Editor, The Commercial:

Editor, The Commercial:

I am concerned over the potential of further funding cuts to Medicare Advantage when the new federal budget is made. Hundreds of billions of dollars have already been slashed from the vital healthcare program in recent years, and these funding reductions have a negative impact on seniors’ health and financial situations. I am urging our elected officials in Washington to work with fellow legislators to balance the federal budget without taking more funds from Medicare Advantage.

My husband and I have Medicare Advantage plans through Care Improvement Plus and Humana, respectively, and up to this point, both plans have served us well. As we age, having good healthcare plans has been reassuring. For my husband, who is a diabetic, it has been a necessity. We also enjoy the dental and vision benefits, which are extremely important at our age.

If more funding is cut from Medicare Advantage, these benefits would likely be the first to go, and we would either have to pay for these services out of pocket or go without. Neither of these is a good option for us. It is very likely that our premiums and co-pays would also increase with a funding reduction, and this would mean less money in our budget for other necessities. Additionally, we could end up losing the doctors we have come to rely upon, and we had a very difficult time finding providers who would take our healthcare plans.

During the ongoing budget debates, our officials in Washington, D.C. must remember all of the senior citizens who rely on the Medicare Advantage program. At this stage of our lives, we need good, affordable health care, and Medicare Advantage provides that for us. Hopefully they will fight against any suggested decreases in funding for this important program.

Barbara Hutcheson

Pine Bluff