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Old 04-08-2012, 09:32 PM   #41
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Look at GEHA in addition to BCBS next open season.

If I had my druthers I would sign up for NW Kaiser's Medicare + but the paperwork to make sure that OPM kept me as an 'eligible' was too foggy.
Thanks. I'll have to check into GEHA (which I know nothing about) and other plans (about which I know almost as little). I've always had BCBS Standard. I have also heard advice to change to BCBS Basic.

I must have a mental block when it comes to these things. My knee jerk reaction is to procrastinate.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:07 PM   #42
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I had a fairly serious injury earlier this year, so I've been interested to see how all the claims were processed through Medicare. I have to say I'm impressed. Being retired military, what Medicare doesn't pay, Tricare For Life takes care of, so I haven't had to pay anything yet, out of about $6,000 billed by various doctors and surgery centers. What a great country!
Our neighbor was rear-ended in rush-hour traffic three weeks ago. 10 MPH lane change, lots of crumpled plastic bumpers, no long-term harm.

She was shaken up pretty good, lost track of her consciousness for a few seconds, and then went into a bit of adrenaline-induced shakiness. The ambulance crew was not happy and took her to the hospital. After X-rays and a couple hours of observation, the ER released her. She had a sore neck and a headache for a day, and since then the muscle soreness has gradually abated. She feels fine now.

She's covered by Medicare and Tricare For Life-- or so we thought.

USAA sent her a claim form and authorized physical therapy (range of motion stretching) along with chiropractic. (She's been doing that and it's going well.) When the hospital bills started rolling in, she notified everyone of her medical coverage and just filed the bills without action.

I'm getting second-hand reports, but she says that both Medicare and TFL have told her that they do not cover vehicle accidents in Hawaii. Instead she's expected to have all of these bills paid by USAA. (USAA will no doubt bill the insurer of the other driver.) The ER bill was over $3500 and X-rays were nearly $500; the usual scary dollar figures.

She has state-mandated medical payments coverage and USAA's been great. But I was surprised that Medicare & TFL stepped back so quickly.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:11 PM   #43
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Nords, I am shocked as well. I would have thought Medicare/TFL would pay for this in a heartbeat. Imagine the mess that could occur if she had been more seriously injured, with half a million dollars or more needed to put her back together. Something like that could devastate a retiree's nestegg, while the insurance companies wrangle about who should pay.

But then, maybe I worry too much. I suppose it is possible that in a case like that, USAA would pay in full, promptly and cheerfully.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:27 PM   #44
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Nords.......is it possible that this is not a case of them not paying but just not paying first......that is, the auto medical is primary?
https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coordin...ndPayerandYou/

btw....I confess that I didn't understand anything in there except the first few lines.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:32 PM   #45
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It seems like every time I receive treatment there is a list of questions that must be answered for Medicare: related to a motor vehicle accident, covered by VA, dialysis and others. There is a hierarchy of who pays for what.

She should notify her motor vehicle insurer of the accident and bills and ask them how they intend to handle them. Those bills will get paid. Odds are the health care providers won't be required to bill at the Medicare rate either.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:03 PM   #46
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she says that both Medicare and TFL have told her that they do not cover vehicle accidents in Hawaii. Instead she's expected to have all of these bills paid by USAA.
I don't know what the state has to do with it, Hawaii or any other.
I would never have even thought about those costs being covered by anything but the medical payments part of my car insurance. That's what it's for, isn't it?
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:55 PM   #47
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Nords.......is it possible that this is not a case of them not paying but just not paying first......that is, the auto medical is primary?
https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coordin...ndPayerandYou/
btw....I confess that I didn't understand anything in there except the first few lines.
That could be. I think the main problem is that I'm getting the information second-hand. She has a Caribbean accent that you could cut with a chainsaw, and she doesn't enjoy speaking on the phone with customer-service people.

I suspect that the paperwork will eventually end up in front of me and I'll be able to figure out whose rules they're using.

She buys curry powder in five-pound bags and cooks the most wonderful dishes, so I'm happy to help out however I can.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:14 PM   #48
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Geez, life sure is complicated. Reading this thread and thinking about the subject has given me a headache. I am 59. Perhaps the BEST thing for someone to do at my tender young age is to totally ignore this subject for now and not worry about it again until close to turning 65. At that time even if the basic programs may be similar all the little details will surely be different.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:33 PM   #49
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I am 59. Perhaps the BEST thing for someone to do at my tender young age is to totally ignore this subject for now and not worry about it again until close to turning 65. At that time even if the basic programs may be similar all the little details will surely be different.
+1

That describes the approach I took. I had to learn all about Medicare in the months leading up to turning 65 but I avoided having to 'unlearn' a bunch of stuff than changed in the past few years...
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:43 PM   #50
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Geez, life sure is complicated. Reading this thread and thinking about the subject has given me a headache. I am 59. Perhaps the BEST thing for someone to do at my tender young age is to totally ignore this subject for now and not worry about it again until close to turning 65. At that time even if the basic programs may be similar all the little details will surely be different.
+2

There's already enough stuff to worry about. Limit your worry time to things you can do something about.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:58 PM   #51
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+1

That describes the approach I took. I had to learn all about Medicare in the months leading up to turning 65 but I avoided having to 'unlearn' a bunch of stuff than changed in the past few years...
Good. I guess I can procrastinate until June, when I turn 64, without that being a big mistake.

Right now my main Medicare question is whether I can pay for Part B Medicare automatically somehow (automatic deduction from my bank account? automatic debit card payment?) until I claim SS, if I have not claimed it yet at 65.

If not, I'd rather claim SS than try to remember to write them a check on time every month. It's not that I can't, but I just don't want to.
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:06 PM   #52
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Right now my main Medicare question is whether I can pay for Part B Medicare automatically somehow (automatic deduction from my bank account? automatic debit card payment?) until I claim SS, if I have not claimed it yet at 65.
And the answer is...

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If I’m not on Social Security, how do I pay my Part B premium?

If you are receiving a monthly retirement or disability (Social Security) check, your Part B premiums will be deducted from your check. If you are not receiving Social Security, you have two options:
  • You can be billed once every three months. If you choose to mail in a check, be sure to send it registered mail/return receipt requested every time.
  • Medicare Easy Pay: sign up for a monthly electronic fund transfer from your bank account.
Questions about Medicare
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:24 PM   #53
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Good. I guess I can procrastinate until June, when I turn 64, without that being a big mistake.

Right now my main Medicare question is whether I can pay for Part B Medicare automatically somehow (automatic deduction from my bank account? automatic debit card payment?) until I claim SS, if I have not claimed it yet at 65.

If not, I'd rather claim SS than try to remember to write them a check on time every month. It's not that I can't, but I just don't want to.
I use a credit card to pay my and DW's quarterly Medicare Part B premiums. I get 1% cash back and the pleasure that I am putting something over on the government.
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:52 PM   #54
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Right now my main Medicare question is whether I can pay for Part B Medicare automatically somehow (automatic deduction from my bank account? automatic debit card payment?) until I claim SS, if I have not claimed it yet at 65.
Yes, you can do this. My method was an automatic bank withdrawal.
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:04 PM   #55
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Thank you, REWahoo, Jakebrake, and haha!

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Yes, you can do this. My method was an automatic bank withdrawal.
Thank you! That is exactly what I want to do. That's great.
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:35 PM   #56
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+1 on the automatic monthly payment. Very smooth.

The only thing I can't understand is that they still insist on sending me a paper bill every month. The printed bill clearly states that it is not a bill, and that the payment will be deducted from my bank account, but there is no way to turn off that monthly mailing.

Weird, but harmless I guess.
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:53 PM   #57
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+1 on the automatic monthly payment. Very smooth.

The only thing I can't understand is that they still insist on sending me a paper bill every month. The printed bill clearly states that it is not a bill, and that the payment will be deducted from my bank account, but there is no way to turn off that monthly mailing.

Weird, but harmless I guess.
That's OK with me. I'll just stuff it in my file cabinet, for proof that I paid. I just didn't want to have to remember that it was time to pay, and then sit down write them a check every month - - too much like w*rk, I guess.
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