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Medigap Plans to Rule Out?
Old 08-02-2018, 07:29 PM   #1
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Medigap Plans to Rule Out?

I keep procrastinating on enrolling in Medicare, partly because every time I look at it, I get annoyed with the complexity that's been built in.



Of the Medigap plans, A,B,C,D,F,G,K,L,M,N, are there any that I should definitely not consider?
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:53 PM   #2
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Al, it's simpler to tell you the only ones I would consider: F, F-HD, G or N. All the others have too many exclusions or limitations.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:13 PM   #3
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In another thread, you said you wanted catastrophic coverage. High Deductible F (HD-F) fits the bill. Medicare still pays first. After Medicare pays their 80%, you pay the remaining 20% of the lower Medicare approved amount until you have paid $2240. Then, HD-F takes over paying the 20%. The "deductible" is actually more like an out-of-pocket maximum.

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Given that we have a lot of money "in the bank," and we never use insurance to cut costs (only to eliminate catastrophic expenses)...
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Al, have you considered a MediGap plan to cover the 20% not covered by Medicare? You might find an F - Hi Deductible option in your area.
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Originally Posted by DatumPoint5 View Post
+1 to MichaelB's suggestion to consider MediGap Plan F-HD
Some fear HD-F premiums will also increase after 2020 when HD-G becomes available. IMHO, the increased medical costs for the older, sicker pool of enrollees will be applied to the deductible first, insulating HD-F from most of the increase.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:15 PM   #4
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Medicare Advantage with Kaiser is the way to go.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:21 PM   #5
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Medicare Advantage with Kaiser is the wat to go.
That's only if it's available in your geographical area. Otherwise it's not the way to go.
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:06 PM   #6
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Medicare Advantage with Kaiser is the wat to go.
I'm from the area where Kaiser originated. The original Oakland hospital and clinic was a hellhole in the 60's, 70's and 80's. My mother used to refer to the place as the witch doctors of Kaiser. In her opinion, no real doctor would practice there, only people that graduated in the bottom quartile of their medical school class and couldn't find a better job. Possibly a small step above Highland Hospital, the County cesspool, but she was not totally convinced.

I hear that outside of the Bay Area, Kaiser is pretty good. However, I am of the view that leopards have great difficulty changing their spots, so I will continue to avoid Kaiser.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:28 PM   #7
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Al, it's simpler to tell you the only ones I would consider: F, F-HD, G or N. All the others have too many exclusions or limitations.
I agree with you but would narrow it down even more. I switched to an AARP G plan because even paying the full deductible every year it was cheaper than the F plan I originally went with. Might eventually go with a G-HD is they ever come up with one. I've had a few medical issues including rotator cuff surgery so I would have run through the high deductible in F-HD two years running. I switched to G a year ago and since the Part B deductible had already been paid under the F plan I was on, I had 5 months of no deductible to pay under the G plan. The G plan premium is not onerous and it gives me peace of mind that I'm not going to be stuck with costly surprises.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:55 PM   #8
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I'm from the area where Kaiser originated. The original Oakland hospital and clinic was a hellhole in the 60's, 70's and 80's. My mother used to refer to the place as the witch doctors of Kaiser. In her opinion, no real doctor would practice there, only people that graduated in the bottom quartile of their medical school class and couldn't find a better job. Possibly a small step above Highland Hospital, the County cesspool, but she was not totally convinced.

I hear that outside of the Bay Area, Kaiser is pretty good. However, I am of the view that leopards have great difficulty changing their spots, so I will continue to avoid Kaiser.
Another Bay Area resident here. I kind of smiled when I read this comment as it hit home with me as well. Granted these are all just perceptions but when I was employed by mega corp, Kaiser was looked upon as a lower-class option. But here's the deal, I do believe it has come a long way in its standing.
Kaiser seems to do away with a lot of the headaches of dealing with the paperwork of healthcare issues. Kind of like one stop shopping. If my situation was a bit different
(single), I might consider them. But, as my wife is a retired RN and well versed in this area, we'll be looking for something else.
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Old 08-03-2018, 06:15 AM   #9
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I'm from the area where Kaiser originated. The original Oakland hospital and clinic was a hellhole in the 60's, 70's and 80's. My mother used to refer to the place as the witch doctors of Kaiser. In her opinion, no real doctor would practice there, only people that graduated in the bottom quartile of their medical school class and couldn't find a better job. Possibly a small step above Highland Hospital, the County cesspool, but she was not totally convinced.



I hear that outside of the Bay Area, Kaiser is pretty good. However, I am of the view that leopards have great difficulty changing their spots, so I will continue to avoid Kaiser.


I was born in Kaiser Oakland. Several of my fellow residents in pediatrics (from UCSF) have spent their careers at Kaiser. Lately they have done a lot of excellent clinical research, at least in pediatrics, thanks to the ability to gather and data.

It had a bad reputation in the past, but growing up in Kaiser, we had no problems with it. DHs family was with Kaiser Oakland. They took good care of my parents in their older years.

Taking the $$ out of the equation IMO allows docs to concentrate on practicing good medicine, and patients not to have to worry about the bill. If we had Kaiser here I would strongly consider participating, knowing what I now know.
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:10 AM   #10
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Another Bay Area resident here. I kind of smiled when I read this comment as it hit home with me as well. Granted these are all just perceptions but when I was employed by mega corp, Kaiser was looked upon as a lower-class option. But here's the deal, I do believe it has come a long way in its standing.
Kaiser seems to do away with a lot of the headaches of dealing with the paperwork of healthcare issues. Kind of like one stop shopping. If my situation was a bit different
(single), I might consider them. But, as my wife is a retired RN and well versed in this area, we'll be looking for something else.
Yep. Not surprised at all.
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Old 08-03-2018, 09:09 AM   #11
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I would not recommend F since it is going away in the near future and you may be stuck in a group with older insureds and your premiums may sky rocket. I chose G, same as F except you pay the first $183 but the total premiums for me for G was much lower than F. I did not want an Advantage plan because I travel alot and did not want to be restricted as to the doctors I see.
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Old 08-03-2018, 09:17 AM   #12
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I thought The Cost of a G was just F - the deductible. But in our area the difference is $170 pa. Small Savings but small nevertheless. I am almost tempted to go for Plan F as it is less hassle in the long run.
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Old 08-03-2018, 09:40 AM   #13
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I thought The Cost of a G was just F - the deductible. But in our area the difference is $170 pa.
I found the difference in F and G premiums to vary wildly in my area, from a low of $156 to an almost unbelievable $1,080 per year. It really does pay to get as many quotes as possible or even easier, use an independent agent like Boomerbenefits.com to find the best rates for you.
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Old 08-03-2018, 11:35 AM   #14
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The Medicare B deductible for 2018 is $183, I think that applies no matter what state you live in but it increases a small amount every year. For me, taking the G policy meant I had to pay the $183 deductible, but it saved me $400 in premium, so it was an easy decision to take the G rather than the F. Plus since the F is being eliminated soon, most likely the F premiums for those grandfathered in will increase substantially.
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Old 08-03-2018, 11:55 AM   #15
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Helped an older relative (early 70s) sign up for Part B, Plan G, and drug plan this spring.

Like other posters, we found Plan G was cheaper than Plan F even paying the deductible.

Good thing they finally signed up for the above since they're undergoing spinal surgery this week.
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Old 08-03-2018, 12:03 PM   #16
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Last yer I qualified and switched from full plan F to G and saved about $120/month in premium difference. The G deductible is only $183/year.
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Old 08-03-2018, 02:03 PM   #17
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I recently attended the One Exchange/Via Benefits "seminar" on Medicare. When I questioned the speaker (i.e. insurance salesman) about the possibility of premiums increasing dramatically for Plan F participants after it closes, he stated that when another Medicare plan closed to new enrollment (can't remember the letter) and the pool changed and aged, premiums did not follow. He expected that to be the case with Plan F.

I'm still waiting to find out what reimbursements we get if I don't use Via Benefits to enroll. They apparently don't offer the AARP plan for my ex employer. The enrollment booklet arrives in September. Since half the seminar was about how to enroll through them and the "help" you can get in picking a plan from them, I expect to have to crowbar the information out of these folks.
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Old 08-03-2018, 02:09 PM   #18
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I was initially planning to buy Plan F high deductible because I thought that it made the most financial sense. But when it came right down to it I decided that the decision was more than just a financial one. I've been simplifying my investments for years in order to prepare for a time when I will likely not be as mentally sharp as I am today. It only made sense to me that there was also value keeping my medical life as simple as possible too.

Beyond living a healthy and safe lifestyle (which I do) I can't control what happens with my health. But in thinking about managing my medical bills I wanted to make that process as simple and straightforward as possible. For that reason I ended up deciding between plans F or G (not high deductible) because I can afford it and it keeps claims and paperwork as simple as possible - basically everything is covered as long as the treating physician accepts Medicare assignment. I ended up choosing plan G for the same reasons others have stated above. It adds the complication of the Medicare deductible not being covered but that I decided I could handle that.

I think that simplifying life for old age is an important consideration. Of course finances must come into play and may be the overriding consideration but in my case simplification won out.
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Old 08-03-2018, 02:15 PM   #19
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I was initially planning to buy Plan F high deductible because I thought that it made the most financial sense. But when it came right down to it I decided that the decision was more than just a financial one. I've been simplifying my investments for years in order to prepare for a time when I will likely not be as mentally sharp as I am today. It only made sense to me that there was also value keeping my medical life as simple as possible too.

Beyond living a healthy and safe lifestyle (which I do) I can't control what happens with my health. But in thinking about managing my medical bills I wanted to make that process as simple and straightforward as possible. For that reason I ended up deciding between plans F or G (not high deductible) because I can afford it and it keeps claims and paperwork as simple as possible - basically everything is covered as long as the treating physician accepts Medicare assignment. I ended up choosing plan G for the same reasons others have stated above. It adds the complication of the Medicare deductible not being covered but that I decided I could handle that.

I think that simplifying life for old age is an important consideration. Of course finances must come into play and may be the overriding consideration but in my case simplification won out.
That has been my thinking too. Simpler is better. I have a wallet full of credit cards and I am winnowing those down too. Moving my decades-old DRP accounts (remember when they were the cheapest way to buy stocks?) to Fidelity. Getting rid of the slacker yielding on-line bank accounts. I hate paperwork, so a thinner file for the medical records will reduce stress as well. Fewer people to chase around for payment.
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Old 08-03-2018, 02:45 PM   #20
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Same here about simplifying.

And I have a lot of simplifying to do!!!
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