Daily I find I am inundated with information from all avenues of advertising informing me that it is time to enroll in a Medicare Advantage program. Should I be thankful for these reminders? Perhaps!

I do understand that these companies offering the programs have the purpose of self promotion. Am I getting all the information I need to make an informed decision?

Efforts of self promotion include statements like “premiums as low as $0.” I will be entitled to more coverage than in the original Medicare. Prescription drugs will be covered. Physicals and flu shots will be covered with no copay. I will receive preventative care that I am not now receiving.

Why would I not want to immediately opt to enroll in a medicare advantage program?

Now I ask myself ‘is there more I should know? Am I being provided all the information I need to make an informed decision?"

It appears that if I change from my original Medicare program I will not be free to use any doctor I choose. I must use a doctor within the Advantage program. I will need the approval of the Advantage program to see a specialist. Should I decide not to remain in the Advantage program it is possible that I will not be able to return to the original Medicare program at the same cost as when I left (Medicare guarantees the rate only if you enter the program within the first six months after age 65)

I do wish the promoters of Medicare Advantage were required to provide information clarifying some of the negative of making a change.

Alan J. Kromholz

Sebring