Every fall, you may notice countless Medicare commercials on TV, some featuring retired NFL quarterback, Joe Namath. The advertisements in which Namath appears are for Medicare Advantage plans.
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It’s important for beneficiaries to know the truth behind the advertising. Some of the claims in Advantage commercials can be misleading if you aren’t informed.
Joe Namath’s Medicare Advantage Commercials
When you’re educated regarding Medicare options, you’ll soon realize the Medicare commercials that feature Joe Namath are only for Medicare Advantage plans. Advantage policies are available through private insurance companies.
So, these commercials are not from Medicare or the government. In fact, a large Medicare agency pays Namath to advertise Advantage policies that beneficiaries can purchase from their agents.
With Advantage plans, Medicare pays carriers to take on the beneficiary’s risk. Thus, Medicare Part C (the Medicare Advantage policy through a private insurance company) pays instead of the government health program (Part A and Medicare Part B).
Some of the claims in the Joe Namath Medicare commercials are very attractive. However, you’ll want to do your research about individual plans before choosing Advantage coverage.
Claim #1: Additional Benefits
In the advertisements, Joe Namath claims Medicare Advantage plans include a bundle of benefits like dental, vision, and hearing coverage, a prescription drug plan, and home-delivered meals. He proceeds to claim you can receive these features at no additional cost.
While it is true that Advantage plans can include these extra benefits, said benefits vary by plan, and plan availability depends on your location. Also important to note is that not every Advantage plan offers the option for home-delivered meals. Further, even if your plan offers home-delivered meals, you must personally qualify to receive them.
Claim #2: Eliminating Copays
Joe Namath Medicare Advantage ads claim that these policies wipe out copays. In reality, your copayments depend on the plan you choose.
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Your plan may require copays for visits to doctors and specialists, as well as for prescription drugs. Yet, for your Advantage plan to pay at all, your providers must be in your plan’s network. Additionally, your medications and dosages must be on the formulary of your Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan to receive coverage.
Claim #3: Coverage for No Additional Cost
An attention-getting claim Joe Namath makes in several of his Medicare Advantage commercials is that the extra coverage is available to beneficiaries for no additional cost. But, no premium doesn’t mean cost-free.
It’s important to understand that no Medicare plan is actually free. The truth is that while some Advantage plans don’t come with a monthly premium, many do require payment of a premium, and all include other costs.
Advantage plans still involve out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles and copayments. So, while a zero-dollar plan in your area might seem enticing, it may not even be the best choice for your finances – let alone your health.
There is a maximum out-of-pocket amount for each Advantage plan, but it can be high. Meaning, you’ll likely spend thousands of dollars in a year before reaching full coverage on your plan.
Claim #4: Money Added to Your Social Security Check Each Month
In his Medicare Advantage commercials, Joe Namath says that beneficiaries can receive extra money in their Social Security check every month. While some Advantage plans include a give-back feature, it isn’t standard for all Advantage plans.
Further, the availability of plans with the give-back or premium-reduction feature is dependent on your location. The amount the plan reduces your premium can be as much as the standard amount, or it could be less.
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34 thoughts on “Joe Namath Medicare Commercials and the Truth Behind the Claims”
And by the way, yes, it is a scam.
This is NOT Medicare.
They trying to get you to surrender your actual Medicare for a private insurance product at higher premiums PLUS copays and deductibles.
Short answer, just keep the actual Medicare you already deserve at lower rates for better benefits.
Those repetitive commercials that air many times throughout evening tv need TO STOP! JJ Walker’s voice is grating and I either turn down the volume or even stop watching that particular channel. Please, please stop the Medicare commercials.
I feel the same way, tried three different channels, same commercials. JJ Walker needs to go!
I think the reason why the commercials use “Broadway” Joe Namath, JJ Walker, and other celebrities is because of the name recognition. Baby boomers have grown up with these celebrities (football, television, etc.) so are more likely to at least listen to them then to some non-celebrity “average, everyday” person.
The same can be said for Tom Shelleck, William Shatner and all the other celebrities who do these types of commercials.
Please Please STOP THESE COMMERCIALS!!!!
Years of exposure to the Namath/Walker ads has convinced me that I want nothing to do with the program or the folks who chose and pay them. No, they don’t work for free – I’m sure they are handsomely rewarded for the time they spent recording the ads. These two physical wrecks are poor spokesmen for health care, and the sucker who hired them should be fired.
The commercials are still running with Joe Namath and JJ Walker, only now with one caveat – now they tell you to provide your zip code to see if you qualify. The company that provides this helpline has gotten into some legal trouble in the past. And yes, these commercials (especially JJ’s) are absolutely grating, if not condescending. I wish they’d stop.
“Oddly you never see a country with universal healthcare trying to repeal it. It’s almost like it works or something”. True
Read this somewhere.
Today is December 8, 2021. I hope those commercials with Joe Nameth, J.J. Walker,
and William Shatner are really done. I’ve lost any respect that I might have had for those people! Maybe all of us can sit back and watch some real T.V. now. Please, don’t let them do this ever again!
Medicare commercials have helped my family save money. Because were saturated with commercials like Medicare we decided not to pay for them anymore by cutting the cord and going with an over the air antenna. Commercial time has increased, and consumers pay for that through TV providers.
I actually called this Helpline to comfirm that these plans are actually HMOs and a person already has to have Medicare and Medicaid coverage to qualify. Why would a person trade in this coverage for an HMO policy? I reported these commercials as fraudulent to the FTC. These commercials are beyond over kill and so annoying that I had to stop watching the channels that showed them every 5 minutes.
Joe Namath is an embarrassment and I am no longer watching the shows that have these ads. Like all the insurance companies that have endless commercials all those companies that spend a fortune on mailings even to those people that are already customers we should refuse to do business with them. If they can afford to spend so much on advertising they are obviously making a fortune.
You’re exactly right. These are HMO plans that require a person to already have Medicare and Medicaid. A person would be foolish to trade this for an HMO policy. It’s a scam. What a shame Joe Namath has lowered himself to advertise this fraud. Most annoying commercials ever.
I would. love to have regular Medicare & not be hampered by having to be in network. However I have always had a low income while working so my retirement income is not high enough to pay for standard MC. Also not eligible for Medicaid. Sad when my preference would be for integrative medicine but income deprives me of choice.
Hi Sue – please keep in mind that when you are on a Medicare Advantage plan, you still need to pay your Part B premium like you would on Original Medicare.
Not if you qualify for MQB Medicaid. Depends on your Income. I do not pay for Part B monthly.
Sue, you may get assistance with monthly part B premiums even if you’re not on Medicaid. If you have limited income, please check with your state Medicaid office to see if you’re eligible for Medicare Savings Programs (MSP), that is federally funded programs (QMB, SLMB or QI) administered by each individual state. So, if you’re eligible for (QMB or SLMB or QI) under MSP, you don’t have to pay part B monthly premiums as long as you’re qualify. So, you will get assistance with Part B premium.
Having volunteered at the real Medicare help center here in NYC, let me clarify that there is no Medicare help center like there is for Social Security. This is an all volunteer organization for NYC which does requires a bit of training. It’s shameful to name this company “Medicare Help Center” which I’m sure is misleading at least and downright fraudulent at best. They should be required to change that name.
Time is almost up. Thank God
I was so confused by the Medicare commercials. I was frustrated and angry. How dare these companies & Joe Namath take “advantage” (pun intended) of us. I feel the best revenge is to make an educated decision.
So he’s donating his time and the truth he believes about Medicare to the people and his fan’s just like jj walker
These companies must be making a TON of money off these plans if they can afford to advertise every 10 minutes on the same stations. JJ from Good Times alternates with Joe. The commercials have the feel of someone selling used cars.
Sad that these has been athletes & stars have sold out to harass us for their personal gain. Their commercials are plain torture ????
He should spair his dignity and stop doing the adds We all are skipping the thing anyway. And the Medi -company should know better as well .
Who pays him and the others? And how much. This is beyond over kill and who ever writes their speeches ought to be locked in a room and have to listen to them 24/7until they turn 65. Because nothing is freehee.
So sick and tired of Medicare commercials , enough is enough over kill already!
I feel it is a invasion of my privacy as I pay for cable for me not them.
Amen many have complained. They are trying to Brain Wash us in our golden years;
These commercials keep me up all night thinking of them over and over. insane now gotta go . They are making us seniors sick with joe and JJ commercials.
I agree, what they pay for these ads we could have free medicare.
Yes you are correct.Medicare pays private insurers about 1100$ per month to transfer these “Advantage Medicare people to private insurers.What a deal for private insurers! That’s why they advertise so often! $$$$$$$$
i went to school with joe namith .he has made millions it is beneath his dignity to do it
What is going on here. Are you people trying to drive us seniors Completely Bezerk and Crazy with Depression and Repetition of so Many commercials while watching our favorite Air Channels. > Over 12,778, 321 complaints have been filed
So are they using him