Any sane person is yearning for the moment when the advertising of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans during “open season” ends. Endless argle-bargle fills the airways and mail boxes while the Biden administration, in the guise of the Center for Medicare Services (CMS), posts yet again “new” rules and asks the public to report on bogus advertising claims of services to those covered by Medicare.
But these new rules are just putting lipstick on the pig of Medicare Advantage which is legalized robbery from the Medicare trust fund to begin with. Biden is making things less bad? Is that the message? Sheesh.
Physicians for a National Health Plan (PNHP) issued a report that reveals:
“By our estimate, and based on 2022 spending, MA overcharges taxpayers by a minimum of 22% or $88 billion per year, and potentially by up to 35% or $140 billion. By comparison, Part B premiums in 2022 totaled approximately $131 billion, and overall federal spending on Part D drug benefits cost approximately $126 billion. Either of these—or other crucial aspects of Medicare and Medicaid—could be funded entirely by eliminating overcharges in the Medicare Advantage program.”
The entirety of the Medicare Advantage program is corrupt. It is time to completely eliminate the MA program and replace it with single payer, that is, Medicare for All!
But in lieu of any actual action, “Officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are encouraging seniors and other members of the public to become fraud detectives by reporting misleading or deceptive sales tactics to 1-800-633-4227, the agency's 24-hour information hotline. Suspects include postcards designed to look like they're from the government and TV ads with celebrities promising benefits and low fees that are available only to some people in certain counties.” ["Uncle Sam wants you to help stop insurers' bogus Medicare Advantage sales tactics", NPR Shots Health News, 30 Nov 23]
According to CMS, those enrolled in Medicare should be wary of sales pitches that:
- Suggest benefits are available to all who sign up when only some individuals qualify.
- Mention benefits that are not available in the service area where they are advertised (unless unavoidable because the media outlet covers multiple service areas).
- Use superlatives like "most" or "best" unless claims are backed up by data from the current or prior year.
- Claim unrealistic savings, such as $9,600 in drug savings, which apply only in rare circumstances.
- Market coverage without naming the plan.
- Display the official Medicare name, membership card, or logo without approval of CMS, the federal agency in charge of Medicare.
- Contact you, if you're an Advantage or drug plan member, and you told that plan not to notify you about other health insurance products.
- Pretend to be from the government-run Medicare program, which does not make unsolicited sales calls to beneficiaries.
But why try to police this bunko by nibbling around the edges of its corruption? It occurred to me that all Medicare recipients should respond to this request from Biden/CMS by reporting the entire Medicare Advantage program as being a massive fraud that sucks billions of dollars out of the trust fund each year.
AGAIN, THE MEDICARE FRAUD LINE NUMBER IS 1-800-633-4227. CALL NOW!