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Old 05-20-2012, 09:55 AM   #1
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Health Insurance

In the near future I will have to decide my Health Insurance Plans. I am looking for guidance for choosing between Advantage and Supplemental Plans. Does anyone have any input. I having difficulty justifying the costs for the Supplemental Insurance.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:40 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by gunner1 View Post
In the near future I will have to decide my Health Insurance Plans. I am looking for guidance for choosing between Advantage and Supplemental Plans. Does anyone have any input. I having difficulty justifying the costs for the Supplemental Insurance.
here's a similar thread Bogleheads • View topic - Medicare Health Supplement question

As you would expect, there are some benefits for the added costs for the suppement If there weren't, no one would purchase them. Whether they are important enough for you is what will sway your decision........and as is typical in these type of decisions, you may not have all the info you need to know if you made the right decision for many years, if ever.

Some questions to ask: can you live with the doctors in the Advantage network? can you live with the doctors in the Advantage network if they change in the future? can you live with having a gateway PCP physician who controls your access to specialists? If you got a rare disease and needed a specialist not in your network, could you live with that?
Do the doctors take Medicare.
These are the usual questions of HMO vs less restrictive networks.

Not an easy decision because of the uncertainties......from the referenced thread, one thing to learn is that it seems to be easier to change from Supplement to Advantage so one possible path is to go supplement first and seek further info/knowledge/experience from others in the future.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:51 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply, I will investigate the thread you mentioned.
Gunter
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:18 PM   #4
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an interesting chart here
http://www.oregon.gov/DCBS/SHIBA/doc...chart.pdf?ga=t

and lots more homework here:
Google
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:25 PM   #5
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That is a very good chart and does make you consider why you should pay the premium for Medigap similiar to the thread link that kaneohe provided. Appreciate this information from both of you.
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
an interesting chart here
http://www.oregon.gov/DCBS/SHIBA/doc...chart.pdf?ga=t

and lots more homework here:
Google
Very good summary chart. Thanks! The trade-offs are similar to other health care insurance. Some people want access to more providers and greater geographical coverage, this will cost more. Others are willing to live with some service provider network restrictions and will benefit from a lower price.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:53 PM   #7
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We have had Medicare Advantage plans for three years and are happy with results so far. First two years we had United Health Care Secure Horizon and this year changed to Blue Cross/Blue Shield (called Blue Medicare PPO). We changed because Secure Horizons increased the price for primary care doctor visit as well as Specialist care. Both plans have a lot of hospitals and doctors under their umbrella and both had good prescription drug coverage. We are really happy with BCBS Medicare Advantage plan. One big thing to consider is that if you have any existing conditions that might require more/future serious care(like me), once you're in an Advantage plan, you can't just go back to Medicare and a supplemental plan. Still, it's nice not having to pay any kind of premium other that your Medicare premium. Also, look for the maximum out of pocket cost/year for which you are responsible. For personal reasons, we decided we would never consider an HMO. And we really don't know what will happen in 2014 do we?
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Old 05-20-2012, 03:30 PM   #8
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I found the link to the Boglehead's thread on Medicare to be very helpful and reassured me that I want Medicare A, B and Medigap F. A physician on the thread summed it up pretty well that when he is in need of a specialist, he wants to have the choice of the best out there and that's what I've heard from my own doctors.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:54 PM   #9
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lots of info here Medicare.gov
esp. top center....compare drug and health plans (advantage)
and compare medigap policies (supplement)

You can get prices for some supplement plans here
https://www.extendhealth.com/
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:26 AM   #10
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Great information, I appreciate your input and insight.
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