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.”
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded ClearHealthCosts.
She was previously a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism. ClearHealthCosts has won grants from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York; the International Women’s Media Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with KQED public radio in San Francisco and KPCC in Los Angeles; the Lenfest Foundation in Philadelphia for a partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer; and the New York State Health Foundation for a partnership with WNYC public radio/Gothamist in New York; and other honors.
Her TED talk about fixing health costs has surpassed 2 million views.