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Old 08-04-2014, 04:57 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Brooks, I know several people who have a company funded retirement health plan that functions as their Medicare Supplement. I suspect Walt has retirement health care (a BCBS plan) funded in part by his former employer and is wondering how the portion of the plan he pays for will change once he goes on Medicare and the plan switches from being his primary to being a supplement.
That's it. I've always understood that the BCBS plan becomes "secondary" to Medicare at 65 but I don't yet know the details of how that works. Others who have crossed that threshold haven't mentioned anything about it being a big deal so I don't anticipate any issues.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:28 PM   #62
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That's it. I've always understood that the BCBS plan becomes "secondary" to Medicare at 65 but I don't yet know the details of how that works. Others who have crossed that threshold haven't mentioned anything about it being a big deal so I don't anticipate any issues.
Walt, not trying to alarm you here, but I have Medicare, a supplemental plan (private Plan F), and Part D (drug plan). A piece of advice is don't wait too long after turning 65 to understand your options. There are timelines involved and you should understand what they are. I would call BCBS and see what they consider coverage for charges Medicare won't cover and also what drugs who or which plan covers. You may find a better way to cover costs Medicare doesn't cover with a supplemental plan instead of BCBS.

If BCBS covers part after Medicare pays their part, find out the details. You can get supplemental plans that cover everything including, all deductibles, excess charges, out of area and no network, etc. Hospital deductible under medicare is almost $1200, and that's NOT annually.

Lots of doctors are not taking Medicare anymore and we have had some issues with my wife's illness finding doctors that will accept Medicare after her doctor left the program. Remember, Medicare is the first payer and the secondary one only pays what Medicare doesn't. This is complicated, take my advice and get smart about it in advance of turning 65 (if you already aren't doing that).
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:14 AM   #63
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This is complicated, take my advice and get smart about it in advance of turning 65 (if you already aren't doing that).
+1

You can sign up here, for access to your SS account.
https://secure.ssa.gov/RIL/SiView.do

There is also an option to receive and print a verification letter from SS for whatever legal verification may be needed as proof of membership (SS and Medicare) and amount of benefits.
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:29 PM   #64
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I thought this was a pretty good piece on the ballooning disability roles -

Trends With Benefits | This American Life

I remember a number of years ago when we would go to my wife's family reunions it seemed like everyone there was on disability. It was almost a way of life.
I just read this series, along with many of the comments that were critical of it. Politics aside, the trend is alarming and structural change is clearly necessary.
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:36 PM   #65
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Walt, not trying to alarm you here, but I have Medicare, a supplemental plan (private Plan F), and Part D (drug plan). A piece of advice is don't wait too long after turning 65 to understand your options. There are timelines involved and you should understand what they are.
I have about eight months before turning 65 but it is becoming clear that now is not too soon to start looking into it. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:54 AM   #66
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This is the latest "tinkering" I've seen:

Lew Supports Funding Change for Disability Program - Washington Wire - WSJ

The Social Security Disability pool is on track to run out of money by the end of 2016. The Treasury Secretary is proposing to raid the funds to pay retiree benefits in order to cover the shortfall in the SS Disability program.
More info on the 2014 Medicare Trustees Report:

A Guide to the 2014 Medicare Trustees Report
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