No. of Recommendations: 10
I'm less than 18 months before I qualify for Medicare and have begun my study of the program with the goal of developing at least the level of expertise I have with Obamacare.

If you ask people what a high quality health plan looks like, I suspect most would answer, "A health plan that allows you to visit any doctor or hospital you choose, and pays 100% of the cost."

Outside of a few strong union health plans, or the Golden Parachute for a failed corporate CEO, most of us aren't going to see anything like that in our retiree health plan.

My study so far seems to indicate that Fee for Service Medicare (Part A & B) plus a Medigap plan and a Part D drug plan comes closest to the "high quality health plan" description. Medicare Advantage may offer retirees a lower monthly premium, but that comes with a restricted list of doctors and hospitals you can use, plus the peril of "out-of-network" billing if circumstances put you in a shop that's not on the insurance company's approved list.

To the extent that wealthier people will pay the money to get a higher quality plan, you'd expect them to opt for Fee-for-Service Medicare. And that's what's happening according to this market research prepared by the insurance industry's lobbying group. (See table on page 3 of the pdf.)

Medicare Advantage Demographics Report -- 2016


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