By: Don Meyer
Joe Namath is a household name. Nearly everyone knows his name because of his time on the football field.
But more people are familiar with him now because of his Medicare commercials.
The big thing Joe talks about in the commercials are the extra benefits you can get by calling the 800 number listed on the tv.
Things like gym memberships, dental benefits, vision benefits, hearing benefits, and a few others.
We’ve had some clients calling us asking about these ads and if they can get those benefits and the answer usually is, “You already have them.”
Those extra benefits, or freebies, come with many Medicare Advantage plans.
So, the way it works is people call the 800 number Joe shares, they enroll into a plan with the extra benefits they want, and boom, it’s done.
Pretty good deal, right?
It’s not for a few reasons. Before I go into those let me tell you one thing. All Both Hands FG agents make sure their clients get all the benefits they are entitled to and are available in their area.
Getting these extras really are perks of the plan that you sign up with because there are other things more important than a meal delivery service or a free membership to the YMCA.
When people call the company Joe is endorsing, they don’t two very important things.
They don’t check a person’s doctors to make sure they accept the plan they are signing up for and they do not check their medications.
They just pick a plan, sign someone up, and wish them the best, and tell them to enjoy going to the gym for free.
The reason that is an issue is that doctors don’t accept every plan out there. That means if you sign up for a plan without verifying your doctor accepts them, you could have to switch doctors.
The even bigger danger of this process is not having your medications checked before picking a plan. This could cost you thousands of dollars next year.
Every Medicare prescription drug plan is different based on the medications you are taking. Just because one may cover your medications at a certain cost does not mean another one will too.
One person came to us last year after signing up for a Medicare plan after calling the footballer’s 800 number and we were able to save her $11,000 on her medications.
Your Medicare plan needs to be reviewed every year and unless you have a trusted agent that tells you they will review your plan every year, you may be leaving yourself vulnerable to unexpected medical expenses.
To be clear, Joe Namath is not bad. The plans he is talking about are not bad. They are the same plans we offer. We just take the additional steps with our clients to review medications and doctors to keep expenses as low as possible.
Also, not all extra benefits are the same in every area. Some plans offer some benefits for hearing aids while in another state the plan flat out pays for the hearing aids. Some YMCAs allow free memberships but in other states, they don’t.
Make sure to speak with a licensed agent that understands your specific needs and desires and knows exactly what plan will be right for you and gives you the benefits available to you.
The Medicare Annual Enrollment period starts on October 15th and goes through December 7th. This is the only time you may be able to review your plan and make any changes you need for next year.
Contact your Both Hands FG agent to schedule a review or email us at support@BothHandsFG.com and ask to be connected with a local agent in your area.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Don Meyer has helped thousands of people across the country with their Medicare needs. Medicare is the single biggest decision people make once they get to retirement and that is why Don helps people with retirement income planning and selecting the right Medicare plans for their needs. In addition to being the Master Yoda of Medicare, Don enjoys woodworking projects, yoga with his wife, and spending time with their 10 children and their spouses and their growing number of grandchildren.