Five Disadvantages of Medicare Advantage Plans

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1-Not Guaranteed Renewable. The companies that offer them are on a year to year contract with the government. If either party cancels that contract, goodbye plan. Beneficiaries will receive a letter from the company informing them that they need to seek another plan.

2-Limited Healthcare Options-The majority of these plans are structured as HMOs or PPO plans. This means you are in a network and must go to a participating provider. This can be a disadvantage if you require a specialist out of network. Your costs can be much higher. Most group employer plans are structured this way, however, the chances of needing care increase as we age and this type of coverage can be a big disadvantage.

3-Prescription plan comes as part of the package. This sounds like a benefit, however if you are on many name brand drugs you might find better coverage with one of the “stand-alone prescription drug plans.”

4-Choosing a Medicare Advantage plan can limit your options to switch back to a supplement. When you initially go on to Medicare part B, you have an open enrollment period, meaning you can choose coverage with an Advantage plan or traditional Medicare. With traditional Medicare, it is highly advisable to have a “traditional Medicare supplement” plan to cover the exposures inherent in Medicare. Once out of that open enrollment period, companies offering supplement plans have the option to turn you away for health reasons.

5-Subsidized by the Federal government. In reality this used to be a benefit and now it is a disadvantage courtesy of the health reform bill passed in 2010. The 500 billion dollars in Medicare cuts over the next ten years will hit these plans pretty hard. In my opinion, this is like stepping off a dock on to a boat with a hole in it. Use your imagination to visualize that.

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Source by Daniel T Banks

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