What is this they call the Medicare Advantage Annual Election Period?

by Michael on September 14, 2010

in Health insurance,Medicare,Retirement

The Medicare Advantage Annual Election Period starts November 15th and runs through December 31st.

During this time, Medicare beneficiaries may change prescription drug plans, change Medicare Advantage plans, return to original Medicare, or enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time.

I am again urging my clients (and potential clients) to return to original Medicare and secure a good Medicare Supplement Policy. Why should a person do this – especially if Medicare Advantage seems cheaper?

There are FIVE very good reasons:

1) The Medicare Advantage Program came into existence when George Bush was president. Although well conceived and intended, Congress has made so many changes to the program that it barely resembles the original intent.

2) Under Medicare Advantage plans, physicians may accept you one week and refuse you the next. Or they could accept your neighbor, but choose not to accept you. This is referred to as “deeming”. This is not a slam on doctors, as a person does not work for free – and they may decide that is exactly what they are being asked to do. So whereas they might do that for someone they have a close relationship with, they may reason that they cannot do this for most people, as they would quickly go out of business.

3) Medicare Advantage Programs are being tweaked every single year, and I have yet to see the changes improve the program. Rather, the changes weaken it and take away. Where this is going should be obvious to anyone. Why stay with a program that one has to constantly evaluate?

4) Original Medicare has worked fairly well since its inception in the mid-60’s. Are their problems? Assuredly there are. But from my viewpoint, much less than with the Medicare Advantage Program or even that which is experienced in the under-65 health programs.

4a) Original Medicare is, in my opinion, still the most stable of all health insurance programs available to a large group of individuals today. The only programs I (might) view as more stable are only available to a select few.

5) By adding the right Medicare Supplement to Original Medicare – a person has absolute control over how they spend their health care dollars. A person can accept some of the risk or have 100% coverage, their choice!

5a) And the best part is … in the long run I still think that a person spends less with Original Medicare and a Good Supplement.

I’m here to help. Call me or email me with any questions you may have.

Michael Myers

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