When our leaders in D.C. accomplish something bipartisan that helps people, it is worth talking about. Earlier this year, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito led a group of 60 of her colleagues to sign a letter in support of Medicare Advantage.
In these political times, getting more than half of the Senate to agree on anything is a real achievement. The fact that the agreement was around a program as important as Medicare Advantage makes it even better.
Medicare Advantage is a public-private partnership to provide high-quality and affordable health care coverage to seniors like me. I get to enjoy more benefits than in original Medicare that make my life better. I get all this while paying a lower price.
One of the best parts of Medicare Advantage is the focus on preventive care. I try my best to live a healthy and active lifestyle, and my plan helps me do that. I get preventive care appointments with my doctor, including annual screenings and regular checkups. Medicare Advantage is not just for seniors who are sick. It also is for seniors who want to keep from getting sick.
Beyond my preventive medical care appointments, I have access to group wellness and fitness classes that let me stay active while spending time with my friends. It is so much easier to stay healthy when you do it as a team! The classes help me get out of the house and see people in the community I might not otherwise get to see.
Plans like mine have continued to gain popularity across West Virginia and throughout the country. More than 31 million seniors, including more than 190,000 West Virginians, enjoy the great benefits that Medicare Advantage provides. Like me, many of them are enrolled in Medicare Advantage because they are retirees covered by the Public Employees Insurance Agency.
We are lucky to have a leader like Sen. Capito in Washington leading the effort to protect this program. Not only did she sign the bipartisan letter, but she also was one of four senators who led the bipartisan effort around the letter.
Thank you, senator, for your focus on protecting seniors like me.
Charmel Radcliff is president of the West Virginia Association of Retired School Employees.