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A Book Review of David W. Bynon’s Why Medicare Advantage Plans are Bad

David W. Bynon’s book Why Medicare Advantage Plans Are Bad is one of those strange novels that bridges the gap between the health genre and the economics one. It’s a bold title and even bolder breakdown of the Medicare system in America; the following is a review of the non-fiction book.

About The Author

To start with, if someone is going to write a book this daring, you probably want to know a little bit about them. David W. Bynon spent most of his career working in the United States Navy with computer technology.

Back in 2011, while he was consulting for an insurance agency, he began to notice details about Medicare that no one else was talking about. It turns out that there are more than 60,000 Medicare Advantage plan combinations, and almost certainly, the average person doesn’t have the time or energy to study them all. After a bit of research, he created the website MedicareWire.com where he regularly published summaries and other useful information surrounding Medicare plans.

After years of research and sharing Medicare information, Bynon found it far too common for people to have found themselves stuck with a plan that doesn’t give them the coverage they need and costs them too much for what they’re getting. Hence, this Medicare Advantage guide was born. He is expressly clear that he gains nothing nor loses anything regardless of which plan people choose or if they forgo Medicare plans altogether; Bynon simply wants people to have the information they need to make the right decisions for themselves.

Structure And Information

The book is structured around seven truths about Medicare advantage plans. These truths are not the sort of thing that’s advertised and so can come as a surprise to many people considering Medicare plans or dealing with the results of buying into one or trying to figure out what everyone’s talking about when they mention Medicare insolvency. He breaks down several myths about the system (including the ever-so-obnoxious: free plans that turn out not to be free at all) and explores how these plans work in practice.

Topics include the true cost of Medicare advantage plans and how copayments actually work, how these plans contribute to more expensive hospitalization, how multiple copays for the same problem can arise, how Medicare advantage plans increase your chances of seeing a nurse practitioner over a doctor, the referral system, the ever-changing benefits, costs, and providers, and absurdly high out-of-pocket payment limits. If you are interested in how any of these elements of Medicare advantage plans actually work, you will find something of value in this book.

 

Tips On Choosing The Right Health Coverage For You

Bynon also breaks down very clearly who might benefit from advantage plans and who might find their needs are left unmet. There’s a brisque honesty in how he goes about this that will feel like a breath of fresh air to any reader who has been struggling to see the benefits and faults of the options before them.

Understanding The Medicare Advantage Plans System

For many people, deciding which route to take for their healthcare is only half of the battle. Once the decision is made, you have to jump through hoops, deal with things like late enrollment penalties, understand how the plan actually works so they can get what they need, and figuring out how to advocate for themselves and their family members within whichever system they choose. Again Bynon has you covered. 

Bigger Picture Sense

Despite how much detailed information has gone into this book, Bynon still manages to present a bird’s-eye-view of the Medicare Advantage Plans and the different motivations and moving parts that create these systems. Given the current financial state of Medicare as a whole, many people want to gain a better understanding of how this system works. Bynon’s book does this in spades.

Writing Style

Yes, most of the time, when someone is picking up a book on a non-fiction topic like this, they aren’t too fussy about prose. This being said, Bynon’s clear and concise writing gets to the point and gets to the point in a way that readers can easily understand. What he’s talking about is very complex, yet nothing is confusing. 
David W. Bynon’s Why Medicare Advantage Plans are Bad is chocked full of useful information when it comes to choosing a Medicare option and working within it. If you or someone you know is about to make this critical health decision, and you want more information, Bynon’s book might be just what the doctor ordered.

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