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Wyden Uses Heatwave To Urge Insurers To Provide Seniors With AC, Filtration Systems

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Elderly Oregonians with Medicare Advantage health plans should have insurers provide them with air conditioners and filtration units.  That from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden.

The Oregon Democrat argues that in 2019, Congress passed his Chronic Care Act. A provision lets Medicare Advantage offer “non-primarily health related” benefits, which includes indoor air quality equipment and services.

”What I’m doing – particularly because it is so hot – is urging Oregon insurance companies to use the tools under the law that I wrote to protect senior citizens who are counting on their coverage from potentially deadly heat.”

Of the 116 state residents who died during last month’s heat dome, most were senior citizens.

Wyden’s office says more than 1 out of 10 Oregonians have a Medicare Advantage plan.  Letters have been sent to AllCare, ATRIO, Regence BlueCross BlueShield, Health Net, Trillium, Aetna, CareOregon, Humana, Kaiser, Moda, PacificSource, Providence, Samaritan, and UnitedHealthcare...all insurance companies with significant MA membership,

Copyright 2021, KLCC. 

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.