There are a number of ways people are lured into signing up for Health Maintenance Organizations or HMOs. The best method so far is advertising or rather misleading advertising, in which HMOs appear to offer more than they actually deliver. I think this is one of the reasons why organizations like the Health Administration Responsibility Project exist.
One indicator of such misleading marketing tactics is when the offered plan is just too good to be true. And because of the implementation of ‘lock-in’ rule, wherein beneficiaries are not allowed to switch plans; all the more that this misleading advertising poses a great threat to the public than ever before.
Here are some marketing tactics HMOs use to lure beneficiaries to sign up for coverage:
- Unlimited prescription drug coverage. Consumers must be warned about this unlimited generic and brand name prescription drug coverage offer by several HMOs. The ‘unlimited’ catch is misleading since most HMOs cover only medications listed on a formulary or preferred drug lists.
- Better than Original Medicare. Some medical plans are actually offering more benefits than Medicare but they are not really for free. They come at a cost.
- $0 Premium offer. Plans often boast of a $0 premium while in fact individuals are required to pay their Medicare Part B premiums, done monthly at $78.20.
There are I guess a lot more, but the point here is that beneficiaries should really be on-guard against these marketing tactics. A nationwide list of healthcare specialist attorneys is available for those who might need some assistance in this particular issue.
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