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Would you buy a Medicare Advantage plan from Joe Namath? Or anybody else?

Before you answer, your first question might be “what’s a Joe Namath?” or “what’s this Medicare Advantage thing?”

If you are of a certain age, and like (or hate) professional football, you will know that Joe was a very famous, successful college and professional quarterback. Now he is best known for TV commercials telling seniors how to get the most out of Medicare. And he is not alone.

Commercials touting the many advantages (no pun intended) of purchasing one of the growing number of Medicare Advantage plans are all over the place. They are mostly amusing, or ignored, by younger viewers. And they are an irritant or mystery to folks already on Medicare in some form. And that’s especially true for federal workers, retirees and their survivors. Under the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Program folks have the choice of 30 plus plans and options. It is an excellent but bewildering choice. And that wide array of choices is the primary reason many feds and most retirees stay in the same plan year-after-year. And wind up paying much more in premiums than they have to. In some cases up to $2,000 per year more.

The FEHB open season runs through Dec. 13. so there is still plenty of time to compare plans, in addition to your current carrier, and compare their premiums, benefits, drug coverage and physician network. For folks trying to navigate the world of Medicare and FEHB benefits, it is even more complicated. Unless you have an expert at hand which, if you are reading this, you do. Spoiler alert: I am not the expert. Not even close. But I know who is. That would be Walton Francis, long-time editor of Checkbooks’ Guide to Federal Health Plans. And he’s going to be my guest today on Your Turn. The show will be streaming live at 10 a.m. EST or on the radio at 1500 AM in the Washington D.C.-Baltimore area. The show will also be archived so you can listen anytime, or pass it on to a friend.

Walt Francis will also be answering questions you may be (or should be) asking. For instance:

  • Want to learn about the latest changes affecting your health insurance options? We will cover those, including the new Medicare Advantage options available to annuitants with Medicare Parts A and B.
  • Want to learn about how even the most controversial subjects, like health insurance laws, can lead to bipartisan outcomes? We will cover the new “No Surprises” law.
  • Want to learn about how smart insurance and benefits choices can be worth tens of thousands of dollars over the long haul? We will cover:
    • When does a Roth IRA save you thousands of dollars a year in insurance premiums?
    • When does a High Deductible health plan provide not just good health insurance, but also an investment method worth thousands of dollars a year?
    • When is Medicare Part B almost free while saving you thousands of dollars a year in medical costs?

Plus, as always, the Checkbook’s recommendations for saving thousands of dollars just by picking a plan that is a good buy.

If you have specific or general questions send them to me before showtime at

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Alazar Moges

There have been eight left handed presidents in U.S. history. They were James A. Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Harry S. Truman, Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton (who was the third in a row) and Barack Obama.

Source: GovTech

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