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Old 08-13-2014, 05:35 PM   #41
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Do you remember the steps involved in activating this feature ? Do you just walk into the gym with your insurance card and say "sign me up" ?
Yep, that's it!
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:53 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post

For your $11,900 + 300 would be $6,100 a person. Do you have vision, dental and other costs besides that figure?
Medicare or the Supplemental policies don't cover vision, dental or hearing. Some of the Medicare Advantage plans will cover some of those costs, but we elected not to sign up for a MA plan due to the inability to pick doctors, paying deductibles, other costs and the situations that would allow the plan to make decisions on what is covered (in some cases).

But we have the supplemental plan that covers all costs (deductibles, co-pays, etc). We are buying full plan F since DW has big issues and it has paid off for us. I also had a full hip replacement by a doctor of my choice using the procedure of my choice (anterior procedure). Cost to me for that was $0.00.

The variability in published Medicare average (median?) costs comes from the cost differences in the supplemental plans, I would guess. Please go have a look at those and see what I mean.

Some people will sign on for less expensive Medicare supplemental coverage by picking a less costly plan or going with an MA situation, but we elected to buy the best you can as it can't get better, but only worse. And as you get older, your health declines and we don't want to be put in the position of having more out of pocket as time goes on.

One thing you find out about Medicare is that it has pretty limited coverage and if you get really sick, it can cost you a pile beyond what it pays. I suppose if you go broke, you can choose to sign on to Medicaid (unless you are in a state that has not expanded coverage).
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Old 08-13-2014, 06:16 PM   #43
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Just to add to the cost mess, our Long Term Care insurance runs close to 5000 a year
for the both of us, not great coverage. I really never want to have to use it.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:10 PM   #44
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Do you remember the steps involved in activating this feature ? Do you just walk into the gym with your insurance card and say "sign me up" ?
DH received a Silver Sneakers card when he got his insurance card. Had he misplaced it, he could have gone online and printed one out from the United Healthcare website.
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:04 AM   #45
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Telly:

I wouldn't worry so much about costs if you are a bit away from Medicare, time wise. What is more important is understanding what your options are and why to choose what you do. Here are some important thoughts:

1. Understand what Medicare covers and what it pays (and doesn't cover). Get a 2014 "Medicare and You" handbook if you can and study it.

2. In addition to Medicare, understand the differences between Medigap insurance and Medicare Advantage plans. Also understand switching between both programs and how it's done (or not done).

3. Review the different Medigap plans (A. B, C ...F..etc) and see which one will meet your needs.

4. Learn about Part D drug plans and what the tiers mean and how to pick a plan. You can go on Medicare's site with a drug list and run different cost scenarios.

Some questions to ask yourself:

1. Do you want to have the ability to pick your own doctors?

2. Do you want coverage for Medicare deductibles? (check the hospital stay deductible and see what it is, and it's not annual)

3. Will you need coverage outside of your home state? Out of the country?

Good luck. The above are some basic questions you should get familiar with.

Tony
Thanks for all the great info and insight that you have provided in this whole topic!

DW & I have a few years before reaching 65, but the years are going by fast. We presently are on a group plan, which has just increased to $6900/yr for DW & me combined. It is $2,400 or so deductible per person, then 80-20, I don't remember the out of pocket max. No dental or vision, that is ours to pay as we go. So that works out to $288 per person per month for premiums for what is covered.

From what I am reading in this thread, it seems unlikely that premium costs when we start Medicare plus reasonable supplements in a few years will be less than or equal to what we are paying now.

No real harm done, but I feel a bit foolish for thinking even just a couple of years ago that reaching age 65 and Medicare would be arriving at "medical premium easy street". Probably me and millions of other people!

I have a lot to look into, to get a feel for it. I also need to look into DW's retirement medical that she will get, I assume its a supplement plan of some sort, so there is a possibility that DW's premium costs will be lower than mine.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:50 PM   #46
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I have a lot to look into, to get a feel for it. I also need to look into DW's retirement medical that she will get, I assume its a supplement plan of some sort, so there is a possibility that DW's premium costs will be lower than mine.
Well, that was worthwhile! Found that the retirement medical premium for retiree + spouse if both are Medicare Part A & B eligible is... $20 a month total! And it has lower deductible and lower out of pocket max than what we have now. And includes prescription drug coverage.

So the total monthly premium for us (if it were today) would be $104 for Medicare Part B *2, plus the $20 = $228, so divide by 2 for per-person = $114. Compared to $288/person today, pre-Medicare on group ins. plan. No complaint with that! I think a loud WOOO-HOOOOO! is in order...

I will be 65 before DW, so I will have to navigate the Medicare world on my own for 1+ year, when the time comes around. So I will still need to learn all the ins and outs, and not mess up. But, this IS some good news! And it is extremely unlikely that the retirement medical would be shut down. They could always increase the premiums some.
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