By Ken Reed
When it comes to sales pitches to seniors about insurance to fill the gaps in Medicare coverage, there is a lot of incomplete and deceptive information involved. And sometimes, total misinformation.
Unfortunately, Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath is contributing to the confusing mess.
In a TV ad, Namath tells viewers to “get everything you’re entitled to.” He then lists several extra benefits seniors can get by purchasing Medicare Advantage plans, “all at no extra cost,” according to Namath. He then urges people to “call the number on your screen now. It’s free.”
There’s only one problem. The actual cost can be substantial. A couple who buys a Medicare Advantage plan could pay up to $13,400 a year before their new plan pays for anything.
According to Trudy Lieberman, a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a health, retirement and insurance writer for Consumer Reports and Columbia Journalism Review:
“These are new benefits the government has allowed private insurers to sell in the hope of getting more seniors to leave traditional Medicare in favor of a privatized system. By transferring more costs to seniors, the government saves money.”
The bottom line: Congress has allowed a complicated and chaotic marketplace for seniors to navigate.
“It’s just too complicated,” says Bonnie Burns, a Medicare consumer advocate.
“No wonder people throw up their hands. That’s why people sign up for an Advantage plan with little or no premium and find out what the costs really are as they use benefits through the year.”
Burns added, “It would be so much easier if Medicare Advantage plans and drug plans were standardized so people could figure this out.”
Namath’s endorsement has only served to muddy the waters further for seniors.
Say it ain’t so Joe.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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