Extend Health Choices Incomplete?

Questions and answers about medical benefits, severance pay outs. etc.

Extend Health Choices Incomplete?

Postby Poor Richard on Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:00 pm

Today I checked out the choices available through the Extend Health website and found something interesting, or rather what I DIDN'T find was interesting. I seems that when I searched for the Medicare Advantage Plans available in my area, the largest HMO in the area was excluded. Now I knew this HMO offers Medicare plans because I regularly receive ads in the mail from them. The official medicare.gov website has a plan search tool; this HMO comes up when I search on the medicare.gov site. This particular HMO also has the highest rating in the area so it couldn't have been excluded for poor performance.

I'm left to speculate as to why this HMO was excluded and wonder about dealing with Extend Health. Was it excluded because it did not PAY to be included? Do Extend Health agents have a financial incentive to push one plan over another?

I'm not sure what to make of this but, for now at least, I'm steering clear of Extend Health.
Poor Richard
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Re: Extend Health Choices Incomplete?

Postby retiredandhappy on Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:11 pm

I would never use anything the company put out like this. You know they are paid to get to not to take VZ's retired medical and Extend Health will only give you choices that pay them for the favor.
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Re: Extend Health Choices Incomplete?

Postby (mis)Management on Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:10 pm

retiredandhappy wrote:I would never use anything the company put out like this. You know they are paid to get to not to take VZ's retired medical and Extend Health will only give you choices that pay them for the favor.

Amen! My answering machine caught a recorded pitch from "ExtendHealth." Lame name. Lame pitch. Reminds me of that old warning..."I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you." Right!!! You would have to be pretty darned naive to buy this s**t.

So what's going on here? Obamacare will make it financially adventageous for companies to drop coverage. But the big (really big) companies like Verizon are worried about the political backlash if they publicly do that. So the problem for VZ is "how do we get folks to self select OUT of the plan?" If enough folks do that, then the old plans become unsustainable (Let the nose of the camel into the tent, and soon, the whole camel will be in the tent with you).

Healthcare is one of the few things people buy where the purchaser never knows what the benefit is (that he/she will need), but providers will bury one in verbiage about what the premiums costs are. The end game? Doctors will refuse patients from plans which aggressively squeeze them. (see below)

(mis)Management wrote:As they say..."the devil is in the details." What good is a (somewhat) lower monthly premium if the doctor that you need refuses to treat you "in the plan" which is where things are heading?

Here is what Obamacare will do to our access to medicine. Physicians are migrating more and more to "concierge" business models to
avoid the price controls imposed by the interference by government fiat. I had to change doctors last year for that very reason.
Here is a quote from my former internist's letter to his patients:

"On the other hand, working as an internist involves so much paperwork and phone calls for drugs, tests, referrals, home health care, visiting
nurse services, etc. that I now spend more time each week with paperwork and these phone calls than I do on direct patient care, which is
my first love. The situation has gotten progressively worse as HMOs and Medicare issue more and more denial of services and products,
which demand even more paperwork, interventions, and appeals on my part."

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