An unfair advantage? You be the judge

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10/18/2011

It's that time of year again. Medicare Advantage open enrollment. How do I know this? My mailbox is stuffed with postcards and brochures attempting to woo me to their plans.

Why is it so hard to get my name removed from this mailing list (I also get frequent mailers from the AARP)?

At any rate, I am not going to pretend to know all that much about the plans work. What I do wonder is this: Why is it OK for Medicare managed care payers to bombard seniors (and me) with advertising? And, why, as I recently had pointed out to me, is it OK for Medicare managed care payers to encourage their members to switch to their pharmacy? Doesn't that mean that the payer is paying itself? How, exactly, does that work?

And this wouldn't be HME News if I didn't throw out the bidding conundrum. Apparently, if you are a managed care plan paying yourself for HME and supplies, you are not subject to competitive bidding.

Does this make anybody else's head spin?

Theresa Flaherty

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