You’ve seen hundreds of those ads on TV telling you to call a toll-free number to hear all about the new Medicare Advantage benefits. These commercials insinuate that all the extras are free and some suggest you might even be able to get money back.
These ads are misleading, at best. The reality is that it’s nearly impossible to find one plan anywhere in America that includes all the free benefits they list. And the idea of contacting a mainland call center to speak to someone who does not specialize in Hawai‘i plans isn’t something I’d recommend.
A better thought might be to work with an agent on-island who is a trained expert in Hawai‘i’s local plans. They can assist you to make sure you are signed up for a plan that addresses all of your medical and prescription needs, while getting you the maximum benefits for the lowest cost. A local agent could also help to see if you qualify to be reimbursed for the monthly $148.50 Medicare Part B premium.
Most importantly, they would be available to assist you all year — which I don’t think you can say about the telemarketers at a call center on the mainland.