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Medicare estimates for planning
Old 01-28-2015, 05:58 AM   #1
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Medicare estimates for planning

Hello All,

I recently retired from a Megacorp j*b. I am 61 and presently using Cobra for our medical needs (DW is 59 but has chronic health issues - lost most of her small intestines and needs external nutritional support, TPN). Our present Cobra premium is approx. $1750/month.

Looking ahead I am starting to look at Medicare costs. DW has been disabled more than 2 years and could apply for Medicare but I doubt it's better than the Cobra policy we have now (Aetna). It costs an arm and leg but I feel it's a lot better than what we would get from Medicare.

My understanding is that DW and I will require our own policies-can't have one policy with a dependent as with Cobra. Medicare supplement Plan F looks to be the best choice since it seems to cover the most, Of course it has the highest premium.

I am trying to put a number on what maximum yearly premium I should plan on to cover Medicare Part A ,B, supplement, and D (drugs). This would include any deductibles, copays, etc. I feel like my Medicare premiums will be in the same ballpark as our Cobra premiums ($20+K/yr). However, since there seems to be a lot of retirees who pay Medicare premiums maybe I'm getting worked up unnecessarily.

So my question to all Medicare retirees: what is the maximum Medicare premium to plan for? I know it depends on location, We live in Chester County Pennsylvania, zip code 19460.

Thanks, in advance, for any feedback.

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Old 01-28-2015, 06:22 AM   #2
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You can go to the Medicare site and see what the premiums are for Part A & B. The part B premium goes up based on income. Supplement policies and Part D programs vary by what you select. Maybe someone one these plans can give you a ballpark estimate.

Your COBRA is very expensive. Unless you are getting very low deductibles, you would both probably save money on Medicare (maybe for your wife) or individual policies on I priced high deductible plans ($6k) and can get them in Texas for around $550/mo each. I suggest you look into this while open enrollment is still going on.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane -- Marcus Aurelius
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:00 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by engr View Post
It costs an arm and leg but I feel it's a lot better than what we would get from Medicare.
I wouldn't bet my house on that
Don't know your wife would qualify for Medicare's definition of disabled or not or whether disabled costs/policies are the same as for elderly but if she did and they were............Medicare B is slightly over $100/mo. (each) and may be higher if income is too high Part B costs |

A good supplement (F) is something like $150/mo and a Rx plan can be as low as $16/mo for a total of about $270/mo. In most cases no out-of-pocket for medical expenses but you may have to pay deductible/copay/coinsurance for Rx. You can also go Advantage instead of supplement and probably pay a bit less.
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:19 AM   #4
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COBRA vs. Medicare with a Medigap policy? I think you are wasting money with COBRA.
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:43 AM   #5
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You need to do some research about Medicare. Don't know if your wife fits the definition to get early Medicare.

Not sure why you think your policy is better than Medicare...

DH is on Medicare with Supplement F and other than premiums during 2014 the only thing he paid out of pocket was his share of a couple of prescriptions (he does have a prescription plan). He doesn't have a lot of prescriptions though.

Medicare 2015 costs at a glance |

Look here it get basic Medicare costs and go to the detail to find out about income based premiums. Last year we had premiums at a higher level due to high income in prior years (and none of the things to reduce premiums applied).

Retiring, though, is one of the things that will allow use of a lower subsequent income to possibly avoid the high income premiums.

Even so -- even with the high premiums last year and even with DH's Supplement F being around $270 a month (he is 67), his total medical costs last year were less than mine (and he had major rotator cuff surgery and 6 months of PT).

I keep hearing some people saying that they have difficulty finding doctors to take Medicare and I'm sure that is the case sometimes. But, he has not had that problem at all.
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:49 PM   #6
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Perhaps you should look into this more,and when you can go on medicare.
Per person unless you have a really high income 104.50/month for part B.
Since you are in Pa you can get a supplement plan F from Geisinger, or if like me
Plan F high deductible which is around 2000 deductable,but the plan at my age cost me 62/month. After part B deductible of 147, then any time I go for a routine doc visit it cost me 20% which is about 20 bucks. Once you might hit 2000 for a given year it turns into a regular plan F, meaning the covered things are at basically 100%
If you go to the ER you will hit that 2 grand right away.

Part D drugs can be tricky, especially if your wife is on any expensive drugs,at least the type you get from a pharmacy.
Look into part D very carefully, make sure all the drugs are on any plan you might choose.,look at the tiers. Unless the drugs are generic you are pretty much screwed like the rest of us, you will hit the donut whole fast and have no coverage until at the catastrophic level. Even then you must make sure the drug is on the formulary, otherwise zero coverage for that drug. Part D cost anywhere from about 18 to up over 100/month/person depending on the plan.

I would stay away from medicare advantage plans, since subsidies are becoming less.

The other alternative to COBRA I might guess is Obamacare, at your ages.
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Old 01-28-2015, 03:53 PM   #7
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If she purchases a Medicare Supplement under age 65 (disabled), expect to pay approx 2.5 x what someone age 65 pays. The insurance knows they are buying a claim (since she is disabled and actuarily more likely to cost insurance dollars). Just FYI.

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Old 01-28-2015, 04:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Richard4444 View Post
If she purchases a Medicare Supplement under age 65 (disabled), expect to pay approx 2.5 x what someone age 65 pays. The insurance knows they are buying a claim (since she is disabled and actuarily more likely to cost insurance dollars). Just FYI.

That is not true for all states...

"In New York State, insurance companies must sell people with Medicare a Medigap policy at any time, no matter their age or health status. Companies cannot deny you coverage or charge you more because of your health status. Also, in New York State, people with Medicare under age 65 have the same rights to buy a Medigap as people 65 and older."

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