Joanne Giardini-Russell: Medicare Basics and Common Mistakes

Joanne Giardini-Russell

Joanne Giardini-Russell is a Medicare Nerd and Owner of Giardini Medicare.

She discusses the basics of Medicare Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. You’ll learn more about the costs, pros and cons of Medigap policies compared to Medicare advantage, and common mistakes she sees people make.

I really appreciate the podcasts and videos Joanne and her team produce to educate people about Medicare. It’s a complicated decision point most people make once in their life, and it’s great people are producing content to help people learn what might be best for them.

One of my favorite quotes from the discussion was when Joanne described the differences between Medigap and Medicare advantage:

“You should pick something else. You don’t technically have to, but it’s foolish not to get another product. So you have two paths. And we try to get people educated as to the two paths they can go down. One path is you remain with original Medicare, meaning that you keep your A and B intact and you add what we call Medigap or Medicare supplement. It’s the same thing, just different words. You add a Medicare supplement into your world and then you add a drug plan to your world. If you have that path of Medicare, it’s popular. It’s very, very solid coverage. People like that… you can pick your own doctors, go anywhere in the country that takes Medicare. They like the control and freedom. They like that they don’t need referrals. They don’t need prior authorization…it really just means Medicare is going to remain your primary insurance company as you go forward… The other option is Medicare advantage… Medicare advantage is what you see on TV for the most part… These are the plans with zero premium…You will have copays. You will have coinsurance. You are going to have restrictions.”