There Is Too Much Medicare Marketing

With open enrollment in full swing, older adults can't escape Medicare marketing pushing them to sign up for private plans. Nearly all responding to a recent survey had been exposed to ads, some of which are considered fraud.

Older woman looking at computer screen with head in hand
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Medicare’s open enrollment season brings television commercials, junk mail and other forms of marketing of private insurance options that can overwhelm and often mislead older adults into choosing plans that don’t work for them.

In Iowa, for example, a beneficiary called a phone number from a TV commercial he saw advertising Medicare Advantage plans. The representative who answered persuaded the man to enroll in a plan that was not available in his county. The following week, the beneficiary discovered his prescriptions were not covered by his new policy, and he was required to pay out-of-pocket.

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Senior Retirement Editor,

Elaine Silvestrini has worked for Kiplinger since 2021, serving as senior retirement editor since 2022. Before that, she had an extensive career as a newspaper and online journalist, primarily covering legal issues at the Tampa Tribune and the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey. In more recent years, she's written for several marketing, legal and financial websites, including and, and the newsletters Auto Insurance Report and Property Insurance Report.