Moving My Dad From a Medicare Advantage Plan to a Medicare Supplement

Nothing is quite as hard as working with family. Even more so if you and your entire family are licensed Medicare insurance agents! This is the true story of why I’m recommending moving my dad from a Medicare Advantage Plan to a Medicare Supplement plan.

Which Plan Is The Best?

My 89-year-old dad has been on a Medicare Advantage plan since 2005. He paid $0 per month. Plus, he had a lot of extra benefits like dental, vision, hearing discounts and got money monthly for over the counter items like a digital scale and raised toilet seat. He loved his insurance. He also never used it. Dad has been very healthy. He has never had a surgery. No chemo, no radiation, no dialysis. He has saved tens of thousands of dollars having been on a Medicare Advantage plan all these years. Interestingly enough, my mom has been on Medicare Supplement all these years and she too choose wisely. She needed new hips and knees, which would have cost her more had she had a private plan instead of her Plan G.

Why I Recommended Moving Him

I recommend that he move to a Medicare Supplement Plan G recently. At a cost of about $400 per month, he was steadfastly against the move. “Why waste that monthly premium when I’m healthy?” Alas, that is where a good daughter explains that insurance is about risk. At some point, an illness at an out of network provider could cost him $10k. With an illness lingering to the start of a new calendar year, and another $10k out of network cost could accrue.

Would You Risk It?

If you can afford a luxury car, you buy it. If you can afford to fly first class, you treat yourself. A Medicare Supplement in your 80s is a luxury expense. It is expensive, but worth it if you can comfortably afford it. You can go to any doctor in the nation. You don’t have to deal with waits for prior authorizations for treatment. You’ll have access the best centers for excellent hospitals across the nation (that normally do not accept Medicare Advantage plans). Need to go to the Mayo or Cleveland Clinic? They typically do not accept private Medicare plans.

Bottom Line

Unfortunately, I have many clients that got squeezed by the 5-10% annual price increase that Medicare Supplements take. Because of this, many clients in their 80s are escaping into a Medicare Advantage due to their budget. There is no right path, it’s a personal decision based on your health and budget. However, if you can comfortably afford a Medicare Supplement, you’ll have less red tape and no networks to contend with.

No one knows when we will get sick or if we are able to die peacefully in our sleep. Insurance takes some risk off the table. You can buy less red tape with higher monthly premiums. My parents are out dancing in Noblesville once a week, so if you see them please congratulate my dad on his fine Medicare insurance choices.

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Sylvia Gordon and her sister, Rebecca, run Gordon Marketing, one of the nation’s largest Medicare FMO/NMA offices. They have a team of over 100 that train and support independent insurance agents in all 50 states. You can find Sylvia’s weekly posts on LinkedIn and the sisters' Youtube channel posts 2 training videos each week. Contact Sylvia at sgordon@gordonmarketing.com or 800-388-8342.

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