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Signing Up For Medicare
Old 11-16-2012, 09:20 PM   #1
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Signing Up For Medicare

DW is 64.5 and facing signing up for medicare (I still have a couple years to go). We are very happy with our HMO (Kaiser) and expect to stay with them as long as we live where we do or in any area they cover. This is an "Advantage' plan under medicare. Is there any reason not to go with an HMO/Advantage plan if you like the medical care?
Seems like the only possible problem is if we move to a non covered area we might have issues getting comparable coverage. Seems like a slam dunk, is it really that easy? Trying to read and understand all the medicare information is challenging. Is there an accessible medicare web board comparable to this site?

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Old 11-17-2012, 05:20 AM   #2
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I don't know but advantage plans have been subsidized since their inception and IIRC that subsidy goes away when Obamacare is implemented. If the insurance companies need the subsidy to provide those nice "advantages" isn't it likely that they will dial them back when the gravy train derails?

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Old 11-17-2012, 06:46 AM   #3
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A related article: Fact Check: Obamacare

I suppose if you thought about it long enough, perhaps someone could do a semi-quantitative wild guess as to how much the Advantage suscriber costs might go up.
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:40 AM   #4
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No reason not to stay with the Kaiser plan, but as others point out, the Medicare Advantage plans are subsidized and the subsidies are being eliminated. A Medigap policy can be used to see what similar, unsubsidized coverage might cost. Some insurance companies use the subsidy to provide coverage for things like dental, and that would probably change.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:14 AM   #5
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FWIW, my (disabled) son's Medicare Advantage plan went up 40% for 2013.

You might think that is a lot, but compared to some increases for medical coverage posted on this site (Medicare or private insurance), it isn't that bad.

On a dollar amount, it's around $11 more/month. Not much for most folks, but for person that has minimual income, it is an impact.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:34 AM   #6
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FWIW... the government information on medicare and supplements.

The only downside that I can see is the more variable changes in the Advantage plan price.

You correctly assumed that if you move, that a comparably priced benefit policy may not be available. According to the government publication, you may keep the policy you have, even if you move, or buy a standard policy. The Prices will vary by provider.

An important note for some... All policies purchased after 1992, are non- cancellable by the operator except if the company ceases to exist, if the information on the initial application was not true or ..... if you cease paying the premium. If you move, or want to change providers, you can do so with no penalties or increases due to prior conditions. (see page 35)

The publication may be worth reading for other questions on the supplements.

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