Letter to the editor: Medicare change is a challenge

Since Open Enrollment for medical plans runs until Dec. 7, our experience with changing from Medicare Advantage to traditional Medicare is relevant. If I’d had more information when I became eligible for Medicare, I would not have chosen Medicare Advantage. It works for me, so far, because I am generally very healthy and have had no healthcare denied. My premium has been $0 for two years, however there are many copays.

My husband is also fit and healthy and he needs no medication. Last year, he decided to switch to traditional Medicare, having read the comparisons with MA, and on the recommendation of friends. The Medigap plan he chose has an annual premium of $2,506, which is taken from his social security check. There were various requirements, such as an interview and a home visit, and he now looks forward to his annual checkup.

As Dr. Marvin Malek said recently in a VTDigger article, “getting out of Medicare Advantage is not easy and likely to be costly.” It is therefore very important to get independent advice before signing up for Medicare Advantage since there are many reasons that traditional Medicare is a much better choice in the long run, despite the cost.

Information on traditional Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage in Vermont can be found at https://www.healthinsurance.org/medicare/vermont/ and Vermont’s Senior Helpline at 800-642-5119.

Sally Roth


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