Also called "Medicare Part C," Medicare Advantage plans are privately administered plans offered by for-profit insurance companies but funded by public Medicare dollars. They're advertised to potential customers as an inexpensive alternative to "traditional" Medicare.
For insurers, Medicare Advantage is a goldmine - they can continue to profit off seniors and other qualified Medicare recipients while at the same time drawing on public money to subsidize their coverage. Moreover, they can cherry-pick their customers -- targeting geographical areas where people are likely to be cheaper to insure and, even more insidious, using denials of coverage to push out people who end up needing higher-cost care.
In general, Medicare Advantage is part of the concerted effort to weaken and privatize *real* Medicare.
All that being said, our current healthcare system is such a mess that for some folks in some parts of the country, Medicare Advantage might be the most affordable plan available, and we certainly don't fault those folks for choosing the best option for them. However, many of the millions of Americans who are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans find themselves in deep financial trouble because of hidden fees, copays, and coverage denials.
Congress is finally taking up a long-overdue investigation of the Medicare Advantage program. We know that the big insurers and their lobbyists will have their say, but we want to make sure that lawmakers hear from people who are actually impacted by the program!
We are currently collecting stories to share with legislators and the public to shine a light on this program. If you are a Medicare Advantage customer, please take a moment to let us know about your experiences!
You can tell us your story here!