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Old 09-22-2011, 05:07 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by GregLee View Post
If you are covered by a group policy at work, I believe you do not have to sign up for Medicare until you retire. I didn't sign up until just after my 68th birthday, since I had not yet retired then and I was still covered by a group policy at work. I paid no penalty.
That's not what the folks at medicare say. See MichaelB's post above.
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:10 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
That's not what the folks at medicare say. See MichaelB's post above.
It's not? From MichaelB's post:
Quote:
However, you may want to wait to sign up for Medicare Part B if you or your spouse are working and have group health coverage through you or your spouse's employer or union. (See note below if you work for a small company.)
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:13 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by GregLee View Post
It's not? From MichaelB's post:
Yes, from MichaelB's post:
Quote:
Even if you keep working after you turn 65, you should sign up for Medicare Part A
Or did you decide to read only half of what he posted?

Oh wait, I'm getting in way over my head with a Hahvahd man - "have to" vs. "should"...

Never mind...
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:37 PM   #24
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All right, break it up, youse guys...

I'm no expert on insurance (or anything else) but most health insurance policies I've read designate Medicare A as the primary just based on eligibility so even if you have a work based policy you may find yourself denied coverage if you haven't enrolled. Ouch.

How Medicare B + supplemental vs work group coverage depends on the specifics of that policy, which we do not know. If it were me I would assume I wasn't covered at work at all (upon reaching Medicare eligibility age) and I would choose the medicare supplemental most appropriate for us unless I had confirmation of continued coverage at work. Health care cost is such an issue at work I can't see many employers providing coverage once Medicare kicks in, but I can see them paying for Medicare instead of group.
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:57 PM   #25
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All right, break it up, youse guys...
I have no idea about the rules in general, but the issue about Medicare part A coverage after 65 did come up for me when I was still working, and my group insurer here in Hawaii, HMSA, gave me some static after I turned 65 when I had not signed up for part A. But when I called them about it, I was told that I did not have to sign up for part A just because I was eligible, though my insurer HMSA did need to know, one way or the other, whether I had signed up for part A. I told them I had not, and that seemed to make it okay. I didn't sign up for part A or B until I was 68 when I retired. No penalty. Since part A is free once you're eligible, I don't know that there is any point to delay, though.
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Old 09-22-2011, 09:53 PM   #26
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All this information confuses me even more. When stress at work continues to make you easy picking for early death then whats a person to do? I really like my job but things have changed in the last few weeks and now I want to get out. When I am home my blood pressure is normal. When at work it runs high.

I have cash saved to live on at least 20 more years at normal spending. I have a small pension of about $1200 a month and SS of about $1500 a month if I left now. My wife collects $500 a month as she never worked much in our 41 years of marriage. We have no debt, nothing, zero. I have commercial property worth about $400,000.00 that I could rent if it came to that. Not sure how much I could get because I never even thought about renting it.
. My dad died at age 73, my Mom at 63. I am 64 so I may just gamble and get out now, pay the $1300 a month for my group insurance( we can do that but if I ever drop it I cannot pick it back up) and start Medicare in 10 months and then drop the group.
Why work all your life and then retire and give all you made to health insurance companies, and thats not counting the long term insurance we all need in our mid 60's. Thanks for all the info on this. oldtrig
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:23 PM   #27
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Oldtrig, I am sorry to hear that your job is affecting your health. I know it's a hard decision to pull the trigger sometimes.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:45 PM   #28
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Buckeye, have you had any dealings with the VA health system yet?
Now that my DH is getting closer to 65, I am trying to figure out if VA healthcare will eliminate the need to buy a medicare supplement. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone on the board that takes this approach. It appears the savings might be large. You would have a nut of 100-400 a month to use on health costs that aren't covered by Medicare or VA. However in our experience VA covers pretty much everything if you can get to them in time..IE in an emergency you might not be able to get to a VA provider.
No, DH and I haven't been back to the VA since signing up. The only healthcare we have consumed since I left my job May 1 is me getting a "free" flu shot last week at my regular doc's office when I drove a neighbor to the same medical arts building. I'm debating whether to use the VA for annual check-ups. I hesitate to burden the VA system when my insurance will cover the entire cost of an annual preventative visit. What a deal for $4,000 in premiums!

We are paying $339 a month with an $11k deductible for individual health insurance to cover the possibility of an expensive trip to a non-VA hospital. I'm not sure what I will do when DH is eligible for Medicare in 3 years. I'm not real familiar with the hospital coverage provided by Medicare. I'll have to determine our potential financial exposure.

I hate paying for all this insurance (auto, umbrella, health, renters) but at least I can budget for it and our losses are capped.
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:55 AM   #29
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I hesitate to burden the VA system when my insurance will cover the entire cost of an annual preventative visit.
I felt the same way. But when I mentioned that to the doctor at my local VA clinic, she said I absolutely should not feel that way.

First, if you're entitled to VA medical care (and admittedly is a small percentage of the population), you're entitled to it, period. No need to ignore it.

Second, the number of patients they see is part of the formula that determines their funding, so they're happy to have the business.

I still feel the same way about not wanting to take any services away from those who need them more than I do, but I go there for my flu shot, and show up every year for a basic checkup, just to stay an active part of their system.
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:00 AM   #30
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I believe that... assuming Medicare stays the same (IOW not folded into some other health care program) will undergo changes that shift more cost to benefit recipients (Even if FICA is increased a little).

This is just my opinion. But I think one should consider how changes might affect them.

I think it would be reasonable to consider that Medicare premiums (however they do it) might go up 200% to 300%. It might be means adjusted or some combination of premium increase with a copay added. It might be accomplished by beginning means based premium charges for Part A.

I think it would be prudent to build plan using similar what-if scenarios to understand expense needs.

I doubt they will grandfather existing retirees (regardless of what any politician is saying right now)... but it might be means based. (e.g., income above a certain level will be required to pay more).
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:15 AM   #31
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WR2, it is probably the biggest one decision I have had to make. I am the type person that wants things done the correct way. Politics are getting in the way of that. I wish I could just say the heck with it and go on. I am really working hard on that one thing. I am just afraid I cannot do that. I guess you could say I am type A personality. I went through a change like this twelve years ago and I think it aged me ten years. I do not have that many years to lose now. I read here what others face about health insurance when they retire and it looks bad. I would leave today if I could get something in the $400 a month range for my wife and I. Thats close to what I pay now for family coverage. I am not a lazy person so retirement for me is just moving to something else, but not anything full time. I enjoy reading about what others face at my age. oldtrig
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:04 AM   #32
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Oldtrig, you are right that health insurance is probably the biggest challenge for early retirement types - it sure has been for us. What a relief you are only 10 months away from Medicare eligibility, even though you pay to pay high premiums 'til then. Have you looked at a Medicare Advantage option or a supplemental policy?

It sounds like you have the finances to leave work as well without considering the commercial property. If so, that gives you options.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:18 AM   #33
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I hadn't read any of this thread before, since I'm just 55 and it doesn't really apply to me. But I was talking to my Mom yesterday and she said she pays ~$800 a month for Medicare. She's single, and her only income is SS and a VA benefit totaling about $3K/month. She has Tricare for Life (I guess that's a part B or D or something addition, I know nothing abbout this stuff). She's also pretty wacky about money and explanations. She doesn't always understand and I think she makes stuff up. Is this possible, though? Can she really be paying that much for Medicare coverage? I pay less than that for a very expensive plan for DW and I as retirees, although it's partially subsidized by Megacorp. I would appreciate any help understanding this, so I can know what to ask her to maybe get a better explanation out of her.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:20 AM   #34
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$800 a month for medicare when she has Tricare? Not possible - unless she's being swindled by someone.

Her medicare part B should be ~$110 per month, then add to that whatever she pays to Tricare for part D and medigap coverage.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:28 AM   #35
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I hadn't read any of this thread before, since I'm just 55 and it doesn't really apply to me. But I was talking to my Mom yesterday and she said she pays ~$800 a month for Medicare.

That sounds very high for monthly coverage (some companies collect premiums quarterly).

Maybe she is lumping all her prescription costs in there to come up with $800 (and even that would be quite high unless she was taking a bunch stuff that her drug plan wouldn't cover).

Do a little more research. Take a look at all her insurance cards to see what sort of plan she is on and firm up the figures. Some key words to look for on those insurance cards are "advantage" or "x plan"
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:48 AM   #36
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I don't see her in person very often, but I'll be visiting in a few weeks for a little while. I'll see if I can get more information while I'm there. She often tells me stuff that turns out to be completely wrong or misunderstood, but sometimes she tells me things I totally disbelieve that turns out to be accurate. So I try to be open minded. For all I know she's including Medicare, parts A-Z, her taxes, and whatever else they might take out of a SS check. It's probably a good idea for me to learn more about this stuff anyway, both so I can be helpful to her as well as preparing myself for the day when I have to deal with it for us.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:52 AM   #37
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It's probably a good idea for me to learn more about this stuff anyway, both so I can be helpful to her as well as preparing myself for the day when I have to deal with it for us.
+1
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:03 AM   #38
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I don't see her in person very often, but I'll be visiting in a few weeks for a little while. I'll see if I can get more information while I'm there. She often tells me stuff that turns out to be completely wrong or misunderstood, but sometimes she tells me things I totally disbelieve that turns out to be accurate. So I try to be open minded. For all I know she's including Medicare, parts A-Z, her taxes, and whatever else they might take out of a SS check. It's probably a good idea for me to learn more about this stuff anyway, both so I can be helpful to her as well as preparing myself for the day when I have to deal with it for us.
It was linked earlier but I thought this thread was helpful for Medicare info and questions.Medicare Supplement Plans/Extend Health
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:11 PM   #39
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I tried this today. I requested a meeting to discuss exactly whats going on with all the new changes. I probably talked to much but at this point in my life I could care less. I told them exactly how I wanted things to be if they wanted me to stay. I think they were even shocked on me even thinking of retiring. I was assured I would get the help I needed to do the jobs that are required. I know anyone can be replaced but our operation is set up in a way that nobody has been trained to do my job. I got the attention of the higher ups and probably made my boss mad but again I do not care. I guess you can say I went over his head. It worked so maybe now I can stay on until Medicare kicks in. I hope so anyway. Thanks for the great info on SS and Medicare. Any more is appreciated. Oldtrig
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:20 PM   #40
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Oldtrig, I'm glad you spoke out like that. Hopefully some positive changes will result.
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