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Forced to get Medicare--grrr!
Old 10-22-2012, 10:50 AM   #1
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Forced to get Medicare--grrr!

I've been on disability since 2005, but have been covered under my DH's work coverage. I guess I was automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A, but I never received a card, and I had no idea I was covered. I realized today the card came to me during the time our letter carrier was hoarding mail--he was arrested, but they never did get the mail to everyone. Now that my DH has taken early retirement from a megacorp, I have 8 months to get Part B at $100 a month plus any Part C and Part D I choose. We're still covered for two years by the megacorp under the employee-rate--it was part of the early retirement package. If I choose to refuse the Part B Medicare coverage within 8 months, then I pay a penalty so the premiums would forever be higher. You'd think the government would be happy to let megacorp insure me, but I guess not. I really don't get that?? Wouldn't I be saving them money? My medical costs routinely are pretty darn high.

So now I have to figure out what coverage I need, and I'm betting it's going to cost more. Currently we pay $220 a month for two of us and the coverage is excellent. At least the SSA guy I spoke with felt my pain--he thought it was a stupid law, too.

Just venting. . . And if anyone can recommend a good Advantage or Medigap plan, I'm all ears. Talking with a local Medicare counselor this afternoon.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:12 AM   #2
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Medicare Open Enrollment Season Opens For Advantage Health and Drug Plans

or go straight to

https://medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx


and/or

SHIP Programs Can Help Seniors Save Money On A Medicare Drug Plan - Kaiser Health News

also a Google search seems appropriate here.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:14 AM   #3
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Were I you I would appeal the Part B penalty. Be prepared to show that your letter carrier was convicted of holding your mail. Worth a try.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PawPrint53 View Post
I've been on disability since 2005, but have been covered under my DH's work coverage. I guess I was automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A, but I never received a card, and I had no idea I was covered.
You never received anything other than a Medicare card in the mail?

Sorry, but if you were declared truly disabled by your former employer, including transfering you health benefits to Medicare, you would have received more than one mailing concerning your situation.

Under SSD (Social Security Disability), you are automatically enrolled in Medicare (Part A) after 24 months of receiving SSD benefits.

If you are/were receiving benefits from your current/past employer, I'm sure they sent you more than a few notices concerning your benefits along with any changes (as related to SSD) in the future.

Yes, I've been there, and yes, there are many, many mailings concerned as related to your condition/situation...
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:47 AM   #5
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To answer one of your questions....

It think they want you to sign up for Part B now is so they get the premiums from everybody and the healthy do not skip it until they need it... this is a common theme on most health care discussions...
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:08 PM   #6
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Oh, yes. There is also this helpful website: Medicare Rights Center - Home
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:19 PM   #7
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Not knowing the details of the postman's behavior, it likely took place over an extended time. Perhaps the OP could negotiate a back payment in lieu of penalty.
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:48 PM   #8
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Actually, the letter carrier thing is a nonissue. I was covered under Medicare Part A and have been since 2005 without realizing it. There's no penalty involved unless I don't sign up for Part B coverage by March 31. I'm just whining about the fact that I have to either 1) pay $100 for Part B and still pay for my current coverage at $219 per month (for both of us) for a total of $319 per month or b) pay $100 and get an Advantage or Medigap plan and discontinue the employer coverage (my DH's former employer), which is coverage I like and am used to. I imagine to get similar coverage with a Medigap or Advantage plan, I'm going to have to pay more than what we're paying now plus my PCP only takes two insurance plans.
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:52 PM   #9
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So let's see if I have this right. You are getting Part A at no cost to you and would pay $100 for Part B and you and spouse pay $219 for employer coverage - so for $319 a month in total you have out the kazoo health insurance coverage - and you are whining about it?

I pay more than 1.5 times that for myself and DW for a high deductible HI plan. Sorry, but no sympathy here. You have it good.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:17 PM   #10
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Yup, you bet I am. If you were paying 1.5 times what I pay and then you were forced to pay 2.0 times what I pay when you'd rather just pay 1.5 times what I pay, wouldn't you be rather upset? Sure, I don't have to pay as much as you do, but perhaps we don't have the same income so as a percentage of my income, I'm paying more than you are. I'm pretty sure you don't have the same chronic condition that qualified me for disability.
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