The Medicare Advantage façade is beautiful. But the destruction it progressively causes to healthcare for the elderly & disabled will be realized when it’s too late if we do not stop it now.
Yesterday the Co-Founder & President of One Payer States, Chuck Pennacchio, appeared on Politics Done Right to discuss the different methods of destruction of Medicare via Medicare Advantage and ACO REACH. These programs are nothing more than taxpayer wealth transfer conduits to the few.
The problem is that these programs are very well advertised. They also use many gimmicks to get people to sign up. Worse, it works well for a select few who do not bump up against their hidden pitfalls. One must remember these entities are created to make money primarily. You are just the raw material for them to get there. To maximize their profits, your services must be cut, or they must rip off the government as they are doing now, or both.
I received an email from a dear friend who listened to the tail end of the program. She is having a great experience with Medicare Advantage, and it is definitely costing her less, and her services are excellent. Please email me your experiences at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I use your email on a program, I always protect your identity by removing your name or any information that may identify you. Here is her redacted email.
Hope you are well! Thank you in advance for listening to my rant about Medicare Advantage.
I only caught part of your program, and maybe I missed a good argument, but I was not impressed with Chuck’s indictment of Medicare Advantage.
As you know, Medicare does not cover much by itself, and everyone needs a Medigap or Advantage plan. For me, a decent Medigap plan would be several hundred a month which would not include prescription drug coverage. My United Health plan is $10 a month, and I can see any doctor who takes Medicare for a slightly higher copay.
My primary care doctor has no copay, nor do telehealth visits with my primary, specialist, or urgent care doctor. I have a lot of elderly person issues with my spine and have been getting shots by a pain specialist under a fluoroscope; cost is $35. I have had 7 MRIs in 6 months for 875 total. The doctor network is really good-not just the schlocky ones who need patients, but folks from Mt. Sinai and Columbia, and Northwell Health. I also get free dental checkups and cleanings. I did four months of PT for $10 a session. I really can’t complain.
The commercials are obnoxious, but I think, depending on your area, the company, and, most importantly, the participating doctors and hospitals, you can’t beat it.
I agree with the problem of corporate greed and the need for a single payer system, but I would hate for someone like Chuck to dissuade someone from talking to a reputable licensed agent and evaluating their options in a rational way.
I believe Chuck said something to the effect of that the plans get you in with all their hype, but you can’t get care when you need it. That simply isn’t true. Yes, the system is sick, but for many seniors living in the here and now, Medicare Advantage is a great option.
Thanks for all you do. Hugs to Linda and Ashley,
The great experience that my friend is getting cannot be discounted. She is absolutely right. Note she also acknowledges that a single-payer system is the only economical answer. I replied as follows.
Great hearing from you sis. Please give my regards to hubby.
You have a great deal with great doctors and great perks. For your individual case, your Advantage made sense and cost you a lot less and was the most prudent thing to do.
Now here is Chuck and my beef. It is not sustainable.
- The reason there is Medicare, is that the private sector would have to charge too much to include older people who get sicker in their plans. So they offloaded it to government who have a non-profit system with a 2% overhead in administration. It is generally the standard 80/20 plan without dental, eyes, or hearing. Medigap covers your 20% but it is expensive relative to your Medicare Advantage.
- The way Medicare Advantage works on the inside is to overcharge the government for each subscriber by a bunch. They make money from the overcharge and by denying coverage where possible. In your case, they are likely still fairly profitable on the overcharging portion so that they do not deny too much for you. All those extra billions are going into the pockets of the shareholders and executives. It cost the entire Medicare system more to allow those parasite to make money on our illnesses.
- Medicare Advantage uses the perks, Dental, Hearing, and Eye coverage as selling points while buying politicians to forbid standard Medicare from offering those services. The government could allow you to get those service at a less expensive cost. You can’t pay executives billions, shareholders billions, have multiple advertising expenses, database costs, real estate costs, and all those other expenses insurance companies have and be less expensive. Medicare Advantage transfers our Medicare tax dollars to parasitic executive that really are just middlemen that provide no improved healthcare outcome.
Amiga, these guys are savvy with the rip-off. They give the semblance of having a good product. Now here is the kicker to tie every one to Medicare Advantage. When you first get Standard Medicare, if you purchase Medigap then, you cannot be denied nor can they charge you more based on health testing. However if you are on Medicare Advantage and your insurance company refuses to cover something Standard Medicare will; If you try to go back, the Medigap will health-test you and can charge you anything for the Medigap.
I understand the attraction to Medicare Advantage. These guys are master salespeople. If they continue their success, they will continue to deplete the Medicare coffers and we will be left with private health insurance at the behest of the parasitic profiteers. This year they are at 50%.
Ashley and Linda are fine. Ashley is recovering slowly. It is still difficult for me to see how much she had to go through. And it cemented in me how evil our healthcare system is. It is an inhumane money-making enterprise. I will be fighting till I die to try to do my part to make things better for most. It starts by telling the truth and breaking down the façade.
Thanks for listening [my friend’]. Please check out the following.
My friend’s experience is really great with Medicare Advantage. The big issue will be if, god forbid, they get something that their Medicare Advantage plan chooses not to cover (always for profit reasons). They may get it covered if they revert to standard Medicare. But they will likely not be able to afford Medigap then. As my friend and all of us must realize, single-payer healthcare for all is the only solution.
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