Medicare Experience

   / Medicare Experience #31  
You guys with supplements and Part D drug plans, don't forget that they need to be reviewed each year (during the Oct to Dec open enrollment period), and looked at very carefully and compared against each other. It takes some skill to do this on Medicare.gov. My wife is the best at it that I have ever seen at doing this. But you can save hundreds if not thousands each year just by choosing a different Part D drug plan. It is hard to imagine there could be such disparity between the plans, but there is. And what is good this year may or may not be good next year.
kOua, we did compare plans in Oct. Liked the same one from 2016 and kept it. Now the meds are not the same price as in the comparison, on the AON website. We have AON thru wife's company (retired). They (insurance co.)said these prices are "estimates".
 
   / Medicare Experience #32  
Canadadrugs.com is one, I have a cheaper one that doesn't have a website I can pm you the information if you like..

OP, no hijack intended..
THANKS atsha! Please send PM. Information is our friend.
 
   / Medicare Experience #33  
Keep in mind that your neighbors or friends or relatives Part D plan may the the absolute best for them, but that does not mean it is the best for you. It depends on what drugs you take, what is on their formulary and what Tier it falls into, and whether the pharmacy's are preferred or not for those drugs. Also don't forget that while the government does not MAKE you take a part D plan out, if you do not take one out when you are eligible, or don't have other credible coverage, or don't have an advantage plan that also includes a drug plan, then you will be fined 1 percent per month from the time you were eligible for each month until you do take out a drug plan, and it is a LIFETIME penalty.

Many people think "well I don't take any drugs, so why should I want a drug plan?" So they wait lets say 10 years, and fall ill and need drugs and want a drug plan. Now their drug plan will be 120 percent higher than it could have been. It is figured against the national average drug plan which is about $33 per month, (varies by year) So while the penalty seems small on a monthly basis, it adds up after a few years, and it never goes away.

I always recommend that you take the cheapest drug plan you can get even if you don't need a drug plan. That is about $17 a month. Why the government says on the one hand "you don't have to do this" and on the other hand "but if you don't, we will punish you forever" is beyond me.. But many of the other rules don't seem fair to me. But no one asked me.

For those of you with advantage plans that include drug coverage, and most do, you don't have to worry about this. But this is something you will have to deal with if you have a supplement. You will want to take out a part D drug plan. Remember the Part D drug plan has nothing to do with your supplement insurance carrier or likely nothing to do with your agent either. I am not appointed with any of the drug companies and have nothing to do with drug plans other than helping folks to understand and choose one.
 
   / Medicare Experience
  • Thread Starter
#35  
Wow, what a complex system. Glad I don't have to fuss with all that.

I think this is an area people from other countries don't understand when they criticize the US health system. For all my life I was covered by employer provided health insurance and it was so easy. There were options which were easy to compare and evaluate. Coverage was simple and the insurance seemed to work well for the medical providers. Now that I have entered Medicare I find everything much more complicated and hard to understand. The US is at the top in many ways but our government provided services seem to be dysfunctional compared to the rest of the world. That may give you some insight why we are skeptical of a single payer government provided health care system.
 
   / Medicare Experience #38  
My wife had gone on Medicare before me. Being that she has several medical issues and we were putting alot out in co-pays under my then employee medical coverage, we went with an "F" plan for her supplement and have not looked back. So, when I went on Medicare, I too chose the F plan even though I had few medical issues. That has all changed and I am super glad that I did.

It may not be much but once on SS, your upfront medical insurance expenses are deductable on your taxes. Those co-pays need to be what 7.5% of your income and if I understand it right, that is rising to 10%. Seems like you have to have pretty much one foot in the grave to hit that level?
 
   / Medicare Experience #39  
My wife had gone on Medicare before me. Being that she has several medical issues and we were putting alot out in co-pays under my then employee medical coverage, we went with an "F" plan for her supplement and have not looked back. So, when I went on Medicare, I too chose the F plan even though I had few medical issues. That has all changed and I am super glad that I did.

It may not be much but once on SS, your upfront medical insurance expenses are deductable on your taxes. Those co-pays need to be what 7.5% of your income and if I understand it right, that is rising to 10%. Seems like you have to have pretty much one foot in the grave to hit that level?

With my Medicare/Tricare program I have a hard time getting to that IRS threshold for tax purposes. A lot of dental bills this year plus my income driven add on to cost of medicare I may get there for last year.
probably do not file Schedule A so that credit is not there.

Ron
 
 
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