People with Original Medicare are often lured to switch to an "advantage" plan with a promise of a reward but no mention of a loss that may be in store.
These pitches to switch are often shown on TV as "Medicare cost savings" with no mention that it's for an "advantage" plan, or what you will lose. You may save money, but it may cost you more later. Here's why:
An "advantage" plan replaces Original Medicare. The coverage and the healthcare network are often not the same.
When you leave Original Medicare, you may:
Lose your access to benefits and providers when needed;
Lose coverage for treatment recommended by your doctor;
Not be able to find a Med-gap plan if you return to Original Medicare.
With Original Medicare, you have:
Freedom to choose a Medi-gap and drug plan each year;
Letter plan types for easy Medi-gap plan comparison; and
If you can't afford a Medicare supplement or a drug plan, the best choice is what you can afford. But returning to Original Medicare can be a chore because you need to ask the "advantage" plan, and for a "special enrollment" exception to guarantee your Medi-gap plan can be restored.
Reasons for leaving an "advantage" plan include any of these:
You lost benefits;
Your doctor is no longer in the plan;
The plan did not work out as promised; and
You moved out of the "advantage" plan's service area.
Learn as much as you can before making a decision affecting your Medicare benefits, and seek out advice when needed.
Call Mark Dierolf at anytime for a review: (831) 753-0507. The best time to review a Medi-gap plan is the month of your birthday. September is the best time to review an Advantage plan.