplemental benefits can certainly provide real positive impacts for seniors. But there has not been any meaningful accounting about whether or not seniors are using these services and if their usage correlates to the other money insurance companies are being paid.

As Medicare payments for these supplemental benefits continue to increase, we must better understand if they are helping seniors and whether they are being delivered at a reasonable cost. We need more transparency and reliable data from the insurers to ensure that taxpayer funds benefit seniors and not the insurers.”

Several members tangentially mentioned dental benefits during the hearing as an example of supplemental Medicare Advantage benefits utilized by most enrollees.

Email Director of Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs Owen Urech with any thoughts or questions.


Pallone Opening Statement

Meeting Announcement

Full Recording

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