Facts About the Joe Namath Medicare Commercial

In this article...
  • The Joe Namath Medicare commercial is a celebrity endorsement TV ad that offers Medicare Advantage plans. Learn how the ad's claims pertain to Medicare.

Joe Namath is a well-known celebrity athlete who endorses Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans, particularly during the fall Medicare open enrollment period (also called the Annual Election Period, or AEP).

This important enrollment period lasts from October 15 through December 7 each year, and it's typically the only time of year you may be able to make changes to your Medicare health and drug coverage.

While some of the claims in the Joe Namath Medicare commercial are valid, they can be slightly misleading. It's always a good idea to research Medicare Advantage plans before signing up.

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What Does the Joe Namath Medicare Commercial Offer?

Benefits offered with the Medicare Advantage plan in the Joe Namath commercial include no-cost additional features, such as home meal delivery, transportation to medical appointments and bundled dental, vision and hearing plans.

The commercial also claims that Medicare Advantage plans eliminate copays and that beneficiaries may be entitled to additional funds added to their Social Security checks on a monthly basis. 

One of the most enticing claims in the Joe Namath Medicare commercial pertains to the overall out-of-pocket costs of Medicare Advantage plans. Joe Namath claims that extra coverage is provided at no extra cost because Medicare Advantage plans don't require monthly premiums. 

Which Claims In the Joe Namath Medicare Commercial Are Misleading?

While all the claims in the Joe Namath Medicare commercial are true to a point, it's the way these claims are worded that causes confusion.

Medicare Advantage policies are only available through private insurers and serve to replace the federal Medicare program in providing you with your Medicare Part A (inpatient hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) benefits.

The private insurance companies take the risk of insuring you, and if they can provide your health insurance coverage for less money than the government would have spent on your care, the insurance company gets to keep the difference.

Due to the short length of commercials in general and the wording in the Joe Namath Medicare commercial, people can easily become misled into thinking the promised benefits are available for all Medicare plans. 

The additional benefits promised in the Joe Namath Medicare commercial, such as dental and vision care, are available with some Medicare Advantage plans. However, Medicare Advantage plans utilize provider networks that may be limited to specific local areas, and extra benefits can vary depending on the specifics of an individual's Medicare Advantage plan.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, of all Medicare Advantage plans in 2023:1

  • 99% offered vision benefits like eye exams and/or eyeglasses
  • 97% covered hearing benefits like hearing exams and/or hearing aids
  • 99% offered fitness benefits, wellness programs or gym memberships such as SilverSneakers
  • 97% covered telehealth
  • 97% covered dental
  • 87% offered over-the-counter (OTC) product benefits

While the claims in the Medicare commercial are legitimate, it's important that beneficiaries consult their plan advisors to determine which benefits are actually available to them based on their location and plan details. 

Is the Helpline Number In the Joe Namath Medicare Commercial an Actual Medicare Number?

The phone number in the Joe Namath Medicare commercial connects to the Medicare Coverage Helpline. The helpline isn't directly associated with Medicare, but it connects individuals with licensed insurance agents who can assist them in signing up for Medicare Advantage plans.

If you want to speak with a representative form the federal Medicare program, you can call the official Medicare phone number at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), or visit Medicare.gov, the official website of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

  1. Freed M, et al. (Aug. 10, 2022). Kaiser Family Foundation. https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/medicare-advantage-2023-spotlight-first-look.

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