July 16, 2024 8:42 am
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Opinion

The Helping Hand for Seniors in Colorado | Opinion

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Marie Valenzuela

Old age comes at you fast. Accepting we’ve reached an older age is always challenging to come to terms with, especially as we need extra help caring for ourselves. Fortunately, for me and millions of seniors, Medicare Advantage has been that helping hand. By offering a suite of resources and benefits for seniors, the program has been vital in my ability to traverse our confusing health care system and get the care I need. 

Like many seniors, I now require hearing aids to get through my day-to-day. I worried managing such a high-priced yet necessary medical device would strain me financially. Luckily, Medicare Advantage covers a large share of the costs and offers many hearing benefits. Since signing up for the program, I’ve received credits to help me afford brand-new hearing aids, which I urgently need. And with my plan’s extra benefits, I receive biannual checkups to ensure my hearing aids are functioning correctly. By going above and beyond what I would ever expect from a health care plan, Medicare Advantage has truly been a lifeline for me. 

As I’ve gotten older, it has become more important to stay healthy. Thankfully, my Medicare Advantage plan provides access to multiple fitness centers across different neighborhoods at no extra cost. I can work out in the recreation centers close to my house or explore options in other communities. I absolutely love having the opportunity to meet other retirees in my wellness classes. And especially for someone like me who lives in a rural area, these classes are so valuable for engaging with the community. But on days when I feel like being in the comfort of my own home, I have the option to take virtual classes. With all of these perks, I have been astounded by just how affordable this program is. 

My monthly premium barely makes a dent in my budget, and in fact, the average premium for Medicare Advantage decreased again this year. Medicare Advantage offers lower premiums than original Medicare, making it one of the most affordable plans on the market. Out of all the seniors I talk to in my neighborhood, the vast majority of us are on Medicare Advantage. As folks on fixed incomes, we needed a service that provided good coverage at a reasonable price. After many years of receiving top-notch coverage, we all feel confident in our decision. Medicare Advantage simply gives you the best bang for your buck. 

It remains critical that our leaders in Washington support the important priorities of Medicare Advantage. Fortunately, Senator Michael Bennet has been a staunch advocate for the half a million Coloradans on this program. 

As a member of the Senate Committee on Finance and as a former member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), our Senator has used his status to fight for Medicare Advantage’s funding and renewal. Thank you, Senator Bennet, for your support for this vital program. The seniors in our state are better cared for and more financially secure because of leaders like you.