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Medicare Advantage: Buyer Beware

Medicare Advantage: Buyer Beware July 21, 2022

By: Sharon McReynolds


While our agency does not sell Medicare Supplements or Medicare Advantage plans, we are often asked questions about how to handle employees who are turning age 65.  My very first resource recommendation is to turn to the guide “Medicare & You”. It can be found through a quick Google search (current version linked above), but is also mailed to the homes of those soon to turn 65 or anyone already 65.  While it is over 100 pages in length, it has everything individuals need to know to educate themselves on how and when to enroll in Medicare.


The enrollment into Medicare Advantage plans has increased significantly over the past ten years. Over 40% of Medicare beneficiaries are taking part in an Advantage Plan as of 2021 according to a study by AARP.  Here is my issue, private insurers receive a flat monthly fee for each and every Medicare beneficiary they cover under this type of plan.  So, think this through, if already receiving a fee, is there an incentive to actually “treat” these folks enrolled?  Or, is there an incentive to deny or delay requests for tests and treatment, often times putting the health of our older population at risk?


Under original Medicare, the government pays providers directly for each service or treatment that Medicare covers.  Additionally you have the freedom of choice in providers.


While the ads are enticing and it may sound great to get a dental and vision plan along with a lower cost, check the fine print.  Is it really what is best for you in the long run?

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