If you’ve watched any television during late October, November, and December, you’ve likely been exposed to the Joe Namath Medicare commercials.
Although Mr. Namath continually refers to “Medicare” (which is somewhat misleading), he’s actually referring to Medicare Advantage Plans (Medicare Part C).
Certainly, Mr. Namath did not write the script for the commercial but he is still responsible for claims he makes about the product and people have a right to know whether they are true, partially true, or flat-out false.
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Moreover, you may or may not have noticed the disclaimer at the bottom of the screen which is typically in a very small font and is there for maybe 10 seconds.
As a nationwide Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement insurance broker, we are continually asked if the Joe Namath Medicare commercials are true and because of that, we are pleased to break down each statement and provide the facts for our clients and prospective clients.
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Digging into Joe Namath’s Medicare Commercials
Unless viewers are fairly educated about Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap), they’ll likely be unaware at first that Joe is talking about benefits provided in SOME Medicare Advantage Plans.
And, it’s worth noting early on that Medicare Advantage plans are offered and administered by private insurance companies, not Original Medicare. Most viewers don’t realize the difference until they’ve made the call to the so-called Medicare Coverage Helpline which is a lead generation service for health insurance brokers who pay for leads.
Medicare Benefit Claims Made by Joe Namath
For this article, we’ve downloaded the transcript from his Medicare Coverage Helpline commercial so that we can identify whether his claims are true, partially true, or false.
PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT A PAID “FACT-CHECKER” FOR JOE NAMATH MEDICARE COMMERCIALS.
CUT ONE AT 00.04 SECONDS – Additional Benefits
“You may be entitled to transportation, meals, and expanded coverage for dental work that includes extractions fillings and dentures, all at no additional cost”
Although Medicare Advantage plans can include these additional benefits, the benefits vary by the plan you select and your geographic location. The home-delivered meals benefit is not offered in every plan and even if it is, you must qualify to receive the benefit.
CUT TWO AT 00.15 SECONDS– Adds Money to Your Social Security Check
“Depending on your zip code you may be entitled to the Medicare benefit that adds money to your social security check every single month”
Although some Medicare Advantage Plans offer this refund back to your Original Medicare Part B premium, it’s not a standard benefit for most Medicare Advantage plans and is generally predicated on the geographic area you live.
It’s important to understand that if you choose to enroll in Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan, you are still required to pay your Medicare Part B premium.
In some areas of the country, Medicare Advantage companies can administer your plan for less than your Part B premium, and if so, the company returns the savings via a Part B refund.
CUT THREE AT 00:35 SECONDS – Save on Copays, Prescription Drugs, and Dental
“They helped me so much I called to save money on copays get prescriptions, transportation” and my dental work covered.”
This we find is another partially true claim by Mr. Namath for these three reasons:
- An applicant’s copays will depend on which Advantage plan they choose. Additionally, the provider or specialist you visit must be a member of your plan’s network.
- You can get prescription drug coverage similar to Medicare Part D, but you must choose a plan that offers prescription drug coverage and the deductibles and copays are largely based on the tier of the drug you have been prescribed.
- Most Medicare Advantage plans do have dental coverage but in most plans, there are limits on the benefits and coinsurance to contend with. For example, your Medicare Advantage plan may offer coverage for dentures, but many of the plans will only pay 50% and the dentist must be in the plan network.
What about the Medicare Coverage Helpline?
When you’re enticed to call the Medicare Coverage Helpline for more information about Medicare Savings, you are not calling CMS, Medicare.gov, or any other government-sponsored helpline.
What you are calling is a private lead generation platform that sells and then transfers your call to a licensed insurance agent. This means that Joe Namath or the folks who answer your call at the Medicare Coverage Helpline are licensed to sell health insurance.
To be honest, Joe Namath doesn’t actually say that the Medicare Coverage Helpline is associated with Original Medicare, but he does lead the viewer to believe that he or she is calling Medicare.gov for information.
How to get the Truth about Medicare Advantage and Medigap
Although Joe Namath comes across a little too excited about Medicare Advantage it’s hard to actually call him snake-oil salesman because the products he is talking about are great products that will help fill the coverage gaps found in Original Medicare.
However, rather than taking Joe Namath’s word for it, simply call or go online to speak with The Medicare Solutions Team at MyMedicareSupplementPlan.org.
Here you will get the facts you need about your healthcare coverage from an experienced and reputable insurance professional. The Medicare Solutions Team is available to give you fact-based advice and become your advocate in your search for Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement products.
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