Those MediCare Advantage Plans

You have seen the ads…..everybody sells these plans, even AARP, that say they can put money back into your Social Security check….but what of these plans?

First of all the whole US health care system is a scam.

But what of these ‘advantage’ plans?

At least one Senator is not convinced these are anything but a deception….

Sen. Ron Wyden on Tuesday launched an inquiry into “potentially deceptive” marketing tactics being used by private insurers and other companies that offer Medicare benefits through Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans, citing “alarming reports” about contractors “engaging in aggressive sales practices that take advantage of vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities.”

In his capacity as chair of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal healthcare programs under the Social Security Act, including privately run Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D drug plans, Wyden (D-Ore.) sent letters requesting more information from 15 state insurance commissioners and state health insurance assistance programs.

The letter—sent to officials in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas—comes amid a surge in complaints about MA and Part D marketing materials that purport to inform seniors of their coverage options.

In May, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which has the authority to regulate materials used to market MA and Part D plans, reported that complaints from seniors more than doubled from 2020 to 2021.

Among other things, Wyden wants officials to provide data on the number of complaints about MA and/or Part D marketing materials they have received in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, including possible patterns of discrimination, as well as “examples of potentially false or misleading marketing materials and advertisements in MA or Part D, including mailers, robo-calls, websites, television commercials, and online advertisements.”

Of Medicare’s 60 million beneficiaries, nearly half are enrolled in MA plans and 50 million are enrolled in Part D plans. Corporations that manage MA plans have come under fire for upcoding, or exaggerating patients’ illnesses in order to reap larger payments from the federal government—something they do while refusing to provide necessary care for tens of thousands each year.

So the question remains….is Medicare Advantage a necessary expense?  Is it a scam?

My thoughts are this is an unnecessary expense with promises that may not be realized or needed.

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13 thoughts on “Those MediCare Advantage Plans

  1. The only plan worth considering is one similar to our NHS here. Everyone pays a percentage contribution of their salary, and treatment is free, whatever your situation. Forget the individual states, the insurance companies, and drug companies, and put healthcare under Federal control and central funding.
    (That might upset some of your far-right readers, chuq. Too ‘Socialist’. Like I care, they don’t even know what Socialism is. )
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I have been a supporter of Medicare for All from the beginning….the only answer but Pharma will fight to the death to keep it from happening. chuq

  2. Some of those things can actually cause the beneficiary to lose partial benefits from their Medicaid and/or Medicare plans ..sometimes the “Benefits” being paid for by the purchase of the advantage plans cause some of the benefits in the regular government programs to be reduced. So some people are reportedly paying a fee to get their benefits reduced. That is what I heard anyway. Do not take my word for it. I only have second hand information.

  3. Very, very, very deceptive process to get people to buy – unintentionally – $30-50 a month additional insurance – a cost more than if you intentionally added dental coverage (which can be bought for as little a $18 a month.

    1. I believe you are right. It is like the state lotteries. The state lotteries are just another scam to get more tax out of the citizens.

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