It's like something out of Mao Zedong's Chinese Cultural Revolution last century. The tempo of Massachusetts political hacks and state employees "educating seniors" about Medicare Reform -- apparently at public expense -- is quickening. Pretty soon us seniors will be herded into re-education camps so that we will be more "informed" when we go to the polls.
Two weeks ago it was the Mayor of Somerville and the Massachusetts Secretary of Elder Affairs. Last week it was the Yarmouth office of the state-funded volunteer organization that is supposed to give "unbiased" advice to seniors about Medicare (also indirectly part of the Massachusetts Elder Affairs department). This week it is a Bristol County Democratic politician hosting an "educational session" about Medicare (and Social Security).
I find this Bristol County event -- although probably not publicly funded -- to be most interesting because it ties into the dropping of 5,000 Worcester County seniors from Part C Medicare Advantage on October 2. The key speaker doing the "educating" of seniors is James Roosevelt, president of Tufts Health Plan, and a guy that just kicked me and 5000 other Massachusetts seniors out of his Medicare-subsidized health insurance plan in Worcester County. Only Democrats would have the brass ones to do what Roosevelt and the Taunton politician are doing.
Someone that lives in Bristol County, please ask Roosevelt for me about the trick Tufts Health Plan is playing on us seniors up here in Worcester.
- We had a 2012 plan that cost $48 a month called Tufts Medicare Basic.
- Two weeks ago Roosevelt sent us all (I assume all? I was told 5000) a letter saying he was cancelling the Tufts Medicare Basic plan and we should all go get on Medigap as fast as possible because our Medicare healthcare plan ends December 31.
- Oh by the way, he said in the letter, Tufts just happens to sell an expensive Medigap plan for almost $200 a month
- Last week Roosevelt starts peddling a 2013 Medicare healthcare plan called exactly the same thing, Tufts Medicare Basic, but it costs $66 a month
So there is a couple of possibilities as I see it:
- This is what is known as "cherry picking." Perhaps the 5000 of us on the 2012 Tufts Medicare Basic plan in Worcester County were costing him too much money so he kicks us off and tries to find some new suckers for his 2013 plan -- with basically the same features and benefits -- that won't go to the doctors so much (at a much higher cost than the 2012 plan
- This is a way to avoid telling the world that Tufts is in trouble and had to raise its premiums 35%. By Medicare law, insurers have to inform seniors of changes to their plans -- features, benefits and costs -- every year UNLESS they terminate the plan. So Roosevelt terminates the plan for us in Worcester County and then makes us seniors figure out on our own why the same plan with the same name costs $20 more a month in 2013 than in 2012 (when the government says Medicare plans only went up by 1% around the country on the average)
And do yourself a favor down in Taunton. Please ask Roosevelt if he is going to do the same thing to you in Bristol County in 2014 after the election is over and when the special Obama administration bonuses to Medicare healthcare insurers go away?
-- Dennis Byron