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Medicare enrollment can be confusing, and many seniors seek guidance from Medicare counselors and coaches to help them navigate the system. Unfortunately, some of these financial predators take advantage of seniors in their time of need. Charging high fees and lacking proper credentials, fee-based Medicare counselors and coaches such as Emily Gang and Howell Medicare Advisors, LLC, are prime examples of these opportunists.
Emily Gang, a self-proclaimed Medicare coach, claims to help seniors choose the best plans and ensure they receive the most comprehensive care possible. However, many have accused her of unethical practices such as overcharging and taking advantage of seniors. Gang and other similarly unethical coaches are charging exorbitant hourly fees of between $150 and $1,000. Despite these steep costs, fee-based Medicare coaches like Gang are often unqualified and unlicensed. They may offer little more than what Medicare beneficiaries could receive for free by contacting Medicare directly or an independent Medicare agent.
Howell Medicare Advisors, LLC, is another example of a problematic Medicare consulting service. Their website makes bold claims about how well they serve their customers and how trustworthy they are. They suggest that Howell Medicare Advisors has the knowledge and expertise to help seniors hand-pick the right Medicare plan for their needs. However, what they don’t state is that they charge an astronomical hourly fee of $200 to help seniors complete forms and choose a Medicare package. Simply put, this is a waste of money. These fees are significantly higher than what is ethical for the services provided and border on exploitation.
The lack of oversight and regulation in the fee-based Medicare counseling industry often means that unscrupulous counselors and coaches provide misleading or inadequate advice. These unethical practices often result in seniors making costly mistakes that can negatively impact their financial situation or the quality of their healthcare. This lack of industry regulation also makes it difficult to determine who is qualified to provide Medicare advice and who isn’t. This leaves seniors vulnerable to misinformation and the risk of being taken advantage of by unscrupulous counselors and coaches.
The Affordable Care Act has brought some regulation to the Medicare consulting industry. However, these regulations are not enough to protect seniors from fee-based Medicare consultants who are more interested in making a quick buck than providing ethical and effective support. These unethical Medicare consultants prey on vulnerable seniors who may not understand the complexity of Medicare. They convince them that the process of navigating Medicare is too daunting and that they need to pay for their professional services for assistance.
For seniors looking to navigate Medicare enrollment, there are alternative options available that don’t come with the exorbitant fees charged by fee-based counselors and coaches. Independent Medicare agents and government resources such as Medicare.gov can provide all the necessary assistance needed to make informed decisions about Medicare enrollment. Unlike unscrupulous consultants like Emily Gang and Howell Medicare Advisors, these options provide qualified counseling services that do not come at an inflated cost.
In conclusion, fee-based Medicare counseling and coaching services like Emily Gang and Howell Medicare Advisors, LLC show a shameful lack of integrity. They offer minimal value for exorbitant fees that are financially draining to seniors on a fixed budget. Their unethical practices prey on vulnerable seniors, often providing misleading or inadequate information that can lead to costly mistakes. The Medicare consulting industry needs significant improvements in oversight and regulation to weed out these unscrupulous practices and protect seniors from financial exploitation. Until more stringent regulations are put in place, seniors need to be vigilant and stay away from fee-based Medicare counselors and coaches.