Medicare Advantage: ID Cards, Calls, and Confusionby Denise Early on Dec. 23, 2009, under Health
Confusion is in the air as Medicare Advantage cards and calls are arriving this week.
Seniors who have changed Medicare Advantage plans may be in for some confusion when they receive an ID card from their current plan before they receive a card from their new plan (for 2010). The Advantage plans assumed (and hoped) that people enrolled in their plans would stay put for 2010, so they’ve sent ID cards for 2010. However, quite a few people put in applications to change plans and they haven’t yet received their new plan ID cards. I’ve had two calls and an email this week from confused clients.
A bit more confusion is being added to the mix as Medicare is requiring Advantage plan companies to call everyone who enrolls in their plans to quiz them on how much they understand about what they signed up for. These are called “verification calls”. Part D enrollees are getting calls as well.
I was talking with an agent who told me about her client who got a call from Health Net to verify her enrollment in one of their plans. This lady was already a bit confused because she had just received an ID card from Secure Horizons (the plan she wanted to leave). Then she got the call from Health Net quizzing her about the plan for which she had filled out an application a month earlier. After a few questions this lady got very anxious and told the caller she had NOT enrolled in Heath Net and would not answer any more questions. Yikes!
I have written about how confusing Part D plans and Medicare Advantage plans can be for seniors when they are face-to-face with an insurance agent. Now they are getting quizzed about the details of meetings they had a month previously.
Once again, Medicare coverage has become even more complicated, causing lots of confusion. What a great system!