Billy Zoom's Jet Set

Medicare?

2

you mean , Medi-do-we-care ?? dont get sick is the best thing !!

3

Billy, PM sent.

4

Yeah, I'll bet Bear is a Medicare expert!

All I know is that anyone who qualifies for it, age-wise, should sign up.

5

I have a supplement policy with mine that is supposed to pick up everything medicare doesn't pay. I have only had to test it in very small ways so far, thank God, but I didn't have to pay anything.

6

Medicare , AARP , SS , all scare me to no end

7

i'm a few years shy of that nightmare, but hope you get your info..and hope all is well with you otherwise

you're a true gretsch hero bz..best

cheers

8

In Australia it is a Medical charges rebate that slides in accordance with an individuals income. There is a Medicare Levy within our tax system. We enjoy a good medical system here in this country. Not everybody enjoys good physical and mental health.

9

AARP is just an insurance company. SS was super easy---got hooked up in an hour. Haven't dealt with Medicare yet as my retirement program will cover my health insurance for a couple of more years. Good luck, BZ!

10

AARP is a lobby and a powerful one at that. The insurance is underwritten by another company, I believe.

11

AARP is not an insurance company. They lend their name to United Healthcare, which is an insurance company.

12

Hey, Billy,

Here are some tips from my X-wife, who is a geriatric social worker (and yes, this is annoyingly complex):

  1. Sign up for Medicare 3 months before your 65th birthday. This is for Medicare Part A, the "standard" Medicare that you've been paying for during your working life. Major medical and hospitalization coverage.

  2. Also sign up for Part B, which covers doctor's visits and lab tests, etc. It costs a little per month ($100 or so), but it also is subsidized under Medicare. If you don't do this at the front end and then add it later, there are, according to X-wife, "penalties" (yeah, more cost).

  3. And then there's Part D, the prescription coverage. Very important, because so much health care is about the medicine.

  4. Finally, get a Medicare supplement to cover gaps. A big issue, X-wife tells me, is the limited amount of skilled nursing paid for by Medicare -- 20 days. She strongly recommends a supplement that will pay 100 days, because if you, say, fall and break your hip, you're going to need a lot more than 20 days of skilled nursing. And that costs $600 or more per day. (I know, I know, this is stuff we've never had to think in terms of before!) Medicare Advantage, which is HMO-like, is one of the supplement programs. Check at medicare.gov for supplement programs available in your area. In fact, most of the deeper-layer Medicare info you might need resides at that site.

  5. Finally (again and for real this time), if you feel the need for some in-person assistance getting all this sorted out, check with your local Area Agency on Aging and inquire about the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP). It has counselors who will help you assess your needs and walk you through the system.

Paul/FF909

13

"The New Colossus" is a sonnet by Emma Lazarus (1849–87), written in 1883 and, in 1903, engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the lower level of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. At the end, I amended the text to reflect my dissatisfaction with how insanely expensive healthcare and insurance has become. I've seen cases where people have lost everything trying to come up with the money to save a sick child; so this is where I'm coming from.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!.... Just don't you dare get sick, or a lien will be placed on your house and your paycheck will be garnished until you've paid your medical bills!

14

When I turned 65 I decided to stick with the Mrs' health insurance.Bad idea. About a year in,her insurance company found out,said they would only do Medicare supplement,and I had to sign up for Medicare or get dropped.When I went to sign up I found out there were penalties involved and were it not for the kindness of some nice representative who did some bureaucratic legerdemain I'd have had to pay up.

15

Hey, Billy,

Here are some tips from my X-wife, who is a geriatric social worker (and yes, this is annoyingly complex):

  1. Sign up for Medicare 3 months before your 65th birthday. This is for Medicare Part A, the "standard" Medicare that you've been paying for during your working life. Major medical and hospitalization coverage.

  2. Also sign up for Part B, which covers doctor's visits and lab tests, etc. It costs a little per month ($100 or so), but it also is subsidized under Medicare. If you don't do this at the front end and then add it later, there are, according to X-wife, "penalties" (yeah, more cost).

  3. And then there's Part D, the prescription coverage. Very important, because so much health care is about the medicine.

  4. Finally, get a Medicare supplement to cover gaps. A big issue, X-wife tells me, is the limited amount of skilled nursing paid for by Medicare -- 20 days. She strongly recommends a supplement that will pay 100 days, because if you, say, fall and break your hip, you're going to need a lot more than 20 days of skilled nursing. And that costs $600 or more per day. (I know, I know, this is stuff we've never had to think in terms of before!) Medicare Advantage, which is HMO-like, is one of the supplement programs. Check at medicare.gov for supplement programs available in your area. In fact, most of the deeper-layer Medicare info you might need resides at that site.

  5. Finally (again and for real this time), if you feel the need for some in-person assistance getting all this sorted out, check with your local Area Agency on Aging and inquire about the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP). It has counselors who will help you assess your needs and walk you through the system.

Paul/FF909

– Frequent Flyer 909

Hey, Billy,

Here are some tips from my X-wife, who is a geriatric social worker (and yes, this is annoyingly complex):

  1. Sign up for Medicare 3 months before your 65th birthday. This is for Medicare Part A, the "standard" Medicare that you've been paying for during your working life. Major medical and hospitalization coverage.

  2. Also sign up for Part B, which covers doctor's visits and lab tests, etc. It costs a little per month ($100 or so), but it also is subsidized under Medicare. If you don't do this at the front end and then add it later, there are, according to X-wife, "penalties" (yeah, more cost).

  3. And then there's Part D, the prescription coverage. Very important, because so much health care is about the medicine.

  4. Finally, get a Medicare supplement to cover gaps. A big issue, X-wife tells me, is the limited amount of skilled nursing paid for by Medicare -- 20 days. She strongly recommends a supplement that will pay 100 days, because if you, say, fall and break your hip, you're going to need a lot more than 20 days of skilled nursing. And that costs $600 or more per day. (I know, I know, this is stuff we've never had to think in terms of before!) Medicare Advantage, which is HMO-like, is one of the supplement programs. Check at medicare.gov for supplement programs available in your area. In fact, most of the deeper-layer Medicare info you might need resides at that site.

  5. Finally (again and for real this time), if you feel the need for some in-person assistance getting all this sorted out, check with your local Area Agency on Aging and inquire about the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP). It has counselors who will help you assess your needs and walk you through the system.

Paul/FF909

– Frequent Flyer 909

Billy,

Paul's advice is spot on but I would like to add that the HMO like Medicare Advantage plans although cheaper than a supplement are a lot more restrictive.

The Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield supplement has worked quite well for me and I have had very little out of pocket expenses.

The AARP drug plan through United Health Care has very high ratings by its users and I just switched to that plan from my previous carrier. Certain pharmacies like Walgreen's and Kroger work in a network with United Health care and your Rx co-pays can be as low as $1.00. Also, you will want to check the drugs you are prescribed by your doctor and see if they are on your part D carrier's formulary chart.

The offer to give me a call is open as I've had a LOT of experience with Medicare and the associated options.

16

It's not a big deal, really. Frequent Flyer gave some sage advice. Sign up 3 months before you turn 65, including part B and D. Find a good supplement policy and a separate policy for part D, prescription drugs. These are not necessarily cheap, but one little hospital stay can ruin you, as we all know. However, if you are properly insured, no sweat. I won't deal with AARP, but my supplement policy costs about $134 per month. The part D policy is just under $100 per month.

Everyone's goal should be to never have to use medical insurance. It is all about lifestyle and attitude. Proper diet, exercise and a good attitude goes a long way in warding off common ailments such as colds, flu, etc.

These next few lines may not be of any interest, but just in case it may help someone, here goes. About 5 years ago I let life's circumstances get the best of me and I had multiple minor strokes, bam, bam, bam. TIA's, they call them. The usual tests were run, CT Scans, MRI, EKG, etc., each one of which cost thousands each. They kept me overnight in the hospital for observation. The most miserable night I have ever spent in my life. But, the bottom line is, because I was properly insured, I was out nothing in out of pocket expenses. Since then I have decided to have a different outlook on things that are unchangeable and I am enjoying wonderful good health benefits as a result. I have one ailment that I am still seeing a urologist about every 6 months, but I will beat that one too. I have had a high PSA reading for several years, and I take a pill for it every day, but no indication of cancer. I have had multiple biopsies (which ain't no fun, believe me). Now, they do what they call a PCA-3 instead. But, other than that, life is peachy. I highly recommend it.

Be properly insured. It is very important. Getting old is not for sissies, but we can help the aging process by being mindful of our diet, exercising every day, staying active at doing something productive and keeping a good mental attitude. And, don't worry about everybody's problems. You can't do anything about it anyway. I think it is important to always have a reason to get out of bed every morning. You have to feel good about yourself and believe that you are accomplishing something. After retirement it is easy to get down in the dumps and feel worthless. Don't let it happen. Do something. Volunteer at the hospital, or your church. Just do something. That recliner will kill you.

EDIT for P.S. - Bear's post was made while I was writing mine. Not meant to be contradictory, because Bear gives some good advice and has a lot of experience to fall back on.

17

Like Richard, I am not a fan of AARP and the only reason I went with their part D plan was because of all the great feedback the plan received from its users.

18

Medicare is fantastic insurance.

Stay away from Medicare HMO's like "Medicare Plus" "Medicare and More" etc....They are all crap and NOT real Medicare at all.

As a matter of fact I don't think they should be allowed to use the name "Medicare" in their insurance.

19

I don't claim to be an expert but, I personally went with a higher($4K per year MAX) deductible with a $5million max lifetime payout, both while paying for my own self-employed and while under my wife's current employer. Want to have ZERO out of pocket expenses? You're kidding, right?

My premium for my wife and I was under $400 a month. If I wanted no out of pocket, or $15 dollar doctor visits, my premiums would have gone up to around $750-$800 per month. You are going to pay somewhere, either higher premiums or lower take-home pay. I'm not prone to getting sick, even without my spleen, so I don't go to the doctor every month. Nor does the little woman.

Ins through your workplace is great, but people are looking at their job/employer as a provider of benefits, and insurance is "sold" a benefit. And people are more concerned with their ins coverage than they are with salary. Being in a big company helps keep premiums low(er) as the cost gets spread amongst more people, and you're less likely to get dropped. You can also look for a supplemental plan, like AFFLAC, etc. These are affordable and when researched can save you some money, and keep you out of trouble too.

As for medicare/aid, when we brought my mom to the oncologist, the doctor was getting as little as $0.10 per dollar charged, and he wasn't gouging her. They reject claims just like every other company, and I think more. By a lot.

Frequent flyers advice was good, everyone needs to take more time researching their policies, what they're actually paying for and what it really costs them. You can save money and still have great coverage.

Hope you get it all worked out BZ.

Rocco

20

I agree withh all the advice here. As others have mentioned, the "Medicare Advantage" supplement plans "Look too good to be true...", so guess what.... Stay away from them.

Good advice about signing up "on time" -- if you don't, you will pay higher premiums for the rest of your life.

I have had AARP/United Healthcare Co. for Part D (Rx drugs) and Humana Ins. Co. for the Medicare Supplement plan. I have been satisfied with both.

21

Move to Canada.

22

As I turned 65, I got inundated with offers from supplimentary firms. I guess much of that is out the window now. However, I did sign up for SS/Medicare, but to recieve no benefits until I asked for them or around age 72. I didn't know you could do that, but thats how they enrolled me since I am still fully employed. I guess the longer you wait to actually claim, the more your pittance is...


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