By Dorothy McClure
Over the past several years, there has been a lot of uncertainty in the world, and as a result, many of us have had to make a lot of tough, personal choices. One of the best decisions I made, however, was choosing a health care plan that allowed me to focus on fighting cancer and getting healthy without added stress.
My Medicare Advantage plan caps out-of-pocket costs and offers a robust network of doctors, which allowed me to find a treatment plan that worked best for my diagnosis. While the total cost for my treatment plan would have been over $900,000, my bill came out to be $10,000 thanks to Medicare Advantage.
Beyond all the physical pain, cancer patients also suffer from mental health challenges before, during, and after their treatments. Cancer patients cite increased feelings of depression, anxiety, and other emotional stresses, which can cause a major disruption in family, social, and work life.
Most Medicare Advantage plans help enrollees with mental health by providing supplemental benefits like talk therapy, wellness programs, and a range of other counseling services. It is important for all cancer patients and survivors alike to look after their mental well-being just as much as their physical, so having access to proper mental health care can make a huge difference. Studies have even shown that mental health treatment can improve survival rates and quality of life.
Medicare Advantage is a great example of a private-public partnership that delivers seniors and people with disabilities quality, affordable care.
Beyond offering supplemental wellness benefits, Medicare Advantage has excellent coverage for preventative screenings, so diseases can be caught early and treated immediately. Whether it’s a mammogram or a blood pressure test, plans include access to a range of tests that enrollees to see a full picture of their health.
For seniors like me who live on a fixed income, this is life-changing coverage — and I could not be thankful enough to tell my story. Medicare Advantage is a great example of a private-public partnership that delivers seniors and people with disabilities quality, affordable care. Program funding should be protected at all costs for the over 30 million Americans who rely on it for their health care.
I hope policymakers hear stories like mine and it encourages them to support effective, popular programs, including Medicare Advantage.
Dorothy McClure was born in 1944 in Auckland, New Zealand. In 2017, she became the director of the Wellington Senior Center. In December she was diagnosed with breast cancer and spent the next 15 months receiving treatments, including chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. She is now cancer-free. She stays busy being involved in her 11-year-old granddaughter’s life and activities, senior center activities, weekly card games with friends, and maintaining her house and yard. She wrote this piece for Colorado Newsline, a sibling site of the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, where it first appeared.
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