BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Congresswoman Carol Miller paid a visit to the Tamarack Conference Center on Tuesday to take part in a Medicare discussion.
Led by the Coalition of Medicare Choices, the discussion was on the importance of Medicare and Medicare Advantage in West Virginia. It covers senior citizens and certain disabled people. Coalition spokesperson Tom Susman says it’s a plan that gives this segment of the population options when it comes to healthcare.
“It’s an all-inclusive plan, it has care management, in a lot of cases it has some exercise benefits that go with it, it has set co-pays or lower co-pays, or no co-pays, and it gives people choice,” Susman says.
Nearly a quarter of West Virginians benefit from Medicare Advantage.
Congresswoman Miller was one of the West Virginia lawmakers who saw such benefits of the healthcare plan. With her support, the coalition is able to come together to discuss ways to keep the cost of the plan affordable.
A member of Medicare Advantage, Jim Wallace says it’s a plan with benefits encompassing most older West Virginians.
“I think a lot of seniors don’t realize the benefits of Medicare Advantage over traditional Medicare,” Wallace says. “They might turn 65 and just automatically sign up for the regular Medicare and not know what they’re missing.”
In addition to basic healthcare coverage, Medicare Advantage offers people a holistic approach to care like social needs for seniors. About 43% of West Virginians have signed up for the plan, a number that Wallace says is starting to increase.
“We’ve seen over the past few years that the percentage of West Virginia seniors signing up for Medicare Advantage is increasing, and I guess more and more of them are getting the word,” says Wallace.
In addition to talking about ways to keep the plan affordable for area seniors, the conference was also held to thank the office of Carol Miller for her efforts in supporting it.