There’s no way to hide the awful fact that I will be 65 in March. I might as well admit it here since apparently, every insurance company and retailer know it – based on the quantity of junk mail that fills my mailbox with “CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR 65TH BIRTHDAY!” printed boldly somewhere on the envelope. Most of the mail is for Medicare Advantage plans, and each of those ads has an appealingly designed pitch telling me about all the additional services I will get if I select an MA plan rather than enrolling in traditional Medicare Fee for Service (FFS). In fact, they imply that Medicare FFS no longer exists. If I didn’t know better, I’d be taken in by these slick Medicare Advantage ads.
I have posted a lot about the experience of our patients who have Medicare (Dis)Advantage plans. Guest blogger, Patrician Han, RN alerted me to this recent article in Newsweek about Medicare Advantage Nightmares. The article is excellent. Thanks to aggressive marketing, more than half of seniors now have an MA plan. Patricia has previously posted articles about her experiences as a wound care patient with MA vs. Medicare FFS. I’m providing links to her articles below, as well as others, because they are chilling examples of what can go wrong.
I confess I am still a bit in shock that I am soon to be eligible for Medicare. It’s another reason why I feel so passionate about Medicare fraud and abuse. The Medicare fund is bankrupt and Medicare payments to doctors are now so low that many physicians are going to stop taking Medicare. However, Medicare Advantage plans have done a terrible job as gatekeepers, often ignoring Medicare coverage benefits and inappropriately limiting access. What’s an (old) girl to do?
- New Proposed Rules to Help Protect Patients from Medicare Disadvantage Plans – Caroline Fife M.D. (carolinefifemd.com)
- Tales of the Medicare Disadvantaged – Caroline Fife M.D. (carolinefifemd.com)
- Another Tale of the Medicare Disadvantaged: MA Prior Authorization is Needed for the Skilled Home Health Agency to Get Wound Dressings – It’s a Joke, Right? – Caroline Fife M.D. (carolinefifemd.com)
- Medicare Disadvantage Strikes Again – No Skilled Home Health Services? – Caroline Fife M.D. (carolinefifemd.com)
- Tales of the Medicare Disadvantaged #1 – Caroline Fife M.D. (carolinefifemd.com)
- Tales of the Medicare Disadvantaged #2 – Caroline Fife M.D. (carolinefifemd.com)
- Decreasing the Disadvantages of Medicare Advantage Plans When Patients Need a Cellular Product – Caroline Fife M.D. (carolinefifemd.com)
- A Patient’s Perspective on Choosing a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan – Caroline Fife M.D. (carolinefifemd.com)
- “Do It Yourself” Wound Care – Caroline Fife M.D. (carolinefifemd.com)
- Disparities in Access to Care for CTPs / Skin Subs (and How Package Pricing in the Doctor’s Office Might Actually Improve Access to Them) – Caroline Fife M.D. (carolinefifemd.com)