Several years ago we checked into Medicare Advantage and decided “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” There are many reasons to be very cautious. Why is this necessary? There is only one traditional Medicare plan which is administered by a government agency. All companies have their own versions of Medicare Advantage with many pages of small print listing benefits and restrictions. Better have good eyesight and read everything.

You are trading government-administered traditional Medicare for a plan run by a private insurance company whose sole goal is profit. Do you wonder why there are so many TV ads for Medicare Advantage? That’s because the real advantage isn’t for you getting all those extras with little or no cost. The real advantage is for the insurance companies. From what we saw several years ago, Medicare Advantage is great if you never get sick. We have a friend, diagnosed with breast cancer, who didn’t realize her deductible was $6,000. Much higher than traditional Medicare plus a Medigap plan. Also, we have seen notices at some medical offices that they do not accept Medicare Advantage plans, so you may have to change your doctor.

Another suggestion concerning Part D prescription plans. If you currently have a plan, it is a good idea to compare plans each year instead of just continuing with your existing plan.

We saved $500 last year by changing companies. It’s easy to go to medicare.gov and compare several plans.

Joe and Ann Delmastro

Idaho Falls