We’re being overwhelmed with advertising for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, but there are no ads for traditional Medicare. The reason for the MA ads is that the Medicare Advantage corporations are making huge profits.
Medicare Advantage is privatizing Medicare. When you sign on for Medicare Advantage you are giving your Medicare dollars to an insurance company to do with as they please. MA programs advertise their low or $0 premiums but don’t mention that there are significant co-pays when you access health care services. With MA plans, you are confined to providers in the plan’s network, prior-authorizations are required for many tests, procedures and services. These delay the care you need, and in many cases outright deny payment altogether, even though your doctors ordered the treatment.
I chose Traditional Medicare parts A and B and bought an additional supplement (medigap) and a Medicare Drug Plan. The cost of these Medicare Supplemental plans varies, but usually adds up to about $175 for both the supplement and Medicare Drug Plan. With this coverage, I can receive care from all Medicare providers in the U.S., and not worry about prior approvals or denials or delays in care and treatment. I’m confident that I am well covered for my senior years, with decisions about my health made by my doctor and me, not some employee at a Medicare Advantage company that makes more money if I don’t get the care I may need.
Dr. Marvin Malek detailed the many drawbacks to MA plans earlier this year in an OPED titled “State workers — and the rest of us — should resist Medicare ‘Advantage.’” You can read it here: Tinyurl.com/NoMedicareAdvantage.
Linda Andrews, BSN, NP in Women’s Health Care, MPH