Beware of Medicare Advantage Plans being offered by many insurance companies. In a nutshell, you are tradiing your original Medicare and any Medicare Supplement of Prescription Drug Plan for a plan designed by an insurance company that includes all three components into one contract offered at a very low premium per month. These plans typically can go from zero premium to something much less than the traditional counterparts might look like. However, please don’t forget, you always get what you pay for and there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Most doctors (providers) are not treated very favorably by these plans. The doctors have the same cost for education, continuing education, malpractice insurance, office, access to equipment and labs necessary to do what is best for your health. An Advantage Plan reimburses the doctors at a comparably low rate. So if you want the best doctors for your care, you may face a situation where a provider does not agree to the terms and conditions of your “bargain insurance” and politely refer you or not.
Wellmark/Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa has made the decision to discontinue all of their Medicare Advantage Plans effective January 1, 2013.