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About Medicare
Sep 21, 2023

Are Those Medicare Ads On TV Too Good To Be True?

blurred tv with person holding remote control

AMAC investigates misleading Medicare TV commercials:

When you’re inundated with TV commercials claiming to offer free dental care and money back in your wallet, it leaves you wondering… are these Medicare plans too good to be true?

AMAC is here to give you the facts about these misleading TV commercials.

What Are They?

The type of plan referenced in most of these ads is a Medicare Advantage Plan, but it’s not always clear because they tend to use language like “Part C,” “All Inclusive,” “All-in-One,” and “Bundle Plan” to describe them. As a rule of thumb, if the plan includes benefits other than hospital and medical coverage and has a network, it may be a Medicare Advantage plan.

What About Those Additional Benefits?

It’s true, some Medicare Advantage plans offer additional benefits for things like dental, vision, acupuncture, over-the-counter items, and even massage therapy. What they don’t tell you is that these benefits are not offered with all Medicare Advantage Plans and the benefit levels vary from plan to plan. Some carriers charge an additional premium for these benefits!

Are The Plans Free Like The Ads Suggest?

Many of these plans have low premiums, or even $0 premiums, BUT you are still responsible for your Medicare Part B premium. Keep in mind that you may also have deductibles, copays and/or coinsurances as you use your Advantage plan.

Will I Really Get Money Back?

It depends! Some plans offer a “Part B Give Back” or “Part B Buy Back,” which means that they reduce the Medicare Part B premium that comes out of your Social Security check. However, not everyone is eligible to receive the full amount, and some carriers only offer a small amount back.

So, What’s The Catch?

There is much that goes unsaid in these TV commercials, like the basics of how a Medicare Advantage Plan works. These plans take the place of your Original Medicare to administer hospital, medical and prescription coverage through a private insurer which operates off a network like an HMO, PPO, or PFFS.

Considering Joining?

There are Medicare Advantage Plans that do offer the benefits they are advertising, but not all of them. If you would like to try a Medicare Advantage Plan, be sure to do your homework first!

AMAC’s licensed Medicare Advisors can research which plans your doctor accepts and make sure your drugs are covered, all while keeping in mind the additional benefits that are important to you. With just one call you’ll get a comprehensive analysis and help finding an affordable plan that meets your needs – no Joe Namath required!

(Please note that we do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.)
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