Ask questions, analyze Advantage plans
I was interested to see the Oct. 6 letter to the editor from a nursing student interested in Medicare Advantage plans as a method to receive health benefits. The referenced Times Free Press article was timely since we are in the “open enrollment” period when eligible Americans can choose their plan for 2021. I think individuals who are considering these plans need to ask:
› Is the person selling the plan a fiduciary? (Are you being sold a plan to make a commission or to provide the best option for you?)
› Can you see the providers and use facilities you want? (Are they in-network?)
› If a medicine or service is “covered,” what is the co-pay? (If the co-pay is a percentage and not a flat rate, it is usually not affordable.)
› If you are out of town and have a medical emergency requiring services from an out-of-network provider, what parts of your care are your responsibility?
These are the questions that most people need answered before making a decision about traditional Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan. As in most cases, the cliché “You get what you pay for” applies.
J. Eugene Huffstutter, M.D., Hixson