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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Senator & resident commissioner hopeful demands Medicare equity

By The Star Staff

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, Sen. William Villafañe Ramos defended the rights of Medicare beneficiaries on the island.

The resident commissioner hopeful also highlighted his commitment to public health and his pursuit of equity in the treatment of Puerto Rico in terms of health policies.

“I am deeply committed to defending the well-being of Medicare beneficiaries and health care providers on the island,” Villafañe said in his letter. “This call echoes the urgent need to review and renew Medicare Advantage policies, vital to the nearly 648,000 beneficiaries in Puerto Rico.”

Villafañe emphasized in the letter the unique challenges Puerto Rico faces, including the lack of a Medicare Savings Program (MSP), a disparity in Medicare Advantage benchmarks, and exclusion from the Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy.

“It is disheartening to note that Puerto Rico is the only jurisdiction in which the local Medicaid program does not pay the monthly Medicare Part B premium for dual-eligible beneficiaries,” the senator said.

Villafañe’s letter includes proposals, such as establishing a minimum limit on the average geographic adjustment factor and the implementation of MSP in the territory.

“To address the ongoing disparities that put our aging population at a disadvantage, we propose specific actions,” Villafañe said, highlighting the urgency of the measures.

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