If you have turned your television on in the last two years, then you have probably seen a commercial for Medicare Advantage Plans! These commercials claim that you may be eligible for a reimbursement into your social security check. For many consumers this new information seems amazing! I must tell you though, I have been a licensed agent since 2007, since I started this reimbursement was available to people who qualified. Advertising for Medicare Advantage Plans has become increasingly more common, and now in 2022 part B reimbursement or giveback commercials are all the rage. In the commercials they frequently state to check your zip code, since the benefits come down to your location. Over the last couple of years there has been a sharp rise in plans offering this benefit. In 2021 there were 9500 plans offered and in 2022 the number has increased to 14,000. So there is a better chance now than ever that you may have a Part B giveback plan available in your neighborhood.
So what does this mean?
Everyone wants to get money added to their social security check right?
I think Medicare Advantage Plans can be an excellent coverage choice for many people on Medicare, however, I don’t think everyone would want to take advantage of the Part B giveback plan.
Let me explain….
First off we all need to remember that all of these Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private insurance carriers and these companies design their plans to be profitable.
With that being said, there are some really beneficial plans out there. You will see plans in some areas that give almost everything away, dental, vision, hearing, silver sneakers, transportation, Part B giveback and more. Typically these plans will be in an area where there are a lot of Medicare recipients residing. This is because Medicare pays the carriers more money in these service areas. So the more rural the area you live in typically the less extra benefits you will find. The way that the insurance carriers control their costs is by limiting your provider network. Whether its medical doctors, hospitals or dental providers, they will contract only with providers that agree to lower payouts for services.
So what does this exactly mean?
Let’s say that where you live there are 50 dentists within 20 miles of where you live, out of the 50 dentists only 3 agree to the health plans payment terms. This happens in local areas more than you would think. The same goes for doctors and hospitals. Many of the plans with lower cost sharing are able to offer this due to their smaller provider networks. Where I live, many of the hospitals that people would like to use do not contract with more than a couple of Medicare Advantage Plans. I find when I speak to most people they want to have their choice of doctors and hospitals and if dental coverage is important they usually want to keep their dentist as well.
How bad do you want the extra money back in your check?
As of October 2021, 63,964,675 are enrolled in the Medicare program and with 10,000 people turning 65 a day this number will only grow. This is making Medicare big business. Insurance carriers and large brokerages and agencies are constantly trying to figure out how they can persuade more clients to choose their coverage option. So they now use several marketing tactics to drive more enrollments.
- Television commercials with famous athletes like Joe Nameth, George Foreman, Joe Theisman and comedian JJ Walker. The ads boast tremendous benefits and have even more fine print .
- If you have a mailbox it is undoubtedly getting filled up with advertisements, many of them trying to masquerade as an official government document.
- The internet is loaded with ads for amazing benefits and free quotes, that will lead you down a rabbit hole and have you receiving phone calls, emails and text messages for months.
- Recently the telemarketing game has made a big comeback, many agencies are employing call centers from the Philippines and other low cost nations to cold call lists of people of Medicare age.
Things To Consider Before Jumping Into One of These Plans
First you want to make sure you truly understand what you are getting, and what you are giving up to receive the part B giveback money.
- Are you ok with a limited provider network ?
- Would you be ok with paying 30-40% coinsurance for using an out of network provider?
- Would you mind having higher doctor office copays?
- Many of these plans by me have a medical deductible on the plan
These are a few of the important things to consider before choosing one of these plans and believe me, I understand how confusing it can be. Depending on where you live some plans may provide reimbursement and cover all of your doctors and hospitals, in addition, these plans may not cost more for services mentioned. So the important thing is to do your homework and make sure you understand the pros and cons of any Medicare Advantage options in your area. The fact is there is no blanket rule of which plan is best for everyone and the more you understand the less you will be surprised or disappointed by your coverage.
Medicare Advantage Plans can be a great option for many people on Medicare but the are not created equal, so if you have questions about Medicare Advantage Plans in your area contact us at 631-358-5793 or send us and email firstname.lastname@example.org