Medicare Advantage Marketing Targets Retirees

Members Should Not Drop GIC or Municipal Insurance

October 29, 2021: Each fall, during the Medicare open enrollment period, a plethora of ads targeting retirees dominate the airwaves and mailboxes of seniors. This year calls from members to our Beacon Hill office with complaints about aggessive sales tactics have hit an all time high.

This time of year we start to see an increase in television ads for Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Drug plans. This is because the federal open enrollment period for making changes to Medicare Advantage and Medicare drug plans runs from October 15, 2021-December 7, 2021.

“We want to remind members that these ads pertain to products that are outside of the offerings by either the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) or plans offered by a municipality,” according to Nancy McGovern, Association’s GIC and local insurance point person. “While the costs and offerings of these plans can be attractive, we strongly recommend members not enroll but remain with the plans offered by either the GIC or their municipality.”

If you are covered by the GIC, there is a Medicare Advantage plan offered through Tufts (Tufts Medicare Preferred). However, enrollment in this plan only occurs during the traditional spring open enrollment period of the GIC. This plan is classified under the limited network category by the GIC, which means coverage is limited to a specific network.

Mass Retirees has recently received information from Blue Cross and Blue Shield that they would be offering Medicare Advantage plans to their municipalities covered under their plans as well as to the 150 communities, districts and authorities covered under MIIA (Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association). Should your municipality choose to add it to their plan offerings, these plans will be available during the open enrollment period of October 15th to December 7th for coverage to begin January 1, 2022. This plan is unique as it is constructed on a PPO platform that includes a broader network than traditional Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Advantage (also known as “Part C”) is an “all in one” alternative to Original Medicare. These “bundled” plans include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D. Most plans offer extra benefits that the Original Medicare doesn’t cover–like vision, hearing, dental, and more, but often with a limited network.

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