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Medicare Advantage Plans— Ask An Expert Before You Enroll

We recently commented on a Facebook post regarding a Medicare Advantage Plan that a senior was now qualified for. Basically, a person’s dad went into a local skilled nursing facility in Illinois. A company that sells Medicare supplements approached his family, touting additional benefits he would receive (optical, hearing, podiatry, a dedicated physician’s assistant at the skilled nursing facility) all at no cost and in addition to his current Medicare coverage. It was simple, just a few signatures by the Power of Attorney (POA) and he was good to go.

The benefits all sounded to good to be true, and they were. They wanted the POA to cancel his current Medicare provider (a very good Medicare plan tied to his retirement as a City of Chicago employee), which would automatically cancel the wife’s insurance coverage. The person selling the supplement did not mention this. Mom’s coverage would have been eliminated, leaving her without a supplement for her personal care. Undoubtedly this would have been detrimental to this family.

Please be aware that this plan is sold throughout Illinois at skilled nursing facilities. It’s a special needs Medicare Advantage plan that can be used by the patients, but only with providers that contract with the skilled nursing facility. It’s fine for anyone without a spouse, or those without retirement benefits and will remain in long-term care.

Elderwerks recommendation is to always talk with a SHIP (senior health insurance program) counselor who will provide objective advice about all the plans available to you. They can help you find a plan that matches your situation. SHIP counselors do not sell plans, permitting them to remain completely objective. We can also refer Medicare insurance brokers who sell insurance based on your health and medications. Please do NOT buy insurance from someone you don’t know. Always seek referrals and protect your family. Making a decision on Medicare supplements is very important, can be overwhelming and affects your care as you age.

Our team is available to answer questions or connect you with professionals that have the best interest of our clients at heart.

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