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Opinion: Medicare Advantage brings peace of mind to patients and caregivers alike

It takes dedication to open your own business. Building something from the ground up requires sacrifice and resiliency, but also being adept at change. While building a business with my wife over the last 16 years in St. Louis, I was met with another important responsibility – being the eldest son living in St. Louis and thus a caregiver to my parents. Coming to terms with the reality of aging and the potential health issues that arise with that was difficult, but channeling these same values of sacrifice and resiliency helped me take on this role. And, fortunately, my parents remain very active and still manage to play golf several times a week, well into their eighties!

As many Missourians know, being a caregiver can be a tough responsibility. You are no longer just taking care of yourself, but taking care of someone who truly needs you because they need some assistance, or they can no longer do so on their own. While this can be a big adjustment, luckily health care coverage through Medicare Advantage makes this transition as smooth as possible for folks like my parents and millions of others.

The program’s coordinated care model for making the role of caregiver makes it much easier than I first expected. Providers communicate with each other as well as with patients, so everyone can be on the same page. This level of coordination came as a huge relief because it allows me to balance my time as a caregiver and as a business owner. What has also been critical is the program’s emphasis on preventative care. Medicare Advantage plans include routine services like check-ups, screenings, vaccinations, and more that help families like mine better plan for his day-to-day and long-term health. Plus, this plan offers other benefits, like integrated vision, dental, and hearing as well as prescription drug coverage.

I also appreciate that Medicare Advantage offers a variety of choices, tailored to each individual senior’s lifestyle and financial situation. As a result, seniors get high-quality care and it’s affordable – with a low monthly premium and, not to mention, a cap on all out-of-pocket expenses. As a small business owner, I appreciate when a program provides significant value, and Medicare Advantage does just that.

This program has made a significant impact on my family, stepping in to support us when we needed it most. I know we are one of many here in Missouri and across the country who rely on it. That’s why I want to call upon our elected officials in Washington, such as Representative Jason Smith, to keep doing everything they can to protect Medicare Advantage. And for everyone else who sees the value of Medicare Advantage, I urge you to reach out to your leaders to voice your support for the program as well.