Skip to comments.[Vanity] Signing up for Medicare
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?
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.
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.
Try not to be ill?
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.
A lot of places will only take the original medicare.
For this type of info requesting post,your response is not necessary and detracts from a quality post
Medicare pays for a lot more than hospitalization. Pays for doctor visits, durable medical equipment. And, a whole more.
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.
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.
We all try not to be sick.Thats a given.
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.
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.
So far she's OK on that - the Dr accepts Medicare for existing patients.
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.
I actually know plenty of people that enjoy poor health.
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.
Appreciate the info about a Walmart-Humana plan, had not heard of it.
United health care medicare advantage
our plan costs $0 per month with $5 and $25 copay
Get a good supplemental insurance and avoid AARP like the plague!
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.
Great advice. Also, Sam’s Club is a better pharmacy if available.
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.
I know all about the individual providers but have seen little evidence of hospitals joining that trend. In fact, just the opposite.
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.
Appreciate the links and references.
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.
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.
And your response is necessary in what way?
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.
Appreciate the links and references.
LOL. I was once in the same city as someone that was rich, powerful or connected, but none of it rubbed off.
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.
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.
Are talking about medicare Part D prescription plan?
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
I clicked the site.Is that a govmnt site?No could find a free booklet link?