Medicare Advantage plans

Are Medicare Advantage plans too good to be true in 2021?  I don’t get this question very often, but when I speak to my clients and tell me that they get $60 a quarter to spend on toothbrushes and bandaids, I start to wonder.  I was a huge advocate for Medicare supplement plan F for 10 years.  It was the one plan I told all my clients to get if they could afford it.  Hundreds of my Medicare clients listened and got the plan.  Then after a few years, the Medicare system told us the plan f was going to be discontinued.  I started switching all my clients to a Medigap plan G. 

After a few years of switching them to a plan G and having a small deductible for doctors and outpatient centers. The premiums also began to rise.  Some of my clients were grandfathered into plan F, and they couldn’t switch their plans because of health reasons. 

So in due time, I began to research Medicare Advantage plans such as the Blue Cross Medicare advantage plan.  I started to see that people were happy switching into the IBX plan, and they were saving money as long as they weren’t going to the hospital too much or going to multiple specialists every week. I began to look at the trial right program that enabled Medicare supplemental plan F clients to try (trial right) an advantage plan from Aetna or Blue Cross, and if they were not happy with it, they could go back to their plan F and/or plan G.  

How to Choose and Reduce Medicare Cost

There are so many plans to choose from.  You can switch from a Cigna Medigap plan G to an Aetna Medigap plan G.  You can go from an Aetna Medicare Plan G to a Cigna plan N.  Where does the switching stop?  The answer is never.  If you want to save money with Medigap plans, you must switch until you can’t go to another plan for health reasons.

All was good for a while, and it still is for my clients who utilized the trial right.  I call them, and they are happy with their Medicare Advantage plan instead of paying $350 for a Medicare plan F.  The problem that I see is that our government is handing out stimulus packages and giving away subsidies for these plans like there is no tomorrow.  Will this trend keeps going, or will it reverse?  I know the latter will happen, but the question is when. 

It is kinda like the person who wants to get out of the stock market and get into an annuity to make sure their money is safe, but they want to wait until the last minute.  Well, the last minute on trial right is 12 months.  Many of my clients are sticking with their Medicare advantage plan and dumping the Medigap plan G because it literally seems too good to be true. 

I often wonder if it is my duty to warn them every month and be wrong or get them out before it is too late and the Medicare advantage plan premiums begin to rise from a $0 premium.  Do I know for certain this will happen? Absolutely not, and if I’m wrong, they will be paying that $250 premium each month again instead of saving all that premium money. 

When times are too good, we should enjoy, and when times are bad, we should worry.  Or is it the opposite?  I guess we all will have to decide.