Medicare Advantage plans, like traditional Medicare, are funded by the federal government, but they are offered though private insurance companies, which receive a set payment for each enrollee. The idea is to help control costs by allowing these insurers, who must cover the same services as traditional Medicare, to keep some of the federal payment as profit if they can provide care less expensively.Excerpt: Which to Choose: Medicare or Medicare Advantage? New York Times By Paula Span
Published Nov. 20, 2022Updated Nov. 20, 2022
These plans do not provide care, they pay for it.
Over the last several weeks TV ads for Medicare Advantage plans have promised one or more of the following:
- No premiums
- Medicare Part B premium reimbursement
- Prescription drug coverage
- Dental, vision and hearing coverage
- A dollar allowance for groceries
- Money to spend on non prescription drugs
- Money toward utility bills
- Money toward pet expenses
- Fitness center membership
- Free trips to receive medical care
The answer can only be one or more of the following: Medicare is subsidizing at too high a level, the plans attract healthier seniors, the plans have restricted provider networks and strictly manage care, benefits as advertised are not as they appear.