A field hearing of the U.S. Senate Aging Committee is scheduled for Monday in St. Louis. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) is investigating what she and others believe are unscrupulous insurance practices aimed at senior citizens.
At issue are Medicare Advantage insurance policies – which are sold by private insurance companies. Generally, a person who joins such a plan gets all of his or her Medicare-covered health care through that plan. On the positive side, the plan could include extra benefits and lower copayments, but the plan might also require the senior to see doctors that belong to the plan or go to certain hospitals to get services. McCaskill says some of the insurance vendors are preying on the elderly.
McCaskill says sone of these plans are great because they offer an added cushion, but many seniors are taken advantage of when they are scared into thinking they might not have the coverage they need and are sold policies that are not really necessary.