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Now that was sweat inducing.......changing medicare ins. plans

Meghan54

Lifer
Oct 18, 2009
10,461
3,470
136
Open enrollment for Medicare. So I want to change my Medicare Supplement Plan N for a Plan F. (The differences between the two are, essentially, Plan F pays for both Part A and Part B deductibles, no co-pays for anything, and pays all excess charges beyond M'care approved. Plan N has co-pays for MD and ER visits, only pays Part A ded. and doesn't cover excess charges. So Plan F pays a lot more out.)

When I signed up for my Plan N two years ago, I was told if I wanted to change plans later, it'd be nothing more than asking/telling M'care you want to change and voila!....there you are. IRL, otoh, is something different.

31 questions as initial "intake exam"....yes, an actual 31....and then two followup phone calls. both interviewers kept fishing for info like "Do I have planned but unscheduled cataract surgery upcoming" (This was asked three times over the second call) or "am I sure I only take aspirin as a med?" Both seemed incredulous that I've not seen a doctor since I took out the policy in 2019, but there it is....not one claim, visit, nada. Nothing on record...no ER, MD visits, nothing.

And they did spend the better part of a week looking......that's where the cataract crap came from...ophthalmologist I used for my glasses a year ago noted that I had very slight clouding of the lens, but had probably 10 years before it'd be an issue for vision.


Anyway, today the ins. co. charged my cc for the first month's payment....so whew!!! Now I'm fairly insulated from health care costs, from an MD/hospital point of view anyway. Of course, this is $121/mo on top of the 2022 $170/mo M'care ins. cost.

But I figure it like this....while $121/mo isn't cheap at all, that totals $1452 in premiums for 2022. Part A's deductible for 2022, is $1556 for 2022. Part B's deductible for 2022 is $233, so adding the two deductibles together is much more than what the ins. costs...by $337. So, essentially I'm getting a $300+ rebate on the deductibles by prepaying them over a year in monthly payments.


But holy geez....the freaking spanish inquisition on those phone calls. Am I sure I'm not taking any prescribed meds? Am I absolutely sure I'm not planning surgery in the near future and just not telling them? Sheesh.......


as if i'd tell them in the first place.
 
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brianmanahan

Lifer
Sep 2, 2006
22,166
3,690
126
it looks so complicated compared to work plans! it reminds me of the myriad of ACA plans available. but at least those don't require interrogation to sign up.
 

PowerEngineer

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2001
3,385
423
126
Making the right Medicare decisions is a lot harder than most people (including myself) expect. Yes, you can change enrollment decisions every year - but it seems that there are circumstances under which you can be denied coverage by some plans based on previous conditions (and god knows what else). This isn't the case when you make your initial Medicare choices on turning 65. It really pays to start considering your Medicare choices about six months before your 65th birthday. Make you initial choices good ones to avoid the uncertainties of switching. When in doubt, choose plans with greater coverage; it is far easier to reduce coverage than to increase it (for regular Medicare, Plan F or Plan G). Be very careful if choosing to go with a Medicare (Part C) "Advantage' plan. My two cents...
 
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BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
58,108
6,293
126
That's cheap. For me, Plan F starts at around $235/month. I have a Medicare Advantage plan through Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield, (only one available in my county) that is currently $38/mo, dropping to $29/mo...but MA plans don't cover many of the things MS plans do.
 

highland145

Lifer
Oct 12, 2009
42,320
4,797
136

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
63,470
17,137
136
Julio Cruis disagrees.

One: take it to P&N
2) Quit filling your skull with shit from shit organizations. The Center for Immigration Studies is a bunch of screwball, nativist hacks.
 

Geekbabe

Moderator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Oct 16, 1999
31,838
1,713
126
www.theshoppinqueen.com
I am going to ask the finance department at Mass General to help me navigate Medicare, I will be 65 in January but also hope to go back to work once my FMLA is over. Hoping the folks at MGH will steer me in the right direction
 
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BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
58,108
6,293
126
I am going to ask the finance department at Mass General to help me navigate Medicare, I will be 65 in January but also hope to go back to work once my FMLA is over. Hoping the folks at MGH will steer me in the right direction
Might be outside their purview...check here:

With your "pre-existing conditions," you MIGHT have a difficult time getting a Medicare Supplement or MediGap plan...and only a Medicare Advantage plan. (which would be better than nothing) As of 1/1/2021, the Medicare part B premium will be about $170 per month plus any add-on plan like Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement.
 

Charmonium

Diamond Member
May 15, 2015
6,359
587
126
Go to Medicare.gov. Look for the button that says Find a 2022 Medicare Plan.

Register if you don't already have an account and log in.

They have a fairly current and accurate database of different types of plans. It should be a piece of cake to find exactly what you want.


edit: oh, I'm pretty sure you can finalize your selection right there. I there's some paperwork they send you later but I'm not sure.
 
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BarkingGhostar

Diamond Member
Nov 20, 2009
9,854
2,448
136
I am 110% ignorant on all things related to Medicare and Medicaid. I figured I need to be OLD for that and being fifty-something isn't OLD.
 
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Lost_in_the_HTTP

Diamond Member
Nov 17, 2019
4,803
2,572
106
If you're going with an Advantage plan, look for ones that offer a Part B Giveback or premium reduction. If any are available for your area, look them over carefully and compare to others as far as coverages and exclusions.

Some will reduce your Part B more than others, but the other limits and deductibles might make a difference.


 
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ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
19,521
2,696
126
Wow, so looking forward to dealing with this in the future (NOT!).
I'm decades away from being able to qualify for Medicare. If I could sign up for Medicare today, I would do it in an instant. I'm not looking forward to old age, but I'm looking forward to the day I can finally ditch the overpriced shitty ACA marketplace health insurance and get on more affordable Medicare coverage.
 

RLGL

Golden Member
Jan 8, 2013
1,879
230
106
Yeah, I just went through the mess of evaluating one BCBS plan vs another. Prices that we are paying now compared to the plan we are looking at, drugs and Dr. co-pays, etc.
 

gill77

Senior member
Aug 3, 2006
707
204
116
Making the right Medicare decisions is a lot harder than most people (including myself) expect. Yes, you can change enrollment decisions every year - but it seems that there are circumstances under which you can be denied coverage by some plans based on previous conditions (and god knows what else). This isn't the case when you make your initial Medicare choices on turning 65. It really pays to start considering your Medicare choices about six months before your 65th birthday. Make you initial choices good ones to avoid the uncertainties of switching. When in doubt, choose plans with greater coverage; it is far easier to reduce coverage than to increase it (for regular Medicare, Plan F or Plan G). Be very careful if choosing to go with a Medicare (Part C) "Advantage' plan. My two cents...
I would sure like to hear your thoughts regarding Advantage plans.

Disadvantages I see include:

Generally have to visit doctors within their network.

Usually need to see your primary care physician for a referral to a specialist.

I thought I would research what would one might expect if you really needed some top notch care. Mayo Clinic seems to be at or near the top in most specialties. Their website states they take Medicare but not Medicare Advantage plans. Not sure how common that is, but if it always seemed to me that if you purchase insurance it should be something you can use for catastrophic events not day to day maintenance.
 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
63,470
17,137
136
Not sure how common that is, but if it always seemed to me that if you purchase insurance it should be something you can use for catastrophic events not day to day maintenance.
I used to think along the same line. Then maintenance drugs got to be so expensive, every month would be catastrophic without insurance. Plus the pricing games providers play, charging the uninsured far more than they charge insurance companies for the same services, insurance becomes essential for the day to day stuff.
 

gill77

Senior member
Aug 3, 2006
707
204
116
I used to think along the same line. Then maintenance drugs got to be so expensive, every month would be catastrophic without insurance. Plus the pricing games providers play, charging the uninsured far more than they charge insurance companies for the same services, insurance becomes essential for the day to day stuff.
Totally agree. That probably should have read "Not just day to day maintenance"
 

Lost_in_the_HTTP

Diamond Member
Nov 17, 2019
4,803
2,572
106
I would sure like to hear your thoughts regarding Advantage plans.

Disadvantages I see include:

Generally have to visit doctors within their network.

Usually need to see your primary care physician for a referral to a specialist.
Every one I've dealt with is in the 'network'. It's best to see your PCP initially anyways so they have your history.
 

JEDI

Lifer
Sep 25, 2001
27,552
1,463
126
I'm decades away from being able to qualify for Medicare. If I could sign up for Medicare today, I would do it in an instant. I'm not looking forward to old age, but I'm looking forward to the day I can finally ditch the overpriced shitty ACA marketplace health insurance and get on more affordable Medicare coverage.
1st world problem for making 6figures.

solution:
reduce income and live off savings.
low income = high subsidies
 

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