Which way do I go?  Do I choose a Medicare Advantage plan that has a built in pharmacy benefit?  Or do I go with Traditional Medicare and get a separate part D plan and a separate supplement…and then which supplement?  Which one is less expensive?  These are all questions that have to be asked…or need to be.

As far as which direction to go?  I prefer traditional Medicare with a supplement, separate part D, and supplement to Advantage plans even though I typically make more commission on the Advantage side.  Why?  First, research shows that people who move from Medicare Advantage plans to traditional Medicare use more healthcare in their first year back.  It kind of looks like they weren’t getting the care they wanted on their Advantage plan.

Second, with traditional Medicare you have no networks.  You can use any doctor and any facility that will bill Medicare.  That’s generally 85 to 90% of the doctors and facilities nationwide.  I don’t think there are too many Advantage Plan networks that can boast that.

Finally, Medicare Advantage plans are heavily subsidized by the government.  The government subsidizes them by taxing us and giving our money to the insurance companies.  Further research shows that many insurance companies that sell Medicare Advantage plans derive a disproportionate amount of profit from these plans.  So my tax dollars and your tax dollars are disproportionately falling right to their bottom line instead of paying for care.

So I sell a lot more supplements than I do Advantage Plans…now you know why.