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Old 10-16-2010, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
9,323 posts, read 7,269,587 times
Reputation: 16463

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I have read in this Retirement Forum that Medicare Advantage Plans "are being phased out" and that it's happening "all over the country" and that those who have them will have to revert to Original Medicare, and so forth. I believe all that is greatly exaggerated and that Med. Adv. Plans are alive and well, and I will give my reasons below.

First, however, there are some reasons people think those plans are in trouble. It is true that the "Obamacare" legislation mandated a reduction in the level of Medicare funding which the Medicare Advantage Plans receive. But as I have posted here before, the funding level for 2011 is frozen, not reduced, and the reductions starting in 2012 are modest, not at all draconian, and should not cause the demise of most of the plans.

Another reason for poster alarm on this subject was the announcement that the Humana Gold something-or-other Medicare Advantage Plan will not be offered after December 31, 2010. But I think the folks who said, "See, these plans are going down the tubes" were over-generalizing from the demise of that one plan and were failing to realize that hundreds and hundreds of Med. Adv. Plans nationwide are continuing in operation.

Now, finally, why do I believe Medicare Advantage Plans as a group are alive and well? The first line of evidence is that I have been inundated with written advertisements soliciting me to sign up for Medicare Advantage plans, and offering a free meal or a free cloth shopping bag for attending a sales presentation. Here's one on my desk: Health Net's mailing touts $0 monthly plan premium, $0 doctor copay, and $0 hospital stay co-pay. They don't say what the copays are for lab work or for emergency room visits or for surgery, so these could be hefty. Other ads have been similar. I live in Los Angeles County, which may not be typical of all areas of the country, so I am not claiming that everybody lives where one or more Medicare Advantage Plans is available.

My second line of evidence will be the renewal rates and terms for existing enrollees of Med. Adv. Plans as they are made known over the next couple of weeks, and I intend to update this thread with that information from myself and other retired friends of mine in various parts of the country. It can't be much longer because the open enrollment period for people wishing to change plans begins on November 15. Feedback welcome from all of you out there.
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Old 10-16-2010, 11:14 PM
 
43,177 posts, read 47,049,205 times
Reputation: 13673
Oe onl has to see that the plans will be brought down to pay for service eqaul to know what is going to happen.The sqeeze has just begun and the democrats never liked it and have made it clear it will get no more additional fund over pay for service.They of course are doing it slow but by 2017 is likely gone.All ready mnay companies are dropping their plans and the funding cuts are just the start.Either the premiums will have to go up or service lessen.Its just economics really. Persoanlly I think its a big mostake as it helps those who can afford supplements or the 20% but dmecarts never liked it since it involved priavte insurance companies.
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Old 10-17-2010, 12:26 AM
 
Location: Cleveland Heights OH
13,596 posts, read 10,666,963 times
Reputation: 13250
Quote:
dmecarts never liked it since it involved priavte insurance companies.
That's an interesting comment. Do you have any links to back it up?
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:19 AM
 
Location: WA
4,065 posts, read 13,366,092 times
Reputation: 2949
To be seen...

'Over the next 10 years, the new health-care law will divert some $132 billion from Medicare Advantage, according to a recent report by George Washington University's Department of Health Policy. This has sparked concern that these plans may reduce benefits, raise premiums, or both.

But the impact is likely to vary from plan to plan. Medicare currently pays Medicare Advantage plans an average of 13% more than the cost of covering the same beneficiaries under traditional fee-for-service Medicare. After the cost cuts are fully implemented, Medicare Advantage plans will still receive slightly more -- about 1% extra overall, according to George Washington University.'

Changes to Medicare Advantage - WSJ.com
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Cleveland Heights OH
13,596 posts, read 10,666,963 times
Reputation: 13250
I am going to sign up for Medicare next month to be eligible when I turn 65 in February. Right now I am still working so my employer's health insurance coverage will be my primary payer. When I retire, I will more than likely sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan. As long as it's offered, I don't see why I shouldn't take it.

If it goes away, according to the information I have been reading, I will be given the option to choose something else within a certain amount of time without penalty. I just can't see not signing up on the chance that it may be discontinued.
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Old 10-17-2010, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
9,323 posts, read 7,269,587 times
Reputation: 16463
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdelena View Post
To be seen...

'Over the next 10 years, the new health-care law will divert some $132 billion from Medicare Advantage, according to a recent report by George Washington University's Department of Health Policy. This has sparked concern that these plans may reduce benefits, raise premiums, or both.

But the impact is likely to vary from plan to plan. Medicare currently pays Medicare Advantage plans an average of 13% more than the cost of covering the same beneficiaries under traditional fee-for-service Medicare. After the cost cuts are fully implemented, Medicare Advantage plans will still receive slightly more -- about 1% extra overall, according to George Washington University.'

Changes to Medicare Advantage - WSJ.com
Thanks for the link, and for the rational comments. The article basically confirms what I have read elsewhere and what I wrote in the OP. It carries a date of May 9, 2010, and what really interests me is how things will play out as the plans come out with their renewals for 2011. And of course in the years to come after that.
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Old 10-17-2010, 01:31 PM
 
1,280 posts, read 2,143,559 times
Reputation: 960
I believe the Medicare Advantage Plans will be phased out. For me, losing Humana's Gold Choice Med Advantage Plan is a blessing since I now have an opportunity to buy a traditional Medicare Supplement Plan (Plan F) which will cover all my co-pays and (expensive) Part B excesses.
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
9,323 posts, read 7,269,587 times
Reputation: 16463
Quote:
Originally Posted by Townandcountrygal View Post
I believe the Medicare Advantage Plans will be phased out. For me, losing Humana's Gold Choice Med Advantage Plan is a blessing since I now have an opportunity to buy a traditional Medicare Supplement Plan (Plan F) which will cover all my co-pays and (expensive) Part B excesses.
Under Humana's Gold Choice plan, what were your monthly plan premiums? And your doctor visit co-pays? And then compare those to what you will have to pay for a Medicare Supplement Plan. I don't see how you will come out ahead, unless Humana was screwing you royally to begin with. With my Kaiser Med. Adv. Plan, the monthly premium is $0 and the doctor co-pays are $5. There are basically no "Part B excesses" at Kaiser. Can you please explain what these are?

Maybe (and I am just guessing here) the reason Humana withdrew its plan was that Medicare called a halt to Humana's price gouging and they were unwilling to accept the still substantial, but lower, profits that are keeping the other plans fat and happy. Anyone with inside info on this please correct me if I'm wrong, as I am truly curious to know why Humana discontinued the Gold Choice plan.
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Ocala, FL
66 posts, read 78,430 times
Reputation: 80
DH had the Humana Gold. It may have gone away, but Medicare Advantage plans are alive and well. He received an offer from Preferred Care Partners which includes all that Humana Gold offered plus some dental (including 100% payment for dentures), free eye exam, and $100 a year toward eyeglasses. Humana Gold didn't offer those if I remember correctly. No premium, zero, zilch, just the standard $96.40 a month he pays for Medicare anyway.

He'll probably be signing up for that one.
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:55 PM
 
Location: zippidy doo dah
579 posts, read 646,988 times
Reputation: 812
i had/have secure horizon's medicare advantage plan which was nice/ private fee for service which allowed me to not be tied to any one area - doctors whereever just had to agree to accept a pffs(or whatever the actual acronym was) - it worked well for me / 20.00 a month in addition to my medicare premium.

i did get notified that the plan i had is being phased out in the county i was in though i believe it will remain in other localities. like escort rider, i have received numerous communications about options for advantage plans for me to consider. this week, i'll sit down with them.

maybe it is something that will eventually just go away but there are too many variables in the world that can change so i don't put that on my big worry list - - i'll post later as to what alternatives i do find out there with the present program "fading" away.................
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