Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare: My mom’s story, by Wendell Potter

Filed Under: Costs

Summary: “The odds are pretty high … that Mom would not still be counted among the living had she not switched from an MA plan to traditional Medicare,” Wendell Potter writes in a piece titled “Why Mom went back to traditional Medicare” for MedicareResources.org. He describes his mother’s experience, and concludes: “Only in original Medicare can a patient count on getting ‘unfettered access’ to doctors and facilities of their choice – and, in many cases, to life-saving care. The Kaiser Health News article that reported the result of those 2013 studies quoted Judith Stein, executive director of the Connecticut-based Center for Medicare Advocacy, a patient advocacy group, as confirming the disparity in access to needed care. ‘Private Medicare Advantage plans work for people when they are relatively well, but fall short of traditional Medicare when they are sick or disabled,’ she said. ‘This is particularly true for our clients with long-term and chronic conditions, many of whom also have low incomes. They are often denied coverage for necessary skilled care, or it is terminated before it should be, while the same coverage would be available in traditional Medicare.” Wendell Potter,“Why Mom went back to traditional Medicare.”