Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Medicare DisAdvantage

In full diclosure I should say that I am currently on Medicare. My HIV/Aids status has made me eligiable for Medicare.
I have tried a Medicare Advantage plan and it can be a major rip off. It part of my care to get periodic blood tests to asses how my meds are working. One time after a test the Insurance company sent me a letter saying that I'd had the test to frequently (according to them) and my test would not be covered. BAM I now have a $1200 bill. Also concider that if I want to go see my HIV doctor I have to go to a primary care doctor ($15.00 co-pay) to get a referal to go to my Regular Infectious Disease Specialist ($30.00 co-pay) for a total of $45.00 But when I now go to my doctor directly using straight Medicare it cost me $12.00

Huffington Post:

" Medicare Advantage plans have long been targeted by Democrats, who argue that deceptive marketing practices trick patients into shoddy coverage that the government overpays for. The insurers don't explain what the holes in the benefits are or that they may no longer be able to go to their same doctor, pharmacy or hospital. But with Bush in the White House, the plans were safe.
On average, the government pays about 14 percent more for a Medicare Advantage plan than a regular Medicare plan. Obama hopes to wring billions in savings by reducing that premium. He'll then reinvest the savings - an estimated $177 billion over ten years -- in his push for universal healthcare. The plans cover some 11 million patients. The news that the profitable plans were under fire sent health insurance stocks tumbling.
On Tuesday, Office of Management and Budget chief Peter Orszag told a gathering of AHIP (the lobby for America's Health Insurance Plans) that the administration was set on cutting the program. "It won't be popular," Orszag told the insurers. And indeed it wasn't. A low level murmur and discontented rustling interrupted the otherwise polite meeting."