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Medicare with retiree secondary questions
Old 02-08-2019, 06:58 AM   #1
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Medicare with retiree secondary questions

I turn 65 next month and will start drawing SS and go on Medicare. In order to keep my DW on my retiree health insurance plan I need to take their ďChoice 65Ē secondary plan. Itís cheap at $16.50/month. See attachment for coverage. The documentation states that this is not a supplemental plan to Medicare. Iíve been communicating with Boomer Benefits and sent them the plan information. They tell me that if I take that plan then I cannot have another supplement or secondary plan. I was hoping to get a low/no copay and low/no deductible plan. I do need coverage nationwide and in Canada for our travels. Donít mind paying for it but donít want to lose the very good plan for my DW.
Does anyone have any experience with this situation?
Any suggestions or thoughts?
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File Type: jpg TG plan.jpg (550.0 KB, 49 views)
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:00 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by folivier View Post
I turn 65 next month and will start drawing SS and go on Medicare. In order to keep my DW on my retiree health insurance plan I need to take their ďChoice 65Ē secondary plan. Itís cheap at $16.50/month. See attachment for coverage. The documentation states that this is not a supplemental plan to Medicare. Iíve been communicating with Boomer Benefits and sent them the plan information. They tell me that if I take that plan then I cannot have another supplement or secondary plan. I was hoping to get a low/no copay and low/no deductible plan. I do need coverage nationwide and in Canada for our travels. Donít mind paying for it but donít want to lose the very good plan for my DW.
Does anyone have any experience with this situation?
Any suggestions or thoughts?
No attachment?

FWIW, Medicare does not cover you in Canada. I buy an annual travel insurance policy for my travels overseas and to Canada.

omni
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:53 AM   #3
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Attachment is there, not sure how to have it displayed in the post.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:58 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by folivier View Post
Attachment is there, not sure how to have it displayed in the post.
PDFs donít display within the post AFAIK, but I was able to click on the icon and read it.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:08 AM   #5
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Fixed it!
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:47 AM   #6
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To clarify, my question is: can I have both this retiree secondary and buy a Medicare supplement?
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:01 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by folivier View Post
To clarify, my question is: can I have both this retiree secondary and buy a Medicare supplement?
Member MBSC is our "go to" expert on all things related to Medicare insurance. Hopefully he will see this and weigh in with an answer.

In the mean time, my belief is no. I'm not aware of any situation where anyone on Medicare has anything beyond a single supplement and Googling the question results in responses like this:

Quote:
[When switching from one supplement to another...] The first 30 days of the new policy is the period where you can decide if you want to keep the new policy. During this period, you’ll need to pay the premium for both policies. Beyond this 30-day period, you can’t have more than one Medicare Supplement insurance plan.
https://www.ehealthinsurance.com/med...upplement-plan

And this:

Quote:
By law, Medigap insurers aren’t allowed to sell more than one Medigap plan to the same person.
https://www.aarp.org/health/medicare...lan-at-a-time/
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:11 AM   #8
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After looking at the attachment, I'm not sure what the hoped-for game plan really is.

Is your DW under 65, or 65 or over?

Are you trying to keep coverage for DW via your retirement health plan, while you go your own way (your "own way" meaning YOU on Medicare, and YOU picking up an MA plan, and YOU not having anything to do with the retirement plan other than paying the premium for DW)?
I said "MA plan", because of your comment:

Quote:
I was hoping to get a low/no copay and low/no deductible plan.
The only "No Deductible" Medigap Plan is Plan F, which will close to new entrants in 2020, and there have been predictions that existing Plan F participants may see a disproportional higher premium cost over time due to a closed risk pool (no "young" 65'ers coming in anymore starting in 2020).
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:41 AM   #9
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I am assuming the OP's DW is still under 65, and he needs to take this secondary plan to keep her on the pre-65 retiree medical.

Not sure why you would want a supplement in addition to the secondary plan. Remember, in most cases, Medicare will pay 80%, then the secondary plan will pay 80% of the remainder (after your $100 deductible). So you are paying 4%, up to your max out of pocket, which is only $1,000.

Looks to me like you have a sweet deal. Total maximum cost is about $1,300/year (16.50x12+100+1000), and to hit this you would need to have medical costs over $25,000.

EDIT to add: Of course you still have to pay you Part B premium and the Part B deductible of $185/year.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:15 AM   #10
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A bit more info. DW is 62 so has 2-1/2 years before she goes on Medicare. We are both happily retired.
Yesterday DW spoke with my former employer and they confirmed that the policy they offer (which I need to take to keep DW covered) is a secondary policy that only covers what Medicare doesn't cover. IOW does not pay on the 20% that would be my copay but only on what Medicare doesn't cover, so is very limited in coverage. So it is similar to a catastrophic policy. They recommend to all retirees to also take out a supplemental policy. DW then spoke with a very helpful rep. at United Healthcare and he said basically the same. My former employer rep. said to file with Medicare and the supplemental policy since Medicare only allows 1 supplemental policy. Then later to file with the Choice 65 policy if there are charges that apply to that policy specifically. So it appears that I can buy a plan F, G, or what alphabet I would like to keep my costs low.
I also will need a drug plan since that is not covered by any of the above.
Clear as mud? Hope so, since it's not to me. Hopefully my lovely DW understands how to do this.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:40 AM   #11
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I see up on the very top of the plan description........
retiree only,spouse only, ........so it looks like your wife can be covered and you can get your supplement and only pay for your wife on your retirement plan. No sense paying for something (for both of you on your retirement plan if you get a good supplement) that you probably won't use. Might want to confirm w/ your retirement plan that you can enroll your wife only.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:51 AM   #12
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A bit more info. DW is 62 so has 2-1/2 years before she goes on Medicare. We are both happily retired.
Yesterday DW spoke with my former employer and they confirmed that the policy they offer (which I need to take to keep DW covered) is a secondary policy that only covers what Medicare doesn't cover. IOW does not pay on the 20% that would be my copay but only on what Medicare doesn't cover, so is very limited in coverage. So it is similar to a catastrophic policy. They recommend to all retirees to also take out a supplemental policy. DW then spoke with a very helpful rep. at United Healthcare and he said basically the same. My former employer rep. said to file with Medicare and the supplemental policy since Medicare only allows 1 supplemental policy. Then later to file with the Choice 65 policy if there are charges that apply to that policy specifically. So it appears that I can buy a plan F, G, or what alphabet I would like to keep my costs low.
I also will need a drug plan since that is not covered by any of the above.
Clear as mud? Hope so, since it's not to me. Hopefully my lovely DW understands how to do this.
I think you need to clarify this again with your policy provider. I know several people with secondary policies, and all pay out as I described above, though your premium is quite low, so maybe it is different. But if your retiree plan is heavily subsidized, maybe the post 65 plan is as well.

I could be wrong, but I think it is worth a second call.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:50 PM   #13
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After numerous phone calls I can take an additional supplemental policy in addition to the "required" retiree policy.
My next question is the difference between Plan F & Plan G. The quotes are $170/month for F and $123/month for G for Mutual of Omaha, United Healthcare is higher. Even figuring the $185 deductible for G the rates don't add up. Is there something that F covers that G doesn't?
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:57 PM   #14
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Is there something that F covers that G doesn't?
Only the annual deductible.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:47 PM   #15
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To further clarify, in order for my DW (62 YO) to stay on my retiree pre-65 plan I need to take the choice 65 plan from them.
Also the last 2 years I've met my max out of pocket and probably will have more medical expenses going forward. So that is my desire for plan F or G.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:19 PM   #16
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..........My next question is the difference between Plan F & Plan G. The quotes are $170/month for F and $123/month for G for Mutual of Omaha, United Healthcare is higher. Even figuring the $185 deductible for G the rates don't add up. Is there something that F covers that G doesn't?
As REW points out, the annual deductible is covered by F, not by G. Using your example of MoO at $170/mo for Plan F, but only $123/mo for Plan G in your area:
I have assumed that the MoO's actuaries/tea leaf readers/bean counters etc. have seen, or are predicting, that a Plan F person will run up a higher bill than a Plan G person per unit of time now or into the future.

Postulating further, it could be due to a "I have no deductible, so what the heck, I'll use it a lot" effect. And/Or it could be the insurance company looking ahead to January of 2020, when Plan F will no longer be offered to new enrollees. Which means no "new blood" adding onto the Plan F's ever again, so Plan F becomes an aging group, which one would expect would use more $$$ as time goes on. Therefore, charge them more.
However, we really can't say for sure what an insurance company will do in the future, though the past can be a guide, but the caveot still applies about past performance does not guarantee future results.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:13 AM   #17
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Well after spending countless hours back and forth with Boomer benefits, the insurance companies, ex-company benefits dept., Our state SHIIP rep. we still don't have a definite answer whether we can have both my company $16.90 secondary plan and Plan G. Local doctor's office said they would have no problem billing Plan G provider. But everyone else says that Medicare will pay first then forward the remainder to only 1 provider which would probably be the company plan, not Plan G. The cost for my DW (if I don't take my retiree plan and she loses health coverage) to take out a different plan for her would be much more $$.
I'm tempted to take the company secondary plan and also Plan G. Then if Plan G doesn't pay off just discontinue paying those premiums. Not how I like to do business.
It seems that no one has a clue how to do this. My company benefits rep. told us that most of their retirees have this and a supplement.
What to do?
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:27 AM   #18
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Can you get a copy of the "mysterious" company secondary plan so you can see, in writing, exactly what it covers?

Do you know some company employees on Medicare who have the plan and can tell you what it pays?
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:45 AM   #19
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And how confident are you that the company won't discontinue this secondary plan? And then where would you be if you didn't get a supplement?
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:10 AM   #20
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To further clarify, in order for my DW (62 YO) to stay on my retiree pre-65 plan I need to take the choice 65 plan from them.
........................
The cost options at the top of your link are:
retiree only/spouse only for 16.50/mo.

Can't you just enroll your wife? If not, what's the meaning of those options?
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