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  • Sarah Jane Tribble

Older Americans Say They Feel Trapped in Medicare Advantage Plans

My view on Medicare Advantage plans vs traditional Medicare has changed 180 degrees after transitioning from a health system leader to a private patient advocate. Many of my clients have been caught up in problems with their Medicare Advantage benefits.


Always follow the money. Medicare Advantage plans pay commissions to agents for selling them. Traditional Medicare does not pay commissions. That cost, plus the premium savings offered to attract patients has to be recouped somehow.


Medicare Advantage plans are great when you are well, and unfortunately, they can have major drawbacks once you have a significant medical problem. There will be a limited network of physicians you can use (hard if you need an expert), rehabilitation benefits will be frustratingly limited, and you’ll have to get pre-approval for the care you need. Most people don’t realize that the system can prevent you from switching back to traditional Medicare after you become ill.


This well-written brief article by Sarah Jane Tribble discusses the realities of Medicare Advantage plans.

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