Medicare Experience

   / Medicare Experience #11  
My wife and I have Medicare and a supplement that includes RX (Part D)...we have had for about 5 years and it has been without issue. Occasionally the drug formulary changes but that is usually not a big issue. During our time on Medicare I had open open heart by-pass and my wife has had a atrial fibrillation issues...a number of cardio-versions and two ablations which required a hospital overnight. I also had prostate surgery (BPH) and my wife had hernia surgery. More "events" than we wish for :) The Medicare and supplements covered very close to 100% of all costs (not counting the drug copays and "donut hole" costs which are specified by gov't). Our supplement w/RX is now up to about $140 each per month plus whoever the basic Medicare is currently.

Prior to Medicare we were on an individual plan as we were both self-employed...I our total insurance bill was between $18K and $20K and that was more than five years ago. The current Medicare system works great for us and has been of very little heart ache. I get nervous whenever the Donald or more importantly Paul Ryan speaks. While the Donald does not have the spine to truly change Medicare the House and Senate Republican leadership has been waiting for this "opportunity" for many years. I trust that they will eventually figure out that Medicare is a great system and any attempt to throw it into the ObamaCare change package would result in disaster in two years. There has been discussion of "block granting" Medicare to the states...states could then do what they want with the money. Even though I believe common sense will prevail...I do not want a voucher to buy medical insurance with no Medicare!

FWIW...TMR
 
   / Medicare Experience #12  
The best deal going is for us retired military. Medicare + Tricare For Life = no bills. Just had a serious call bladder situation and ultimate removal; included ER, 4 days in critical care, and 1 day medical floor plus home care and therapy. Total retail price was over $500K. I paid $0. I have never had a mistake or hassel so service has been perfect. You younger retired military have a good future for after 65 so don't screw it up.

Ron
 
   / Medicare Experience #13  
The best deal going is for us retired military. Medicare + Tricare For Life = no bills. Just had a serious call bladder situation and ultimate removal; included ER, 4 days in critical care, and 1 day medical floor plus home care and therapy. Total retail price was over $500K. I paid $0. I have never had a mistake or hassel so service has been perfect. You younger retired military have a good future for after 65 so don't screw it up.

Ron

Yep, good deal, but you guys that retired Military earned it and deserve every bit of it. Thank you for your service.:thumbsup:
 
   / Medicare Experience #15  
And how much would that cost if you had NO insurance?

With no insurance of any kind, and if I'm remembering correctly, the bill was around $25K. I do remember when my wife had both knees replaced 4 years ago the bill was $48K. We were out of pocket around $800 or so.

KØUA mentioned that it depends on how your health is to determine the best plan, and that's certainly true. I can switch to the HMO type of Advantage plan during an open enrollment period when I get a little older. Assuming I do get older that is. :)

I like the PPO, at least at this point, because there are no referrals required. Now where I live it seems most of the health services are associated with SSM or St. Joseph organizations. I'm told that if your primary care Dr. is in that system referrals are not an issue. Back about 25 years of so I was in an HMO type system through work and I did not like having to always go see Dr. A if I wanted to see Dr. B. I think the term used was "gatekeeper" where the primary guys job was to save money for the insurance company by keeping you in house. After 2 years of so I'd decided I'd rather pay a little more and have more control.

It may no loger be that way. Perhaps KØUA can supply further information?
 
   / Medicare Experience #16  
With no insurance of any kind, and if I'm remembering correctly, the bill was around $25K. I do remember when my wife had both knees replaced 4 years ago the bill was $48K. We were out of pocket around $800 or so.

KØUA mentioned that it depends on how your health is to determine the best plan, and that's certainly true. I can switch to the HMO type of Advantage plan during an open enrollment period when I get a little older. Assuming I do get older that is. :)

I like the PPO, at least at this point, because there are no referrals required. Now where I live it seems most of the health services are associated with SSM or St. Joseph organizations. I'm told that if your primary care Dr. is in that system referrals are not an issue. Back about 25 years of so I was in an HMO type system through work and I did not like having to always go see Dr. A if I wanted to see Dr. B. I think the term used was "gatekeeper" where the primary guys job was to save money for the insurance company by keeping you in house. After 2 years of so I'd decided I'd rather pay a little more and have more control.

It may no loger be that way. Perhaps KØUA can supply further information?

It depends. Many advantage plans Do require a referral, but some do not. The one I sell (which is an HMO) does not. Of course a Medicare supplement never requires a referral nor does it have any networks at all and is not regional in nature. You can take your supplement with you if you move to another region or anywhere in the US. All advantage plans are regional in nature, if you permanently move to another region you will need to enroll in another one in your region.
 
   / Medicare Experience #17  
That's true about moving to another area. If I'm correct, in a case like that you don't have to wait for an open enrollment period. I think it's called a life change or something like that.
 
   / Medicare Experience #18  
   / Medicare Experience #19  
It depends. Many advantage plans Do require a referral, but some do not. The one I sell (which is an HMO) does not. Of course a Medicare supplement never requires a referral nor does it have any networks at all and is not regional in nature. You can take your supplement with you if you move to another region or anywhere in the US. All advantage plans are regional in nature, if you permanently move to another region you will need to enroll in another one in your region.
kOua, help me understand. You can switch plans HMO/PPO Advantage plans during open enrollment, or switch supplement plans during open enrollment. But not from Advantage to supplement or supplement to Advantage? Is this correct? If it is, then it is very important to choose carefully.
 
   / Medicare Experience #20  
kOua, help me understand. You can switch plans HMO/PPO Advantage plans during open enrollment, or switch supplement plans during open enrollment. But not from Advantage to supplement or supplement to Advantage? Is this correct? If it is, then it is very important to choose carefully.

It is not quite that simple. Yes you can change your advantage plan during the fall open enrollment. But switching supplement plans depends on many things. Here in Missouri we can switch to a different supplement of same coverage for a lower price during our anniversary date without going thru medical underwriting, but most states do not allow that. To switch from Advantage to supplement you will have to go thru medical underwriting. This is a very important point. If you are not Healthy and cannot answer no to the medical underwriting questions, you will NOT be eligible for a supplement, like the one time in your life, the 3 months prior to your birth month at age 65 , your birth month and 3 months post your birth month at age 65 upon your initial enrollment. This is the one most important 7 month period of your life where the decision you make COULD affect the rest of your life as pertains to health. If you remain healthy then you have no worries.

What happens is people fall ill and having been on an advantage plan and having hospital stays etc. They get tired of paying out of pocket up to their yearly maximum and decide a supplement plan looks good. Sorry Charlie, ain't gonna happen. You will be stuck in Advantage plan world for the rest of your days. Advantage plan world is not all bad, the monthly premiums are either very low or $0 and the copays are reasonable on most of them. If your remain reasonably healthy, you are going to come out ahead when the final tally is taken. The problem comes when you are diagnosed with "something",, then it can get dicey and most then wish they had taken the supplement when they had that golden opportunity to take it at age 65.

For those that are ill at 65 or know they will soon be ill then it is a no brainer, you choose a good supplement from a reputable company (A rated) and never look back, and don't be lured by the siren song of Advantage plans. You can be near death at age 65 and as long as you can sign the paper or have your POA sign it for you, then you are eligible for a supplement. You cannot be refused by the insurance company. The only reason you can be dropped no matter how ill you become is because you failed to make the monthly payment. This is why I advise everyone to always sign up for automatic bank draft from your account. You DO NOT want to forget to make a payment.
 
 
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