Daines, King Launch Bipartisan Bill to Protect Seniors

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senators Steve Daines (Mont.) and Angus King (Maine) today renewed efforts to protect Medicare benefits by re-introducing the bipartisan Medicare Advantage Quality Payment Relief Act. The bill would reverse an unintended policy of the Affordable Care Act that is currently denying millions of seniors and people with disabilities the full measure of their Medicare Advantage benefits.

“There are currently 16,000 Montanans being shortchanged the full scope of their Medicare benefits because of Obamacare,” Daines said. “My bipartisan legislation will ensure that seniors and people with disabilities receive the Medicare Advantage benefits they deserve.”

“Medicare Advantage is a tried and true program that gives Maine seniors and people with disabilities high-quality, patient-centered care,” King said. “With over ninety percent of enrollees reporting a satisfaction rate, we should be working every day to strengthen and improve Medicare Advantage. This commonsense bill is an important step forward to help people in Maine and across the country receive the benefits they are owed.”

For a one pager on the bill click HERE. For bill text click HERE.


According to a study by the Congressional Research Service, 16,000 Montanans are being denied the full scope of Medicare Advantage Benefits.

The Affordable Care Act attempted to provide better benefits for seniors and people with disabilities who are enrolled in the best Medicare Advantage Plans. Unfortunately, the law limited these “bonus payments” from ever reaching beneficiary by putting a “cap” on the payments that these Medicare plans receive.

On September 25th, 2018, Senator Daines began the bipartisan effort to protect Medicare benefits introducing S.3497.

Statements of Support: 

“This legislation would remove a payment cap (“benchmark cap”) that currently prohibits Medicare Advantage plans operating in certain parts of the country from receiving the full quality bonus payments they have earned under the program’s Star Ratings System. For many Americans with a Medicare Advantage plan, this payment cap creates an unlevel playing field, which means that seniors participating in these plans could be missing out on important savings and services.” – Matthew Eyles, President and CEO, America’s Health Insurance Plans

“It is important to enable the full-value of Medicare Advantage and access to important benefits for millions of beneficiaries by lifting the benchmark cap. Many Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are unfairly impacted and do not receive the additional benefits of enrolling in a high-quality Medicare Advantage plan.  Better Medicare Alliance commends Senator Daines for continuing to be a champion in the Senate on this issue.” – Allyson Y. Schwartz, President & CEO, Better Medicare Alliance