The Medicare Advantage Scam

Each year, senior citizens can enroll in Medicare health and drug plans from October 15 – December 7. One of the organizations taking advantage of the open enrollment period is the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). While you might think that's a government, independent agency, it is, in fact, a corporate marketing agency designed to seduce you into giving up your public health insurance under traditional Medicare and to sign up for a private insurance Medicare Advantage plan. You take a big gamble when you sign up with a Medicare Advantage plan. If you’re lucky and are healthy, you can save money because you won’t need to buy supplemental coverage, as most people need to do in traditional Medicare. But, if you get sick, you might find that you can’t see the doctors you want to see, your plan refuses to pre-authorize procedures your doctors say you need and, if you get care, the co-pays and deductibles add up to thousands of dollars. Medicare Advantage plans generally offer some benefits that traditional Medicare does not offer, such as free rides to doctor appointments, dental, vision and other similar services. The thing is, you’re trading away your ability to see the doctors and use the hospitals you want to use anywhere in the country without worry that your care will be covered, all for a few “incidentals.” These for-profit health plans that deliver Medicare benefits are using stars like Joe Namath to mislead people into signing up for coverage that very well might not meet their needs if they get sick or need a lot of costly care. What “Broadway Joe" doesn’t explain is that if you leave traditional Medicare and enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you very well might not be able to switch back to traditional Medicare. So, be careful when listening to the Medicare Advantage plan commercials; they’re not telling you the whole truth.