More coverage for Medicare is on the way under President Donald Trump’s healthcare overhaul, the American Medical Association announced Tuesday.
The new Medicare Advantage program, which will be rolled out in 2019, is intended to help the elderly and disabled pay for their own healthcare, according to AMA CEO and president Robert Laszewski.
“Medicare Advantage is an important tool to help patients pay for health care.
That’s why we’re working with Congress to ensure it’s available to all Americans regardless of age, race, gender, geography, or medical history,” Laszews said in a statement.
“We’ve also been working with health insurance providers to ensure this coverage is available to more Americans, including providing coverage to more seniors, and we’re committed to working with the White House to provide affordable access to affordable coverage for all Americans.”
Under the Affordable Care Act, many seniors who have not received coverage under Medicare can enroll in Medicare Advantage plans that include some or all of their medical expenses.
The Affordable Care Acts new insurance exchanges, which the administration is working to set up nationwide, will help those enrolled in Medicare to compare insurers and find the one that’s right for them.
The AMA’s Laszews plan, however, does not specify how the plans will be different from traditional Medicare Advantage and the current plans that the administration has approved for Medicaid and CHIP.
A spokesperson for the White the Department of Health and Human Services said the government does not plan to expand Medicare Advantage to include coverage for the elderly.
“The Administration does not have plans to expand Medicaid or CHIP to Medicare Advantage, or to offer Medicare Advantage-style coverage to all people who meet certain eligibility criteria,” said Jessica Davis, a White House spokesperson.
In the statement, Laszaws office also emphasized that the new Medicare plans will not change the rules for who is eligible to buy insurance under the Affordable Healthcare Act.
The healthcare reform law mandates that all people over age 65 must be covered by a Medicare plan.
The AHAs new plan will include coverage of preventive care, maternity care, prescription drugs and mental health services, the AMA said.
The White House said it will continue to monitor the rollout of Medicare Advantage.
“We are committed to improving access to quality healthcare and to expanding Medicare to meet the needs of seniors and people with disabilities,” LasZews said.