Capitol Hill Blue
Posted By: logtroll Medicare - 04/12/21 01:14 PM
Well, it's that time... over 65, been on decent insurance through my wife's employment, she wants to retire, time to enroll in Medicare.

I'd always heard it was pretty much of a CF to puzzle out the optimal path through it, and digging in I can see all the earmarks of industry lobbyists working to keep as much of the pie as possible. I knew I had good reason to want universal healthcare...

Any suggestions? I'm pretty sure some of you are experienced hands.
Posted By: Ujest Shurly Re: Medicare - 04/12/21 02:17 PM
You should have already received a notice from Social Security about Medicare. How large of a bite they take from your SS will depend on your income, which they already have.

The Medicare website, if you do not have it - https://www.medicare.gov/

Every insurer in your area is going to be inundating you with information.

You should carry Medicare A and B, the others are if you need them, but you gota read and know your medical history. If your wife can carry you on her retired med ins good, between that and Medicare you could have ZERO Co-Pays for almost all visits, procedures, etc. She'll need to get the information book for the ins play...

You should make an appointment with SS as soon as possible and get on board, the penalty can hurt.

Welcome to the world of do nothing, at least according to Gen X'rs, Millennials and the Gen Zs.
Posted By: logtroll Re: Medicare - 04/12/21 02:56 PM
Yes, the private insurers have been heavily supporting the USPS in sending endless junk mail trying to sell us a Medicare Advantage plan, which is apparently a range of bundled Part A, B, C, D benefits in lieu of navigating the straight Medicare options. I heard part of a recent NPR story where the subject was 'Medicare Disadvantage', the interviewee being very much down on MA for reasons that I was not able to follow, given that I was in and out of hearing the program.

As I understand it, we are not currently subject to penalties for not enrolling immediately upon turning 65, because we have the employer provided BCBS group plan. However, that will cease when my wife retires, and we will have a limited penalty-free window to get enrolled.

Also, I have recently learned that I may qualify for some level of VA coverage, having served a brief (but not too brief) stint in the Navy in 1973 (5 months at the Naval Academy before escaping - with an honorable discharge). I never thought that counted, but we have a Vietnam Vets organization next door to the shop, and the head guy there encouraged me to look into it. It looks like more than 90 days service during the Vietnam 'conflict' is qualification for some level of VA medical benefits. So I have to figure out how to bake the best cake out of the available ingredients.
Posted By: TatumAH Re: Medicare - 04/12/21 02:56 PM
Congrats on achieving Maturity
I didnt realize that I had achieved "Maturity" until I started receiving Modern Maturity grin without even signing up for CAARP!
I took my copies to work to demonstrate this status to surprised coworkers.

The link from CARRP is a reasonable place to start that leads to a whole section about Medicare Q&A.

Since I worked partially for the State of NY, it was mandated, I think, that we enroll for part B at age 65. We got a pleasant surprise when I actually retired, and found that my 200 plus days of unused sick leave was converted into a NYS account of some kind, the interest of which has paid all of our Medicare fees, with quite a bit left over for when the fees inevitably will rise with the boomer bust.

Figuring out all of the details when billing start to appear, from various labs, Docs, Hospitals, is not something suitable for the demented, mildly cognitively impaired, mildly intelligent, ADHDs, or combinations of these. Fortunately, due to the complexity of our tax returns,(farging NYS) we have a very good accountant and financial planning crew that helped us with the various decisions.
My strategery is to avoid other Doctors because there is such a strong correlation between seeing doctors and sickness!

TAT
Posted By: Greger Re: Medicare - 04/12/21 04:15 PM
Never had much need for accountants or planners. Those seem like expensive habits for life at the poverty level. Nothing really to account or plan for here.

I'm certainly not complaining though. I never have to worry a bit about money, every month the US Government deposits the equivalent of 4 weeks wages at minimum wage into my account.

When occasionally some doctor's bill exceeds my ability to pay for it I simply throw the bill away. It might or might not go into collections.

I don't care...my credit was tanked years ago, good credit scores are rare down here where there's no money to pay the bills

Perhaps I should be more cognizant of the difficulties doctors face later in life supporting multiple cats and expensive lifestyles along with accountants and financial planners and the occasional lab or doctor bills.

My apologies to you and to the Vascular Specialists of Central Florida whose $2200 invoice was just rejected in favor of food, medicine, water and electricity.
Posted By: TatumAH Re: Medicare - 04/12/21 05:35 PM
You dont get rich in academic medicine, unless you are a neurosurgeon or orthopod. It wasnt the amount of money, but the complexity of having some state income, some service related pay, VA Federal pay, and spouse pay, but the state, city, income and school and property taxes made it too complicated for me, and I used to be pretty good in math, but calculus doesnt help in tax returns. I had no trouble figuring out my taxes in North Carolina, that lulled me into the mistake that I could do it in an afternoon in NY in early April. After the first allowed delay of finalizing the returns had passed( with prepayment of estimated tax), and then the impending point of no further delay, and threatening letters from the IRS, I threw myself on the mercy of the accountants, as I could probably pay taxes working, rather than visiting Club Fed.
Years later the accountants told me I had one of the most complicated returns they had worked on!
I had already concluded that for my tax problem, no solution existed, which is good enough in mathematics, but not taxes.

They real advantage here is the low cost of living, as apparently, 100 plus inches of snow keeps the property values low. It is hard to find a home within two miles of a medical center/University, where a starting junior faculty member can afford to buy a home, with a great public school system. Many of my cohorts commute 2 or more hours a day. I can cross country ski to work in 20 minutes, or 5 minutes on my bike with snow tires. We have all season Cats!

Tat
Posted By: TatumAH Re: Medicare - 04/12/21 06:43 PM
Originally Posted by logtroll
Also, I have recently learned that I may qualify for some level of VA coverage, having served a brief (but not too brief) stint in the Navy in 1973 (5 months at the Naval Academy before escaping - with an honorable discharge). I never thought that counted, but we have a Vietnam Vets organization next door to the shop, and the head guy there encouraged me to look into it. It looks like more than 90 days service during the Vietnam 'conflict' is qualification for some level of VA medical benefits. So I have to figure out how to bake the best cake out of the available ingredients.


Did you at least join the New Mexico Coast Guard or Naval Reserve?

Water in New Mexico!!
Who Knew!! grin

TAT
Posted By: jgw Re: Medicare - 04/12/21 07:49 PM
What you are saying is true. It will, however, take you several months to get it done so you have to have patience. The trick will be to properly fill out all the forms and then, wait, and wait, and wait. Eventually you will get into the VA!
Posted By: logtroll Re: Medicare - 04/12/21 11:24 PM
Originally Posted by TatumAH
We have all season Cats!

Tat
Can you provide lynx?
Posted By: TatumAH Re: Medicare - 04/13/21 02:27 AM
Sure! We had a family of Manx that I associate with Lynx

But my association with Manx and Lynx take me right to a line of the lyrics from the Shady Dame of Saville from Victor Victoria. The rest of this tale's not a pretty one...

Ooops this isnt the very loose association game is it? offtopic I guess yet again! grin

TAT




https://moviechat.org/tt0084865/Victor-Victoria/58c737655ec57f0478fba1eb/Shady-Dame-from-Seville
Posted By: logtroll Re: Medicare - 04/13/21 03:20 PM
Originally Posted by TatumAH
Ooops this isnt the very loose association game is it?
Y'all mean the Game of Life?
Posted By: Greger Re: Medicare - 04/13/21 06:00 PM
Loggy, I use traditional Medicare and it works perfectly for me, supplements are expensive, Advantage plans unnecessary and I'd like to see private insurance shrunk until it can be drowned in a bathtub.
Posted By: pondering_it_all Re: Medicare - 04/14/21 12:03 AM
If you do decide to go with standard Medicare, pay for A, B, and D. That covers doctors, hospitals, pretty much everything else, plus drugs. The main advantage is that it's all portable: You can use any provider or hospital that accepts Medicare. The main disadvantage is the doctors or hospitals you want may not accept Medicare patients or have a moratorium on them because it pays so little.

I went with a Blue Cross MA plan, which just costs me the Plan B amount, and includes drug coverage equal to a Plan D. My provider is Scripps Clinic HMO, which is rated very highly in my state. The advantage is that they have every speciality I need with reasonable access, multiple levels of urgent care, ER care, great hospitals, and my same GP I had for the last 10 years. The disadvantage is it is not very portable: If I travel out of area, my billing goes up to be equivalent to the local Blue Cross negotiated rates. But I'm not planning to travel much.

My one beef is with every drug plan under Medicare: There is no cap. The last cost tier is just 5% of the retail price, but drug companies can charge anything they want for drugs that are under patent but cost them almost nothing to make. And they do: Tecfidera costs under $100 per year to make and they charge $72,000. 5% of that is several thousand per year. It's actually so easy to make, anybody could do it themselves with one organic chemistry course. And that's even legal until you try to sell it as the patented drug.
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