Any Seniors choosing health insurance?

chisueNovember 16, 2009

My DH's former employer offers several different group plans to retirees and their families. We have to decide by Nov. 21.

We had planned to continue with a Medicare Integration Plan that we used for 2009. (Pays the 20% Medicare won't.)

Some posts on the Kitchen Table seem to favor a Medicare Advantage Plan. I'm trying to understand that type of plan -- why it might be better for us.

We don't want an HMO.

Only I need a drug plan. DH doesn't.

Anyone here able to explain Advantage plans in general?

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We had Secure Horizons through DH's retirement from the Teamsters Union.
We have an HMO with a great prescription plan because of the Union......I doubt we could afford to pay out of pocket for anything different. It works for us.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 11:43PM
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We just went through switching DH from Secure Horizons, which is a medicare advantage plan to original medicare with Part D prescription drug plan plus medigap supplemental insurance plan.

Before we did anything I spent weeks reading and digesting, trying to sort out what -- to me -- is a swamp.

I am happy to share what I learned.

chisue-- My DH's medicare advantage plan, which has 0 annual cost plus drug copays *is* an hmo. It's hard to generalize as these things vary from state to state and company to company. But, essentially, if an advantage plan covers you only if you see doctors in their network and only allows you to purchase drugs on their formulary then it *is* an hmo.

That system worked fine for DH until he developed a rare medical problem. Then suddenly no docs took his insurance and all the consults were 100% not insured.

Medicare approved supplemental insurance plans basically cover deductions, extra doctor's fees, extra hospital fees and a variety of other things such as skilled nursing, or at home care depending on what you choose. They run A (the most basic) through L or M -- each cover different things.

If you only need drugs, it may be possible for you to get a drug plan under medicare Part D. Not sure how that would gibe if you are otherwise covered by your DH's insurance but medicare can tell you.

They also would walk you through choosing a drug plan. It's complicated and you're basically making a best guess but they have a computer program that shows you approximately how much each drug plan costs and what it involves. Having a computer is a huge help in all this.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 12:28PM
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