Why Medicare Advantage Plans are Bad by David W. Bynon

Right after my last post, I was injured, quite badly, in a fall. While I had read the title above, hubby had convinced me that Medicare Advantage was the way to go, because “we are healthy.” And, I was, until I broke my shoulder and damaged the nerves which traverse the Brachial Plexus. Within a month of my fall, I tested Medicare Advantage and soon found that I wish I had opted for traditional Medicare.

In Why Medicare Advantage Plans are Bad the author begins by explaining Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Even the name sounds good, right? They call it Medicare Advantage because there are certain perks, which vary depending on which insurance company provides coverage. For instance, mine has vision benefits, which I have used, and gym benefits, which I have not. This book also has a chapter explaining why the government actually prefers that people choose Medicare Advantage.

For those about to reach the age to file, this book, especially the opening chapters, would be most helpful. Also very helpful now (although I wasn’t concerned prior to my accident) is the 6th Chapter, which explains the downside of Medicare Advantage plans for those with chronic illness. The answer is quite simple: co-pays. As a holder of Medicare Advantage, I have to pay $25 (or more) every time I visit a healthcare facility. Right now I am seeing multiple therapists every week. Some days I pay $25 to the hand therapist, then walk to another therapist in the same complex and pay $25 again. Then I do it again a couple of days later. Medicare requires that medically necessary therapy be covered for unlimited visits. Medicare would not require those co-pays, however.

Perhaps I will get “better” although I have pretty much given up on being “well.” But, with multiple providers for everything from therapy to tests, this journey will be expensive. I wish I had read Bynon’s book before I signed up for Medicare Advantage. And, although I read this book, I probably wouldn’t have reviewed it if I had not become a victim of what a nurse in the ER described as a “life changing” event. I started out quite healthy, but that can change, and quickly.

For those who are just going down this path, this book is certainly worth reading.