(Snippets from the frontline)
Medicare HMO is not free
Every year during open enrollment, HMOs direct full-page ads toward Medicare patients promoting “free” coverage including medication, glasses, hearing aids, dental work, podiatry care, with no deductibles.
These freebies come with strict limitations, substantial out-of-pocket charges, and inferior products. Read the fine print and between the lines.
Fortunately, most seniors know you don’t get something for nothing.
The HMO goal is to make money and deny you care especially as you head toward end-of-life. Should they one day offer to pay for funeral expenses, be very afraid.
Some patients say they get great medical care. This is true when you are healthy, but wait until you are ill and start to cost them money. Doctors I know employed by HMOs are excellent, but they ultimately do not control financial medical decision-making, and sometimes are paid a bonus to restrict care.
Nothing is free, yet HMO administrators stuff money into their pockets as they deny treatment while shuffling seniors into a nursing home or onto hospice care.
You get what you pay for.
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.