Speaking of Medicare...

funnygirlJuly 20, 2014

(other thread)...I was under the assumption that Medicare was "free" given we've been paying into the system all these years, but now I understand we will be paying premiums once we are eligible to receive it? Is this correct or am I misinformed (very likely!)? If this is correct, what is the advantage to Medicare? Apologies in advance if this is a super dumb question but I am (obviously) ignorant about the subject.

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Its all confusing. You pay (deduted from your SS) for Part B. Not for Part A.

Here is a link that might be useful: Medicare costs

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 1:12PM
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And, depending on your supplemental plan, you will pay copays and deductibles.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 1:23PM
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The advantage to Medicare is that it provided a means for seniors who had retired to have health insurance. Someone who had retired with no retiree health insurance had a difficult time obtaining insurance because companies would refuse to provide insurance due to pre-existing conditions, which most seniors have.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 1:41PM
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Yes, you pay for Medicare. For me it is about $400 per year, I think. Medicare only covers so much and to have complete coverage you will also want to buy Supplemental insurance, which can be pretty pricey depending on what you choose (and I recommend that you choose the best possible). You also need Supplemental to cover prescriptions. I almost lost my mind trying to grasp all this and I am sure I still don't get it entirely. FWIW, I have AARP US Healthcare for my supplemental and prescription plan and am happy with it despite the fact that it is somewhat expensive.

Sign up for Medicare and Supplemental as soon as you are eligible. It only gets more expensive if you wait.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 3:42PM
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Medicare Part A is the no cost insurance at age 65; that is the hospitalization part. Part B, which is a bit over $100, pays for your services (like lab tests, surgeries, and doctor visits) and supplies (like wheelchairs and walkers) considered medically necessary to treat a disease or condition.

Medicare Part B is money well deducted/spent. Since turning 65, my costs for annual family practice doctor and rheumatologist visits both with blood work, etc. - have been zero.

I do have additional insurance as a retirement benefit; that has a creditable drug plan so I'm spared shopping around for that each open season.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 4:05PM
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Thank you! I *think* I have a better idea of how it works now.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 9:35PM
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Funny that you should post at this time. I just spent several hours this afternoon talking to the (very nice, extremely helpful) folks at AARP about new health care coverage for my retired parents. One sister in Georgia has her hands full getting our parents packed up for their final move back to our home state of Michigan. Another sis is overwhelmed getting things in order for them at a senior living place back in Michigan close by to her. And I have been designated to get them new health insurance.

What an eye-opener and how incredibly sobering, too! As mentioned above, I've now learned today that Medicare Part A is free. Part B, which is hospitalization, etc. is not. And, my parents, as most retirees do, need a supplemental insurance plan and also another supplemental to help with prescription drugs.
Thankfully, my DH's longtime office manager and insurance specialist at his clinic are helping to walk me through this confusing maze. They both feel that the best supplemental coverage is through AARP. There are 7 optional plans available through them. Office manager and insurance sp. both tell me that their patients are, overall, happiest going that route.

My head is spinning as there are so many variables, but my advice to you is to talk to someone at AARP. Whether you go that route or not, they are knowledgeable and ~ thankfully~ very patient! Still, I have a headache tonight from it all!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 11:40PM
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Another plug for the AARP supplemental. I am my grandmother's POA. She is 96, has mild alzheimers and lives in an assisted living facility. I had NO idea about the different programs of medicare, what supplemental would be best, etc. AARP has been great for her. At this point, she takes very few medications, so we have opted not to use a prescription plan.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 11:30AM
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If anyone is retired military, don't forget about Tricare. It can be your 'supplemental' Medicare. I thought I'd throw that out for those of you who might be dealing with these choices for elderly parents/grandparents/others and may not realize this.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 3:45PM
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Thank you, Lynn, we are at that critical point deciding about supplemental. We are members of AARP and will investigate. Anyone else have any other info about other insurances costs/deductibles/any issues with traveling, etc. as we will, God willing, be having a trip across the country within the next 2 yrs.

Any and all advice appreciated!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 8:44AM
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Do not skip the supplemental prescription plan! You never know what is around the corner. Think of it the same way you think about homeowner's insurance, to be covered should something disastrous happen. My friend skipped the supplemental prescription insurance because she took no medications. About three months later she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had to have chemo. Her drug costs were astronomical. Now, of course, it costs her a great deal more to buy prescription coverage than it would have had she bought before she became ill.

Health insurance is no place to skimp.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:07PM
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thanks so much for the good advice!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 4:40PM
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