Missing Out on Freebies Medicare

August 3rd, 2021 at 12:30:12 PM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 129
Posts: 3343
[edited]

TV has been inundated with new commercials suggesting that there are all kinds of free benefits that Medicare offers that you will indeed instantly recognize as not part of what you are getting if you signed up for Medicare parts A and B only. Joe Namath and other celebs tout these commercials. The motive behind running these commercials is to get you to sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan, with tricky maneuvering to make it seem that all these free benefits, including dental, were there all along, but you somehow missed out on them. The nature of these commercials are of a sort that should be warning enough. The most objectionable moment is when the Advantage plan benefits [that have to be paid for] are left up on the screen and the free benefits that come with Medicare part A are described verbally and perhaps somewhat also on the screen. At the end, big emphasis on 'free' is made verbally and with images as the Advantage plan details are only recently removed or perhaps even left up. 

I would have looked carefully again at that to see, but recently, though, I noticed a new angle and the commercials seem to have changed. Depending on your zip code, supposedly, you may qualify to have Medicare put extra money into your social security check. Now this one puzzled me. I started looking online to figure out what they are, well, misrepresenting no doubt. I wanted to make sure I got whatever information Medicare dot gov was putting out on the matter, too. Certainly the insurance companies were not going to give this specific information, not unless you go through the process of signing up and maybe not even then! But Medicare was no help either, in my opinion; perhaps a more dedicated person could find something out. The site will provide you with PDF docs useless for finding an explanation for the zipcode come-on. The mainstream media seem to be covering no stories, but check out the links. 

Medicare has always been fully supportive of the Medicare Advantage Plans. No doubt lobbyists make sure Congress isn't the one that's going to make that go in some other direction. But as a practical matter, they rely on them to some degree to get people to sign up, it's clear. When you become eligible, you have to make decisions on what parts you want. This of course tends to freeze people, and the Medicare Advantage Plan people are there to close the deal. These companies are so ready to do so one has to conclude it is a very profitable type of insurance for them. Perhaps also the Advantage plan companies take some other burdens on, who knows, and they get to charge for them. As a result, Medicare as an organization doesn't care about these companies or the inevitable nefarious outfits, it seems, that occasionally arise to take advantage of some people. 

The only hint of anything I could find was some arrangement that pressured pension funds have. One that comes up for sure is the Los Angeles Police and Fireman Pension, they have a webpage titled "Health Insurance Premium Reimbursement Program"
Quote: link
The Health Insurance Premium Reimbursement Program is available to pensioners and Qualified Surviving Spouses/Domestic Partners who meet LAFPP health insurance subsidy eligibility requirements and are not enrolled in a Board-approved health plan ...
By the age 65, you are required to enroll in Medicare to the fullest extent of your entitlement to continue participation in the Health Insurance Premium Reimbursement Program. If you are in a Medicare A and B health plan, you will also receive reimbursement for the Part B basic monthly premium paid upon verification of your Medicare enrollment.
emphasis mine

So this does seem to be a weird arrangement where you pay for part B and for some unexplained reason it is reimbursed to you. I can guess people were gaming the system, getting money for just claiming they were on part B, while by this arrangement , that gets verified. 

Is this what is allowing the new commercials to say "you may qualify by zipcode" ? If so, what a stretch. If not, what does? Can you find it?


https://www.lafpp.com/post/health-insurance-premium-reimbursement-program
see next post


https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/7/28/2042438/-Joe-Namath-Jimmie-JJ-Walker-both-promote-what-is-called-a-scam-one-is-a-Trumper-the-other-isn-t


https://www.reddit.com/r/CommercialsIHate/comments/o3q0yh/dynomite_medicare_helpline/
Beware! The light at the end of the tunnel might be a freight train coming the other way! Fleastiff
September 2nd, 2021 at 4:09:18 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 129
Posts: 3343
Caught another one of these commercials, this one with Wm Shatner, and noticed a little disclaimer about "extra money added to your SS check" depending on zip code.

The disclaimer, in small print, said something like "depending on your state [not zip code] the Medicaid or other department may be able to assist you if you have trouble paying for your part B medicare insurance"
Beware! The light at the end of the tunnel might be a freight train coming the other way! Fleastiff