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Medicare Advantage Plans & Why They Are No Longer Recommended
Many, many people either currently have, or are thinking about purchasing a Medicare Advantage Plan. The most popular types of "Medicare Advantage" Plans are either an HMO, PPO, or PFFS. Here, we will refer to "Medicare Advantage Plans" as "MA Plans" for simplicity of reading.
Below are some important considerations you should understand--reasons why most senior citizens decide against Medicare Advantage Plans--but first, here are two great videos from reputable sources that we recommend watching to help give you a better idea of why we recommend against a "Medicare Advantage Plan", and instead recommend a Medicare Supplement Plan to be your plan of choice.
ABC's Good Morning America - Risks Of Medicare Advantage Plans
A Doctor's [Negative] Perspective On Medicare Advantage Plans
There are many misconceptions that people have about Medicare Advantage Plans. It is extremely important that you understand what a Medicare Advantage Plan is, and what it is not.
Below are some details and features that are commonly confused and misunderstood about Medicare Advantage Plans:
- MA Plans are not a "Medicare Supplement" like many mistakenly call it. MA Plans are instead a direct replacement of original Medicare Parts A & B.
- MA Plans usually have approximately $20 co-pays for doctor visits, $40 co-pays for specialist visits, and $50 co-pays (or more) for emergency room visits.
- MA Plans have a network of doctors - you can only use doctors and hospitals that are part of the "network area" and accept the plan (even if you have a PPO).
- MA Plans are subject to massive changes with the healthcare reform and budget deficit (plans will likely include less benefits, increase in monthly cost, or even both).
- Doctor's nationwide are starting NOT to accept MA Plans nearly as much as they use to.
- The long-term stability of Medicare Advantage Plans is being negatively impacted everyday. Less and less senior's are deciding against MA Plans as a direct result of this.
With the current healthcare reform and national budget debate, there will be approximately $132 billion in funding cut that will relate directly to the Medicare Advantage system. Since a Medicare Advantage Plan (MA Plan) is a replacement of Medicare, this means that Medicare will in return provide a reimbursement/subsidy payment to your MA Plan company. This "reimbursement" is currently averaging about $700 per month, per person who has a MA Plan as opposed to keeping original Medicare Parts A & B.
As you can tell, at $700 /month /person, these "reimbursements" are causing a serious financial strain to the Medicare financial system, and will continue to do so as long as they are still around.
Many top doctors and hospitals nationwide are also beginning not to accept MA Plans due to the decreased payouts and hassle involved when working with many MA Plan companies. Just because a certain doctor accepts the plan today, does not mean they will tomorrow. Likewise, just because your Medicare Advantage Plan covers benefits a certain way today does not mean they will do the same in the future. I have seen thousands of Medicare recipients very unhappy when their MA Plan was automatically changed on them, and now includes much worse coverage than last year - a change they had virtually no control over.
Most Medicare Advantage Plans also provide sub-par coverage for major medical problems, leaving you with much of the financial burden. Several "top-plans" require you to pay as much as $300 per night in the hospital. A 5 night stay in a hospital is already costing you $1,500, not to mention any other healthcare costs.
Many savvy senior citizens are starting to find that a "Medicare Supplement Policy" (aka Medigap Policy) is the best possible option for them because of the benefits below:
- Much more comprehensive coverage than an MA Plan
- Long-term plan stability
- Hassle free claims processing
- Can choose any doctor or hospital (as long as they accept Medicare)
- 100% coverage & no out-of-pocket expenses (Plan F)
You can compare some of the benefits of Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare Supplement Plans by clicking the link which will direct you to our website.
Are you willing to jeopardize quality coverage and be placed in a potentially life-threatening situation, just to save a "few dollars" per year on your insurance coverage? Unfortunately, many senior citizens are finding out the hard way, and we don't want you to be one of them.
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