Unless you’ve been out of the country for the past few years, you’ve seen the ads on TV featuring Joe Namath, Jimmy Walker, or William Shatner hawking so-called “Medicare Advantage” plans.
The must read article is here. https://www.rawstory.com/medicare-advantage/Medicare Advantage is not Medicare.
It’s private health insurance being offered to people over 65, with the bill paid for by Medicare. Once you get on an Advantage plan it’s very difficult to get off, and if you’ve been on for more than a year you may not be able to go back to regular Medicare with a Medigap plan at all.
It’s also one of the most effective ways that insurance companies are using to kill Medicare for All before it's even birthed, since almost half of all people who think they’re on Medicare are actually on these privatized plans instead.
Nearly from its beginning, Medicare has allowed private companies to offer plans to seniors that essentially compete with it, but they were an obscure corner of the market and didn’t really take off until the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress rolled out the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003.
I am a retired RN in 40+ years of practice in healthcare, with the last few years I work in Home Health, I am very familiar with Medicare and these Advantage plans. I was a manager in the agency having also been a field nurse. We did not take any of the advantage plan patients. At that time I didn't know of any reputable Home Health Agency in the DFW area that would take those patients. We took all Medicare patients. I could go on about the other pitfalls like you can only see Doctors on their "accredited" list. So when you call you find out the doctor is not accepting new Advantage Plan patients at this time. The salespeople for these Advantage plans make TOS look like the honest man that Diogenes of Sinope was looking for.
While I'm on my soap box. Here is another thing to remember. When you sign up for Medicare make sure you sign up for Part A, that's the hospital part and is mandatory. Also sign up for Part B. That is outpatient services. It is not mandatory BUT if you don't sign up to start with and later need to sign up, you have to play catch up and pay for all the time you didn't have it in a lump sum. You also have Part D drug plan. and the last is the supplemental plans that cover further cost. I was lucky I have a Plan F that cover all out patient and hospital cost not covered by the other plans. It is no longer available for enrollment. I see my family doctor or have some out patient procedure I don't pay any deductible they have to accept what Medicare on the Plan F pays.
Even if you are still young enough not to worry about signing up in the near future, please read the link because you might need to help an older relative, neighbor or friend.
I would still love to see universal health care for everybody.