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Old 08-09-2010, 10:53 PM   #21
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Waiting until retirement age to worry about your health is like waiting until your funeral to buy a nice shirt.

Might as well sit back and eat junk food and enjoy what's left of life.
Actually, health care is the least of my worries, as I have several alternatives to good health care. My sympathies reside with those who have planned their retirement based on programs that are built on quicksand. Unless one is self-insured or qualifies for the "socialized" military health care system, the only guarantee is that there will be surprises in store.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:16 AM   #22
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By the way, for younger guys, t's not as much fun being retired after you hit an age at which you should be retired Enjoy it while you can.
Can you elaborate.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:28 AM   #23
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Can you elaborate.
I think it's like this phenomenon: having a lazy day on Monday is more fun than having a lazy day on Sunday.

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Old 08-10-2010, 03:06 PM   #24
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Can you elaborate.
I think TromboneAl pretty much summed it up. It's the guilty pleasure of playing golf, going for a walk, taking a nap, or doing anything you feel like it while colleagues your age are slaving at the office. Once you are 65, most of your colleagues are there with you doing nothing.
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:34 PM   #25
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I think TromboneAl pretty much summed it up. It's the guilty pleasure of playing golf, going for a walk, taking a nap, or doing anything you feel like it while colleagues your age are slaving at the office. Once you are 65, most of your colleagues are there with you doing nothing.
Thanks, I thought I was in for a surprise.
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:04 PM   #26
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Thanks, I thought I was in for a surprise.
My comment was made in jest, as I explained. However, I have found that health care problems and associated cost are quite a bit higher than I planned, and this will probably be the case for the average retiree.

For example, getting prostate cancer was nowhere in my spreadsheet. Of course, medical expenses were there, and I had enough insurance to cover the situation, but I had not counted on the bare bones reimbursements that most insurance plans make, especially for leading edge surgery techniques. I was turned down by a couple of leading surgeons because my insurance was inadequate. I did find an excellent surgeon, but I suspect there will be fewer of them in the future who agree to the ever decreasing insurance reimbursements. And self insurance is not really an option for most retirees, with surgical procedures going into the many tens or even hundreds of thousands. In my case I always have the fallback of the military health system, but that doesn't apply to non-military retirees.

This is not meant to scare anyone, but just telling it like it is based on my own experience. It just means that we need to price into our retirement budgets either very good insurance, a pretty large nest egg, or a really good set of genes.
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Preventive care and Medicare Advantage Plans
Old 08-17-2010, 02:41 PM   #27
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Preventive care and Medicare Advantage Plans

I would assume from the comments on this thead that very few if any of the posters have a Medicare Advantage Plan, whereby you sign over your Medicare to the plan and they take care of you for a fixed payment that they receive from Medicare. In that case, the plan decides what is covered, subject to the limitation that they must cover at least what original Medicare would cover. Talk about an incentive to keep you healthy! I have Kaiser (an HMO) in Los Angeles County, and they are so on top of preventive care, reminding you to get this or that vaccination or this or that test or screening which is now "due".

A wonderful non-medical advantage to these plans is the almost total lack of paperwork. You just make your appointments, see your doctor(s), pay your co-pay (in my case $5 for doctors, $15 for lab work, and $50 for emergency room visits), and that's it! Nothing to be approved, no bills. Of course you must still pay your Part B premium to Medicare. In addition, some of the "Advantage" plans charge a monthly premium of their own and some do not.

The level of Medicare funding of the Advantage plans is scheduled to be reduced by the new health legislation that was passed several months ago, and there has been a lot of speculation as to what magnitude the effect will be on benefits and/or premiums of these plans. We will find out shortly, at least for 2011, as the renewals are supposed to be available to us by November 1, I believe.
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Old 08-17-2010, 02:49 PM   #28
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The level of Medicare funding of the Advantage plans is scheduled to be reduced by the new health legislation that was passed several months ago, and there has been a lot of speculation as to what magnitude the effect will be on benefits and/or premiums of these plans. We will find out shortly, at least for 2011, as the renewals are supposed to be available to us by November 1, I believe.
I'm not far from Medicare eligibility and am very curious to see how this plays out. Please keep us posted on what changes, if any, you see to your plan.

Thanks...
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Old 08-17-2010, 04:21 PM   #29
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I'm not far from Medicare eligibility and am very curious to see how this plays out. Please keep us posted on what changes, if any, you see to your plan.
Thanks...
My apologies if you already know the following:
1. In order to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, the plan must be approved by Medicare for operation in the county of your residence. (Or this might be a multi-county group).
2. You can go online to the Medicare site (www.medicare.gov) and take a look at the features of all the Advantage plans, if any, which operate in your county.
3. Not sure how far away you are from eligibility, but if you are anywhere close you have already been inundated with literature via U.S. Mail from insurance companies who want to sell you Medigap policies, etc., as well as from the Advantage plans themselves. It can be quite confusing, unless I am just dumber than most people.

Of course I will be happy to keep you posted as time goes by.
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Old 08-17-2010, 04:46 PM   #30
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My apologies if you already know the following:
1. In order to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, the plan must be approved by Medicare for operation in the county of your residence. (Or this might be a multi-county group).
2. You can go online to the Medicare site (www.medicare.gov) and take a look at the features of all the Advantage plans, if any, which operate in your county.
3. Not sure how far away you are from eligibility, but if you are anywhere close you have already been inundated with literature via U.S. Mail from insurance companies who want to sell you Medigap policies, etc., as well as from the Advantage plans themselves. It can be quite confusing, unless I am just dumber than most people.

Of course I will be happy to keep you posted as time goes by.
According to medicare.gov there are 83 plans available in my area. I'm a little over a year from eligibility and haven't received one piece of literature about medicare, medigap coverage or any of the advantage programs - at least not yet.

That's why I'm interested in hearing about any changes you experience. I'm wondering if the advantage plan insurers are backing off "new recruits" until they know more about how they will be impacted by funding changes.
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Old 08-17-2010, 05:13 PM   #31
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According to medicare.gov there are 83 plans available in my area. I'm a little over a year from eligibility and haven't received one piece of literature about medicare, medigap coverage or any of the advantage programs - at least not yet.
You won't receive anything until you are about 90 days away from your birthday -- which is coincidentally just about when you need to apply to be enrolled in Medicare.

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