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[Vanity] Signing up for Medicare
vanity | Ken in Texas

Posted on 08/05/2013 4:18:10 PM PDT by ken in texas

Apologies in advance for the vanity.

Any advice for someone signing up for Medicare?


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Health/Medicine
KEYWORDS: medicare
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My wife hit the milestone first and is now eligible to sign up for Medicare. She has some ongoing drug prescriptions but has been without health insurance since our COBRA ran out.

We're mainly trying to start out with some reasonable choices and make sure we avoid some of the future penalties we've heard of.

Any advice or suggestions appreciated.

1 posted on 08/05/2013 4:18:10 PM PDT by ken in texas
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To: ken in texas

Medicare is only good for hospitalization and you still have to pay 20%
of the cost!

Get the supplemental insurance right up front. Humana is great. Also, depending on income, perhaps she could qualify for drug assistance.


2 posted on 08/05/2013 4:30:05 PM PDT by stilloftyhenight (Proud bitter clinging wacko bird chirper.)
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To: ken in texas

Try not to be ill?


3 posted on 08/05/2013 4:30:50 PM PDT by Vanders9
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To: ken in texas

Just make sure that your Dr even accepts Medicare patients. I did research on various plans only to find out there were no Drs that accepted them. Ironically the local hospital didn’t even accept Medicare patients. Took me quite awhile but finally found a GP that accepted Medicare and a Mutual of Omaha supplemental plan. Humana has a drug plan for $18 a month but you have to use a Walmart pharmacy. So I pay $100 a month for Medicare, $150 for the supplemental plan and $18 for the drug plan.....and I never use any of it knock on wood.


4 posted on 08/05/2013 4:39:08 PM PDT by heylady (“Sometimes I wish I could be a Democrat and then I remember I have a soul.”( Deb))
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To: ken in texas

A lot of places will only take the original medicare.


5 posted on 08/05/2013 4:44:07 PM PDT by Coldwater Creek (")
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To: Vanders9

For this type of info requesting post,your response is not necessary and detracts from a quality post


6 posted on 08/05/2013 4:45:43 PM PDT by CGASMIA68
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To: stilloftyhenight

Medicare pays for a lot more than hospitalization. Pays for doctor visits, durable medical equipment. And, a whole more.


7 posted on 08/05/2013 4:46:38 PM PDT by Coldwater Creek (")
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To: t1b8zs
Try not to be sick is a legitimate statement. Lighten up.
8 posted on 08/05/2013 4:49:45 PM PDT by Coldwater Creek (")
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To: ken in texas
One good thing Kalifornia does is have "Dept. of Aging" people do hourlong seminars at senior centers.....we attended one last year right before we hit 65.

The most important thing we learned is to obtain a Part D drug plan from the start, because if you don't you'll pay a "Penalty" later on if you do enroll in a plan - and that 'penalty' is forever, by way of monthly premium, and grows annually.

Since we're virtually drug-free, we went with a Walmart-Humana plan that doesn't cover much, but it costs each of us less than 13 bucks a month.......in the event we require pricey meds, we'll simply swap plans during the open enrollment (switch) period that comes each October.

9 posted on 08/05/2013 4:52:02 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (Carlos Danger for mayor....NYC deserves him)
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To: ken in texas

You can apply 3 months prior to your 65th birthday, and I applied online as soon as I was eligible.
In my case I had to wait about 85 of those days to (finally!) get my card and ID number, but my coverage actually began on the first of the month in which my birthday fell, which was about 25 days prior to when I got my card and ID.

I have a supplemental through Anthem BC/BS.


10 posted on 08/05/2013 4:53:01 PM PDT by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: Coldwater Creek

We all try not to be sick.Thats a given.


11 posted on 08/05/2013 4:53:20 PM PDT by CGASMIA68
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To: heylady
Ironically the local hospital didn’t even accept Medicare patients.

I did not realize there were any. That is in Texas? So they simply refuse admission?

I checked in WA, OR, and ID and there were 91, 60 and 38 hospitals that DO accept Medicare. 381 that do in Texas -- that really is a big state.

12 posted on 08/05/2013 4:54:37 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: ken in texas
"Any advice for someone signing up for Medicare?"

Don't.

13 posted on 08/05/2013 5:08:21 PM PDT by YHAOS
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To: ken in texas

We have the AARP (yes, I know) supplemental insurance. It’s been great. It’s cheap and it covers more than you think. It’s even got dental in it and some hearing insurance.

I just had my knee replaced. The bill was $50,000 with $15,000 in patient rehab. I had to pay $1060 on the first bill, and $700 for the rehab. I had outpatient rehab too, and I haven’t seen a bill for that yet.

My husband had a brain tumor removed. The bill was more than $100,000 and we paid less than $3000 for it.

I have no complaints about Medicare and AARP insurance.


14 posted on 08/05/2013 5:10:47 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: heylady
Just make sure that your Dr even accepts Medicare patients.

So far she's OK on that - the Dr accepts Medicare for existing patients.

15 posted on 08/05/2013 5:14:36 PM PDT by ken in texas (The Obama Excuse: They never told me and I didn't ask.)
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To: steve86

It is a new Texas Health Hospital at Alliance. I looked on their web site back in December to find out what insurances they accepted and none of them were for Medicare. Finally after several unproductive phone conversations with the hospital billing office I was directed to someone that said they had their application for Medicare in but the government hadn’t accepted it. The hospital opened in Sept ‘12 and as of March ‘13 they were only accepting Medicare for ER services. They finally got Medicare approval around May.


16 posted on 08/05/2013 5:15:15 PM PDT by heylady (“Sometimes I wish I could be a Democrat and then I remember I have a soul.”( Deb))
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To: ken in texas
Be sure to buy Part B and either Part D for medications or a supplemental policy with a decent pharmacy provision.
17 posted on 08/05/2013 5:15:22 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: t1b8zs

I actually know plenty of people that enjoy poor health.


18 posted on 08/05/2013 5:18:18 PM PDT by Coldwater Creek (")
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To: ken in texas

*


19 posted on 08/05/2013 5:18:59 PM PDT by BunnySlippers (I LOVE BULL MARKETS . . .)
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To: ken in texas

A doctor gave me this advice: Get the most expensive supplementary plan. The bad news is: You’ll need it. The good news is: You’ll have it.

The only money I ever pay out is the Part D copays.


20 posted on 08/05/2013 5:20:10 PM PDT by firebrand
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To: ErnBatavia

Appreciate the info about a Walmart-Humana plan, had not heard of it.


21 posted on 08/05/2013 5:20:28 PM PDT by ken in texas (The Obama Excuse: They never told me and I didn't ask.)
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To: ken in texas

United health care medicare advantage

our plan costs $0 per month with $5 and $25 copay


22 posted on 08/05/2013 5:22:52 PM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Travon... Felony assault and battery hate crime)
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To: ken in texas

Get a good supplemental insurance and avoid AARP like the plague!


23 posted on 08/05/2013 5:24:57 PM PDT by jch10 (The greatest threat to America is the Democrats.)
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To: hinckley buzzard

We’re leaning towards getting both B and D. The supplemental is of concern because she was turned down for insurance once COBRA ended and we shopped on our own.


24 posted on 08/05/2013 5:25:07 PM PDT by ken in texas (The Obama Excuse: They never told me and I didn't ask.)
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To: bert

Thanks.


25 posted on 08/05/2013 5:26:08 PM PDT by ken in texas (The Obama Excuse: They never told me and I didn't ask.)
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To: heylady

Great advice. Also, Sam’s Club is a better pharmacy if available.


26 posted on 08/05/2013 5:27:08 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (The only growth industries left under Progressives are government and poverty.)
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To: heylady

Thanks.


27 posted on 08/05/2013 5:29:32 PM PDT by ken in texas (The Obama Excuse: They never told me and I didn't ask.)
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To: steve86
I did not realize there were any. That is in Texas? So they simply refuse admission?

An increasing number of doctors and hospitals are declining Medicare because, with the advent of ZeroCare, the rates Medicare pays are declining in an effort to force more people to sign up for ZeroCare.

This, in turn, is causing more doctors to either retire from private practice or simply decline to accept new Medicare patients.

28 posted on 08/05/2013 5:35:35 PM PDT by DustyMoment (Congress - another name for the American politburo!!)
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To: DustyMoment

I know all about the individual providers but have seen little evidence of hospitals joining that trend. In fact, just the opposite.


29 posted on 08/05/2013 5:36:58 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: ken in texas

*


30 posted on 08/05/2013 5:38:53 PM PDT by bitt
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To: ken in texas

Download the Medicare and You 2013 booklet from the Medicare website. Be sure to get the one for your state.

You might want to check and compare Medicare Advantage plans that are listed for your state. They should be identified in the Medicare and You booklet.

For 2014, the Medicare and You usually comes out in late Sept or October. Enrollment for 2014 begins in early October.

You might also check the CMS website for your state information.

http://www.medicare.gov
http://www.cms.gov
http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/chs/hprc/mediinfo.shtm


31 posted on 08/05/2013 5:41:38 PM PDT by TomGuy (.)
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To: Vanders9
I asked a Canadian friend about their health care system. He said it works great.......... as long as you don't get sick. He wasn't kidding.
32 posted on 08/05/2013 5:42:11 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: TomGuy

Appreciate the links and references.


33 posted on 08/05/2013 5:48:14 PM PDT by ken in texas (The Obama Excuse: They never told me and I didn't ask.)
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To: ken in texas

Humana is known for turning down a lot of applicants. If your wife was turned down once already, you may need to find an agent who handles policies for many companies and that person will help find a company who will accept your wife.


34 posted on 08/05/2013 5:49:43 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: jch10

The AARP plan is United Health Care. In my wife’s case best option , her doctor is in the plan. The agent did mention many people she deals
.with with have issues with AARP.


35 posted on 08/05/2013 5:52:09 PM PDT by UB355 (Slower traffic keep right)
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To: t1b8zs; Coldwater Creek

And your response is necessary in what way?


36 posted on 08/05/2013 5:52:13 PM PDT by Past Your Eyes (You can't force people to care.)
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To: ken in texas

Medicare is really private insurance sold through the government. There are lots of plans. Just be sure to have a calculator handy when trying to figure it out.

As for Part D, we ran the numbers and it’s actually cheaper for my wife to buy drugs from Canada that pay the premiums and co-pays with Medicare. If you take a lot of drugs, especially if they’re name brand, the co-pays are high. And on some of the plans the co-pays on generics are higher than what the pharmacy charges. You have to really look at it close.


37 posted on 08/05/2013 5:56:23 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican (If you vote for evil because you can't see evil, you ARE evil!)
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To: TomGuy

Appreciate the links and references.


38 posted on 08/05/2013 5:57:08 PM PDT by ken in texas (The Obama Excuse: They never told me and I didn't ask.)
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To: ken in texas
Well,for one thing...be aware that you'll be a member of the first group subject to death panels,waiting lists for everything from X-rays to appointments with a cancer specialist to an opening at a hospital for heart surgery.That is unless you're rich,powerful or “connected”.
39 posted on 08/05/2013 6:06:07 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (If Obama Had A City It Would Look Like Detroit.)
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To: Gay State Conservative

LOL. I was once in the same city as someone that was rich, powerful or “connected”, but none of it rubbed off.


40 posted on 08/05/2013 6:08:09 PM PDT by ken in texas (The Obama Excuse: They never told me and I didn't ask.)
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To: ken in texas

I remember as I approached retirement age I got a letter from my insurance company stating that if I did not get Medicare that the insurance company would drop me like a hot potato.


41 posted on 08/05/2013 6:19:50 PM PDT by spel_grammer_an_punct_polise (Learn three chords and you, too, can be a Rock Star!)
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To: ken in texas

Get the information booklet (free) from Medicare.com, and read it. It’s one of the few things from the government worth reading. Medicare isn’t complicated, but it is not intuitive, and you need to be able to speak the buzz words.


42 posted on 08/05/2013 6:42:11 PM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: heylady

Are talking about medicare Part D prescription plan?


43 posted on 08/05/2013 7:02:56 PM PDT by waxer1 (A Republic if you can keep it--Benjamin Franklin. Well we lost it.)
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To: steve86

As ZeroCare ramps up, more and more hospitals are facing the fact that a growing majority of doctors are not accepting Medicare patients. This affects thre ability of the hospital to be able to treat those on Medicare unless it is by either an intern or resident.

I think that as doctors shed Medicare patients, more hospitals will have to join in, except for teaching hospitals. Teaching hospitals are typically either state supported or supported locally through a property or other tax.

Bottom line, it’s going to get really ugly with people yours or your parents’ age unable to get treated by a doctor under Medicare. But, the government will still collect the money from our paychecks and pretend that the status is still quo.


44 posted on 08/05/2013 8:12:53 PM PDT by DustyMoment (Congress - another name for the American politburo!!)
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To: DustyMoment

I don’t really follow what you’re saying about hospitals. If the hospital’s policy is to accept Medicare, then fine, all the hospitalists and other medical employees do by default. Individual physicians with hospital privileges may or may not, but if they don’t, they will only admit non-Medicare patients anyway and so it’s not an issue while they’re making rounds or doing procedures in the hospital. I think it is quite rare for any hospital to not accept Medicare, unless it is some sort of a specialized, private hospital (such as drug treatment, maybe).


45 posted on 08/05/2013 8:18:59 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: steve86

Not too many doctors actually work for a hospital, these days, outside of interns and residents. Most private practice doctors have “privileges” at various hospitals that they have signed up to perform medical procedures or see their patients.

The hospital can have a policy that they will see anyone, including Godzilla but, if there is no doctor (again, excluding an intern or resident) who will treat the patient, the hospital’s policy is pretty useless. At this point, the hospital “policy” could end up being to make certain that a patient is stabilized and transfer them to a teaching hospital (typically one that is state or locally suported through a tax) that cannot refuse the patient.

Ultimately, it is not the hospital’s policy, but the doctors with staff privileges that determine who will or won’t be treated. And, as more doctors decline Medicare patients, more hospitals will have no choice but to transfer the patient to a teaching hospital. As it is, most teaching hospitals are overcrowded with indigent people who can’t afford to pay to be seen, much less treated, for a given illness or medical condition. So, a transfer patient who isn’t bleeding copious amounts of blood or whose heart is still pumping will end up on a gurney waiting their turn to be seen by an intern or resident.


46 posted on 08/05/2013 9:50:57 PM PDT by DustyMoment (Congress - another name for the American politburo!!)
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To: DustyMoment
Not too many doctors actually work for a hospital, these days, outside of interns and residents.

Again, my experience is the opposite, based on the trends of the last few years locally and in many other discussions.

Physicians are closing their practices due to onerous insurance and reporting requirements and (those who don't retire) are joining hospital-owned clinics. In my little town we have at least 10 who have done this.

In addition, no hospital in this greater region has ever turned down a Medicare patient.

47 posted on 08/05/2013 10:25:08 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: ken in texas

If you’re 65 and on Social Security already, the government signs you up for Medicare automatically. No choice. Part A is inpatient care and it is free to everyone. Part B is outpatient visits and cost about $110 a month, deducted from your SS check every month. Part C is other care and Part D is prescriptions. You can buy supplemental policies that pay what Medicare doesn’t pay for.

In my own case, I refused Part B outpatient care because I am a veteran and get all of my care at the VA hospital. Medicare sent me a new card reflecting Part A only. I reckoned I needed the $110 a month more, than I needed more outpatient care. If you are a veteran eligible for VA care and travel a lot or are away from a VA facility and need emergency or urgent care or even routine outpatient care, you might want to keep Part B just in case you need it. But since I don’t travel, I am doing without it. There is a penalty to sign up for Part B if you don’t take it the initial time you are eligible for it and want it later.

I got tons of offers for supplemental insurance in the mail from various insurance companies that sell them and even had a couple of agents show up at my door to explain it to me. Good luck figuring it all out. It can seem complicated and be confusing until you research it and study it for a while. Remember, nothing the government does is simple.


48 posted on 08/05/2013 10:56:53 PM PDT by HotHunt
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To: t1b8zs
Hey I was only being semi-sarcastic. There are several golden rules to follow with healthcare.

1) AVOID doctors, nurses, hospitals and anything else connected to the medical profession as much as you possibly can. Hospitals are terrible places. They are full of sick people, and therefore nasty bugs.

2) "Moderation in all things will do you no harm" is not totally sound advice, but its not a bad rule of thumb regarding exercise, diet, work, rest, play etc

3) Never put anything inside any part of your body that wasnt designed to go there.

4) Related to 3) - never take any kind of pill, medicine, salve or ointment unless some doctor specifically tells you it is absolutely neccesary. Once you get into taking these things regularly it usually snowballs until half the concoctions you are taking are simply countering the unforseen side effects of the other half.

5) Pain is a great gift. It sets out boundaries for life. Forget this "go for the burn" business. If it hurts it probably means its damaging in some way. Stop doing whatever it is.

6) Prevention is WAY better than cure. Hence the first post - try not to be ill.

49 posted on 08/05/2013 11:46:10 PM PDT by Vanders9
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To: norwaypinesavage

I clicked the site.Is that a govmnt site?No could find a free booklet link?


50 posted on 08/06/2013 5:33:15 AM PDT by CGASMIA68
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