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Posts by Charles Bradshaw

Who is managing your health?

2017-08-09 Charles Bradshaw

Charles Bradshaw   MedicareAnswerCenter.com

There is only one acceptable answer to this question and that answer is “you.”

 
However, if you make the wrong decision about how to receive your Medicare, your health could be managed by an insurance company’s budget analyst more concerned about the profits of his employer than your best health outcome.
 
When you first go on Medicare – usually at age 65 but often later if you are still working – you can choose to receive your Medicare benefits through regular Medicare combined with a Medicare Supplement and a Medicare Part D drug plan. Or, you can instead assign your Medicare benefits to a private, for-profit, restricted-choice Medicare Advantage plan such as Humana Gold Plus or Kaiser Permanente.
 
When you choose to stay with regular Medicare, you can go to any doctor or hospital anywhere in the country that accepts Medicare as almost all do. This includes such noted medical facilities as Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, M.D. Anderson and Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
 
Importantly, with regular Medicare combined with a Medicare Supplement, all or almost all of your costs are covered 100 percent regardless of your health situation now or in the future.
 
This scenario allows you, along with the doctors you choose, to make the best decisions for your health.
 
On the other hand, if you choose to receive your Medicare through a private, for-profit restricted-access Medicare Advantage plan, your health care decisions are often made by a budget analyst who is focused on managing the costs of your care.
 
With a Medicare Advantage plan, you have a limited choice of doctors and hospitals and you are not fully covered when you travel. Even worse, because a Medicare Advantage plan is focused on its own profits, it will often say “no” to treatments and tests your doctor may think is right for you when regular Medicare would have said “yes.”
 
In today’s internet content-rich world, you have access to a wealth of information about your health and the health care providers you can choose with regular Medicare. You have more control and input into the decisions about your health than any generation before.
 
You should never give up this benefit by assigning your Medicare benefits to a private, for-profit, restricted-choice Medicare Advantage plan.
 
I would appreciate the chance to personally work with you to help you understand your Medicare options so you can choose the Medicare plan that is right for you.
 
Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation
 
You can also call me at (888) 549-1110 or email charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

Who do you trust with your Medicare?

2017-09-04 Labor Day.mp4

I hope you are having a wonderful Labor Day weekend with your family and those who are special to you.

One of the most important decisions you make when you first go on Medicare is who you trust to help you understand your Medicare options and help you choose you receive your Medicare.

There is only one answer to that question and it is a great answer – YOU.

You are the only person you can trust to make sure you know what you need to know about Medicare to make the right decision for you.

Trust your instincts. A stranger who knocks on your door uninvited trying to get you to sign an application for the only Medicare plan they sell may not be the best choice. A telemarketer who calls you – often violating the Do Not Call list to which you subscribed – is also likely not the right choice.

I have made it my life’s work to help as many people as possible fully understand how Medicare works and what their options are with Medicare so they can make the best Medicare decision for them.

I would appreciate the opportunity to help you learn about your Medicare options and help you enroll in the Medicare plan you decide is right for you.

Please click on the following link to schedule your free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation with me.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

You can also call me at (888) 549-1110 or email charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

Thank you for allowing me to help you with your Medicare and I look forward to talking with you soon.

Schedule your free Medicare consultation with Charles Bradshaw

2017-08-31 Medicare Consultation.mp4
At MedicareAnswerCenter.com, we take our job of helping you understand your Medicare options very seriously.

Because the choices you make when you first go on Medicare can make a big difference in your health and finances later, it is critical that you fully understand your Medicare choices so you can make the right choice for you both now and in the future.

I would appreciate the opportunity to help you learn about your Medicare options and help you enroll in the Medicare plan you decide is right for you.

Please click on the following link to schedule your free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation with me.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

You can also call me at (888) 549-1110 or email charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

Thank you for allowing me to help you with your Medicare and I look forward to talking with you soon.

Totality and Medicare

2017-08-21 Eclipse

I take very little time off this time of the year. Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period is coming up soon and there is a lot of annual training and testing that is required by Medicare for those of us who help people with Medicare.

However this past Monday was pretty special with the solar eclipse and my family and I tried to take in this event the right way. While we live just inside the totality zone in which the sun was completely blocked by the moon, we decided to take advantage of the extensive lakes here in East Tennessee and take a boat closer to the center of the totality zone so we could experience a longer eclipse.

By doing so we saw around 2 minutes and 30 seconds of the total eclipse. It was an experience I will remember the rest of my life.

I recorded the video above just after the total eclipse began.

Please make sure the volume is turned up when you watch this. You can hear crickets who are mistaking the eclipse for dusk.

Also, please note what is called the 360 degree sunset as there is light all the way around the horizon.

We heard the word “totality” a lot concerning the eclipse. It is one of my favorite words.

The first time I remember hearing the word was around twenty years ago when I was taking a personal security class related to a job I had at the time. The instructor repeatedly said we always needed to make decisions based on the “totality of the situation.”

I have since applied that advice and phrase to many situations in my life.

I have often used the word “totality” when discussing the choices one makes for their Medicare.

When you first go on Medicare, it is tempting to think about your health at the present time and choose the least expensive option or a private Medicare Advantage plan that gives you a gimmick such as a free health club membership.

Likewise, enrolling in a Medicare Supplement from an unfamiliar company that may be new to your area and have starter teaser rates may cost you a lot more down the road.

The choices you make for your Medicare can be permanent. You are choosing the Medicare plan that will impact your access to health care and finances in your 60s as well as your 70s and hopefully your 80s, 90s and maybe even longer.

The less expensive Medicare choice at 65 when you have few if any health issues can be the most expensive choice in later years when you may have health issues. The wrong Medicare choice at 65 can also keep you from getting the care you need at 75 or 85.

It is very important to understand and make your Medicare decisions based on the totality of the situation.

Whether you are about to go on Medicare or are already on Medicare and want to make sure you have made the right choices, I would appreciate the chance to help you.

To schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation, simply click on the link below

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

You can also call me at (888) 549-1110 or email charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

Thank you for allowing me to help you with your Medicare and I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charlie

Will Your Medicare Plan Be On Your Side Against Cancer?

Charles Bradshaw       President and Founder MedicareAnswerCenter.com

I hate cancer.

I vividly remember as a 12 year-old being in the surgery waiting room at Baptist Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee on a snowy January day. My father – my best friend, my baseball coach, my golf teacher and playing partner, my fellow history buff and my hero – was undergoing surgery for a supposedly benign tumor in his kidney.

“Benign” was a word I had just learned a few days earlier. I knew it was a good word. A word my father and mother were using with a sense of relief and comfort. It was almost like a friend.

When my mother, grandmother and aunts came to see me in that waiting room that morning, “benign” was nowhere to be found. A dark, foreboding, evil word had taken it’s place – “malignant”.

“When they operated on your father they saw the tumor was malignant.”

I did not need a dictionary. The look on their faces defined the word “malignant” better than Mr. Webster ever could.

I soon learned many new words that 12 year-olds should not know so young – radiation, chemotherapy, oncology, survival rate.

“First we’ll do radiation then we’ll do chemotherapy.”

For his radiation treatments, my father was tattooed with big dark lines to direct the radiation technicians where to direct the beams at his tumor. I remember the space between the lines contained most of his abdomen. Even at my age I knew those beams had to travel through a lot healthy cells and organs to reach those malignant cells around his kidney.

The chemotherapy regimen that followed was a medical version of the Bataan Death March. My father had the beginning and end of the nausea attacks that followed his weekly chemotherapy treatment timed down to the minute.

The chemotherapy treatment ended at 11:00 a..m. on Tuesday, the nausea started at 2:15 p.m. that afternoon and ended around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday. It did not pause for dinner, sleep or helping me with my homework.

I learned how hard a man will fight to be able to watch his only child grow up a little longer.

We have come a long way in fighting cancer in the 41 years since that snowy January day.

Last week the FDA approved for the first time cancer treatments based on the genetic makeup of a cancer instead of the location of the original tumor. You can learn more about this by clicking on the following link from Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Click here for more information

This progress in fighting cancer may never apply to you but the odds are it will in the future either apply to you or someone you love.

When you first go on Medicare, you make a decision about how you will receive your Medicare benefits and medical care the rest of your life. One choice will allow you to take full advantage of the wonderful breakthroughs we make every day against cancer.

This choice is staying with regular Medicare and enrolling in a Medicare Supplement that will cover your share of Medicare’s costs. With regular Medicare, if you have a serious health condition you can receive care at leading cancer treatment facilities such as Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Mayo Clinic, or M.D. Anderson Cancer Treatment Center. With the Medicare Supplement that you can combine with regular Medicare, your costs are covered 100 percent from the best cancer doctors and hospitals in the country.

I call this choice the benign approach.

The other choice is to leave regular Medicare and assign your Medicare benefits to a private, for-profit, restricted-choice Medicare Advantage plan such as Humana Gold Plus or Kaiser Permanente.

With a Medicare Advantage plan, you can only receive care from a limited list of doctors and hospitals and you must receive care in your home area – even when the best treatment for your condition may be outside of the plan’s network or your home area.

Even worse, the ultimate decision concerning the type of cancer treatment a Medicare Advantage plan will approve will likely be made by a budget analyst who may consider the cost of your treatment rather than your likely health outcome. Medicare Advantage plans can, and very often do, say “no” to more expensive cancer treatments even when the more expensive treatment is likeliest to save your life.

They do this because the money they save by saying “no” to a more expensive treatment that may save your life goes to increase their profits, pay their salaries and pay bonuses based on reduced patient care costs.

And leading cancer treatment facilities such as Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Mayo Clinic and M.D. Anderson do not participate in Medicare Advantage networks.

Imagine having to tell your loved ones in a few years that you unwittingly left regular Medicare for a private, for-profit, restricted-choice Medicare Advantage plan and now they will not pay for the cancer treatment you believe will give you the best chance to live.

For this reason I call the Medicare Advantage option the malignant choice.

I would appreciate the chance to personally work with you to help you understand your Medicare options so you can choose the Medicare plan that is right for you.

Click here to request assistance with your Medicare enrollment

I will assist you with every part of your transition to Medicare including:

  1. Fully understanding how Medicare works
  2. Understanding your Medicare options if you are still working
  3. Enrolling in Medicare Parts A and B
  4. Identifying the right Medicare Supplement for you
  5. Identifying the right Medicare Part D Drug plan for you
  6. Assisting you with enrolling in the Medicare plans you choose

Simply click on the following link to ask me to call you.

Click here to request assistance with your Medicare enrollment

Thank you for allowing me to help you with your Medicare and I look forward to talking with you soon.

Please feel free to call me at (865) 851-1120 or email charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com below for immediate assistance.

What about Plan N?

2017-07-09 Charles Bradshaw business photo

Charles Bradshaw

One Medicare Supplement option that can be a good choice for some people is a Plan N Medicare Supplement.

With a Plan N Medicare Supplement, the person on Medicare pays a lower monthly premium in return for paying Medicare’s Part B annual deductible as well as some co-pays and other costs throughout the year.

A Plan N Medicare Supplement is typically around $15 to $20 per month less than the Plan G Medicare Supplement I usually recommend.

In return for the lower monthly premium, the Medicare member pays the following out-of-pocket costs:

1) Medicare’s annual, once-a-year Part B deductible which in 2017 is $183. The policyholder also pays this deductible with Plan G.

2) A $20 co-pay for a doctor visit for either a primary care doctor or a specialist. The policyholder would not pay this co-pay with Plan G.

3) A $50 co-pay for an Emergency Room visit that does not lead to a hospital in-patient stay. The policyholder would not pay this co-pay with Plan G.

4) A potential 15 percent surcharge on Medicare Part B costs when the policyholder uses a medical provider that has opted out of Medicare’s regular fee structure so they can charge an extra 15 percent for Medicare patients. This extra 15 percent is called Medicare Part B Excess.

Category #4 is the real drawback when considering a Plan N Medicare Supplement. A Plan G Medicare Supplement pays the Medicare Part B Excess while Plan N does not.

As you probably can guess, the doctors and medical facilities that charge Medicare Part B Excess tend to be ones in high demand. Mayo Clinic is an example of a medical provider that charges Medicare Part B Excess.

This means if you ever have a serious health issue and want to make sure you are receiving care from the best doctor for your condition, you may have to choose between the doctor you think is best but for whom you will pay an extra 15 percent out of your pocket or a doctor who does not charge the Medicare Part B Excess.

While 15 percent of the cost of a doctor visit may not seem like a significant cost, keep in mind this can apply to expensive medical procedures and treatments such as MRIs and chemotherapy. In these cases 15 percent of the cost can be significant and can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

I prefer Plan G because I want you to be able to receive care from whatever health care provider you believe is right for you without worrying about the costs.

However, paying a lower monthly premium is necessary for many people and choosing a Plan N Medicare Supplement is a much better option than leaving Medicare and enrolling in a for-profit, private Medicare Advantage plan where your access to care is limited and costs can be much higher.

I would appreciate the chance to help you further understand your Medicare options. Simply click on the following link to ask me to call you.

Click here to request assistance with your Medicare enrollment

Please feel free to call me at (888) 549-1110 for immediate assistance.

Thank you for allowing me to help you with your Medicare and I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.  He can be reached at (888) 549-1110 or charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

 

Why Plan G instead of Plan F

2017-07-09 Charles Bradshaw business photo

Charles H. Bradshaw

I often hear the following from someone going Medicare who in the past has cared or currently is caring for a parent or other family member:

“My <mother, father, aunt> had a Plan F Medicare Supplement and it covered everything and that is what I want.”

I understand that point of view completely. There is no better frame of reference for what any us of can expect with our health in the future than what we have seen or see with our parents or other older loved ones.
With a Plan F Medicare Supplement, our older loved ones can go to any doctor or hospital anywhere in the country that accepts Medicare – as almost all do – and all of their costs are covered 100 percent.

My mother, who will be 96 in November, has a Plan F Medicare Supplement from AARP. When she had a full hip replacement a few years ago she did not have to pay one cent for any part of the procedure or rehabilitation. This included the three days she spent in the hospital and the six weeks she spent in a rehabilitation facility.

However, Congress passed a law in 2015 that makes a Plan F Medicare Supplement no longer the right choice for someone going on Medicare today.

The law Congress passed in 2015 begins to phase out Plan F Medicare Supplements beginning in 2020. Specifically, it says no one who becomes eligible for Medicare beginning on January 1, 2020 can enroll in a Plan F Medicare Supplement.

Anyone who currently has a Plan F Medicare Supplement at that time will be able to keep it. However, because younger people will not be able to join them in Plan F, the overall group of people who have Plan F Medicare Supplements will gradually become older and have a higher level of health issues than other Medicare Supplement plans.

For example, by 2025, everyone in a Plan F Medicare Supplement will be 70 years old or older. By 2030, everyone in a Plan F Medicare Supplement will be 75 years old or older.

By comparison, at both of these points in time other Medicare Supplements such as Plan G will have people who are 65 years old and older.

The younger overall mix in other Medicare Supplements such as Plan G will mean the average health care costs per person, and therefore monthly premiums, will be less in other Medicare Supplements than in Plan F.

This will cause premiums for people with Plan F to increase at a much higher rate in the future than other Medicare Supplement plans.

An excellent alternative to Plan F that will not increase in premiums as much because of the change in the law is Plan G. A Plan G Medicare Supplement provides the exact same coverage as Plan F except the policyholder pays Medicare’s once-a-year Part B deductible which is $183 in 2017.

Because Plan G’s premiums are usually at least $20 per month less than Plan F, the savings one receives in the lower monthly premium over 12 months with Plan G more than pays for the once-a-year $183 Part B deductible.

Very importantly, Plan G is the only Medicare Supplement other than Plan F that covers Medicare Part B Excess charges. Medicare Part B Excess charges are the up to 15 percent extra some medical providers charge for people with Medicare.

Because of this, I recommend Plan G instead of Plan F for anyone now going on Medicare. In addition, I strongly recommend anyone who currently has a Plan F Medicare Supplement who can switch to Plan G do so.

You do not have to wait until Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period in October to change Medicare Supplements. You can change Medicare Supplements at any time during the year though if you have been on Medicare more than 6 months your ability to change will depend on your health situation.

To enroll in a Plan G Medicare Supplement including switching from Plan F to Plan G, simply click on the following link to ask me to call you.

Click here to request assistance with your Medicare enrollment

Thank you for allowing me to help you with your Medicare and I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is the President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com

Medicare choices today may matter more later

Charles Bradshaw – President Medicare Answer Center

I have been privileged to help several thousand people who were going on Medicare understand their Medicare options so they could make the right Medicare decision for them.

While many people I help understand the long-term implications of the choices they make when they first go on Medicare, I often talk with someone who does not yet realize the Medicare choices they make when they first go on Medicare are often long-term rather than short-term decisions.

The conversation will often go something like this…

“Hi Charlie…this is Robert. I am turning 65 and going on Medicare next month. I need to decide what Medicare plan I need. I am in good health, take no medications and only see a doctor once or twice a year.”

If I were helping this same person with his property insurance, the same logic would go something like this…

Hi Charlie…this is Robert. I just bought a new house and I need to choose a property insurance policy. I just looked out the window and my house is not on fire and it is not raining so I’m not worried about floods.”

The choice you make about how you receive your Medicare and which insurance company you trust with you health and finances can and often is a permanent decision that will impact you the rest of your life.

It is a decision that should be made not based on what your health happens to be today but what it could be in the future.

The reason for this is that after you have been on Medicare for only six months, your ability to change your decision is dependent on you not having any serious health issues. Of course, none of us knows what our health may be in the future.

A few years ago, I received a call from a lady in Tennessee who had enrolled in a private, for-profit Medicare Advantage plan. She wanted to pay less than she would by staying with regular Medicare and having a Medicare Supplement.

Though she had no health issues when she made this decision several years earlier, she had been diagnosed that year with Multiple Myeloma and had been forced to spend more than $10,000 out of her own pocket for medical treatment and medications.

She had called me to ask me to help her return to regular Medicare and get a Medicare Supplement that would pay her share of Medicare. I had to explain to her that because she now had a serious health problem she would be declined if she applied for a Medicare Supplement.

Her only choices were to stay with a Medicare Advantage plan and pay more than $10,000 a year out of her pocket or return to regular Medicare but pay her full 20 percent share of her medical costs. Either choice would require her to pay money that she simply did not have.

She told me that because she had chosen to leave regular Medicare and enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, she would likely have to sell her house and move in with her daughter in another city in order to afford her costs with the Medicare Advantage plan.

When you first go on Medicare, you have the opportunity to secure your financial future and ensure the maximum access and choice in your health care for the rest of your life by simply staying with regular Medicare and enrolling in a Medicare Supplement that will pay your approximately 20 percent share of your Medicare costs.

If you choose instead to leave regular Medicare and enroll in a private, for-profit Medicare Advantage plan, you could end up paying tens of thousands of dollars more if you become sick and have limited choices of doctors.

I would appreciate the chance to help you understand your Medicare options so you can choose the right Medicare plan for you both now and in the future.

Click here to request assistance with your Medicare enrollment

I will assist you with every part of your transition to Medicare including:

  1. Fully understanding how Medicare works
  2. Understanding your Medicare options if you are still working
  3. Enrolling in Medicare Parts A and B
  4. Identifying the right Medicare Supplement for you
  5. Identifying the right Medicare Part D Drug plan for you
  6. Assisting you with enrolling in the Medicare plans you choose

Simply click on the following link to ask me to call you.

Click here to request assistance with your Medicare enrollment

Thank you for allowing me to help you with your Medicare and I look forward to talking with you soon.

Please feel free to call me at the number below for immediate assistance.

Why I help people with Medicare

Good Sunday morning!

The Dog Days of summer have officially arrived here in East Tennessee.

Many people around here are looking forward to the Great Solar Eclipse on August 21 of which we are in the direct path. Anything that brings down the temperature just a little bit for a few seconds is certainly welcome.

One question I often receive from the many people I have been privileged to help with their Medicare is why I have chosen to make this particular area of interest my life’s work.

I’d like to take just a few minutes this morning and answer this question because it involves a lesson that could be very important to you.

Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, I had a nice business helping lawyers with their health insurance and other insurance needs. Specifically, I helped attorneys who were just starting a small law practice.

I was helping a lot of people and providing a decent life for my family. Then the Affordabale Care Act – or Obamacare passed – and one aspect of this legislation impacted me more than any other. I could keep helping the people I had been helping except I would no longer be able to support my family doing so because they authors of the bill chose to drastically reduce the compensation for people like me.

So like a lot of people in today’s world I had to change or starve. I had been helping a few of my clients with Medicare once they were eligible. I found I enjoyed sharing with them the much better access they had to health care once they were on Medicare and at usually much lower monthly cost.

And I thought if I worked very hard and helped enough people who were going on Medicare to understand their choices I could make a difference in their lives and provide a nice life for my family as well.

However, as I started to help more and more people with Medicare, I realized how many people had, when they first became eligible for Medicare, been steered into private, for-profit, managed-care HMO plans called Medicare Advantage.

As opposed to regular Medicare, with a Medicare Advantage plan someone actually leaves regular Medicare and signs over their Medicare benefits to a private, for-profit company. This company then makes all the decisions about their health care – including what if any tests and treatments to cover if someone becomes sick.

Because Medicare Advantage plans get a fixed amount of money from the government when they take over someone’s Medicare benefits, they actually make money by saying “no” to many of the tests and treatments people need when they become sick.

I suddenly began hearing horror stories from hundreds of people who had felt they were misled by Medicare Advantage salesmen. These people were paying far more for their health care than they should and often were not able to access the health care they needed when they needed it.

Even worse, they now found themselves unable to return to regular Medicare and be approved for a Medicare Supplement to cover their share of Medicare. The reason for this is someone can usually only enroll in a Medicare Supplement without passing a health screening when they first go on Medicare.

These people with Medicare Advantage plans had passed up their Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment window and now were ineligible for a Medicare Supplement due to various health issues.

I heard stories from people who believed their loved ones had died because the expensive treatment they had needed to save their life was denied by their Medicare Advantage plan because of the cost.

I received a call from a lady who was moving from Colorado to South Carolina. She was moving there to live with her daughter because her husband had just passed away and she was now alone in Colorado.

When I asked her about her Medicare situation, she told me she and her husband had both had a Medicare Advantage plan in Colorado. Her husband had developed stomach cancer.

However, they and their grown children had been distraught because the Medicare Advantage plan to which they had assigned their Medicare benefits was only willing to pay for less expensive cancer treatments.

Instead, they traveled to Cancer Treatment Centers of America where they received very good and very bad news.

The good news was the doctors at Cancer Treatments Centers of American felt certain that a relatively new but expensive cancer treatment would save his life.

The bad news is because they had signed over their Medicare benefits to their Medicare Advantage plan, they would have to pay the full cost of the treatment – nearly $100,000 out of their own poockets.

This man was left with the choice of using he and his wife’s life savings to try to save his life or choose to die knowing his wife would have the money she needed the rest of her life.

He chose to make sure his wife had the money she needed and he died.

Had this couple stayed with regular Medicare and enrolled in a Medicare Supplement that paid their share of Medicare, he could have received the treatment he needed at Cancer Treatment Centers of America and the entire cost would have been covered 100 percent.

This is why I have made it my life’s work to try to help as many people as possible understand their choices when they first go on Medicare so they can make the right decision for them.

I would appreciate the chance to help you understand your Medicare options so you can choose the right Medicare plan for you both now and in the future when the choice you make today could make all the difference.

Click here to request assistance with your Medicare enrollment

Who is managing your health?

2017-07-09 Charles Bradshaw business photo

       Charles H. Bradshaw          President and Founder  MedicareAnswerCenter

by Charles H. Bradshaw

There is only one acceptable answer to this question and that answer is “you.”

However, if you make the wrong decision about how to receive your Medicare, your health could be managed by a budget analyst more concerned about the profits of a big insurance company than your best health outcome.

When you first go on Medicare – usually at age 65 but often later if you are still working – you can choose to receive your Medicare benefits through regular Medicare combined with a Medicare Supplement and a Medicare Part D drug plan. Or, you can instead assign your Medicare benefits to a private, for-profit, restricted-choice Medicare Advantage plan such as Humana Gold Plus or Kaiser Permanente.

When you choose to stay with regular Medicare, you can go to any doctor or hospital anywhere in the country that accepts Medicare as almost all do. This includes such noted medical facilities as Mayo ClinicJohns Hopkins and Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Importantly, with regular Medicare combined with a Medicare Supplement, all or almost all of your costs are covered 100 percent regardless of your health situation now or in the future.

This scenario allows you, along with the doctors you choose, to make best decisions for your health.

On the other hand, if you choose to receive your Medicare through a Medicare Advantage plan, your health care decisions are often made by a budget analyst who is focused on managing the costs of your care.

With a Medicare Advantage plan, you have a limited choice of doctors and hospitals and you are not fully covered when you travel. Even worse, because a Medicare Advantage plan is focused on its own profits, it will often say “no” to treatments and tests your doctor may think is right for you when regular Medicare would have said “yes.”

In today’s internet content-rich world, you have access to a wealth of information about your health and the health care providers you can choose with regular Medicare. You have more control and input into the decisions about your health than any generation before.

You should never give up this benefit by assigning your Medicare benefits to a private, for-profit, restricted-choice Medicare Advantage plan.

At MedicareAnswerCenter.com, we have a staff of highly trained, experienced Medicare specialists who can help you with all of your Medicare needs.

Click here to request assistance with your Medicare enrollment 

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