How’s Medicare?

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If you recently transitioned from "conventional" health insurance to Medicare, are you better off now, about the same, or worse? I change over in September.
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6 thoughts on “How’s Medicare?

  1. Hi Stan. I’ve been on Medicare since I became eligible in 2015. I’d have to rate my experiences thus far as a B+. Before Medicare I was entangled in that “Obamacare” nightmare. High premiums and deductibles so high that it wasn’t really insurance at all…totally worthless. The first year I was on Medicare, I also took a suplemental policy, but discontinued it the second year, when I discovered that those premiums exceeded the reimbursments I was receiving. I have Part A and Part B coverage. The premiums are automatically deducted from my Social Security. The annual deductible is small, and quickly met. I didn’t take Part D for pharmaceuticals, since with my “Good Rx” card (free) and filling all my prescriptions at Wal-Mart, my out of pocket is what I would consider minimal. The only time Medicare questioned a submitted request for payment was when I had a stroke and it required two ambulance transports in the same day. The first to a local hospital, and after stabilization, to a second hospital that specializes in stroke care. The problem was resolved with one simple telephone call. As they say, “your mileage may vary”, but in my opinion, Medicare is one thing that the government got right. So…Go forward with confidence. 73 and Best Regards, Karl.

  2. Stan,
    I’ve been on Medicare since 2010 and don’t have any real complaints. As for rating, I would guess around an A- or B+. I have Parts A and B with the premium being deducted from my Social Security. I also have Part D that is taken care by United Healthcare Company. That premium is also deducted from Social Security. I am a Type 2 diabetic and some of my meds (insulin analogs) cost a lot. Around Sept. or Oct. I use up my allotment for the year and end up in the “donut hole” where I have to pay around 52% of the meds cost. That can get to be a bit expensive! I have made a deal with my endocrinologist that she provide me with doctor’s samples during some of this period to defray the cost. This has worked out fine. The other med I take is a standard, go-to med for Type 2 patients — Metformin. It’s a generic and costs 5 bucks for a months supply. Other meds are on a sliding scale as to the co-pay. There is a list of the different co-pay levels of as well as a list of covered meds in the booklet you receive every year.
    As for comparing Medicare to other insurance, I don’t really have any experience with that. I was always on my wife’s policy as she had better medical insurance than I was provided with where I was working. The plan is not perfect, but as they say, “It’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!”
    Hope this helps.
    73
    Dave

  3. My parents say it’s pretty good insurance. Medicare will probably be around for another 10 years and will either turn into a pumpkin by 2028 or not pay out as much.

  4. N3ZRR turned 65 this Jan. Fully disabled & under cardio, spinal, endo and pain mgt care. Biggest prob so far is getting docs and labs to bill MC and not former BCBS. No fuss w visits or treatments under Plan G. Drug costs much higher than worksheets, especially w tier meds. Silverscript underquoted. Yikes. Otherwise, MC better. No surgeries yet under MC.

  5. How you perceive medicare has more to do with the panel of doctors that are available to you locally. Some areas have a shortage of Doc’s that want to add medicare patients.

    Almost everywhere in the US there are doctors and hospitals that take medicare. Therefore, if access is poor in your present location call around and ask if they are still taking patients.

    The real good news, in my opinion, medicare will send you a copy of what the Doc or the hospital has billed for your visit. Medicare will explain how much they are going to pay / what the “Real” price for the service is and then inform you how much you owe the provider. Wait until you get that notice before paying anything. If you get calls asking for payment or bills before Medicare sends you a explanation, call and ask if medicare has paid yet. You will find….somewhere someone did not enter that you are on medicare.

    Medicair is much better that most other countries health systems. They will not let you die of Pneumonia because it is the “natural” way of old people passing and they offer to cover many more cancer drugs than many other countries. You also do not need to wait months to see a cancer specialist, then wait a few more months to get the CAT scan he ordered, and then a few more months until the radiologist is free to read the scan….and then inform you there is a treatment but it is not supported by the government.

    Our system is not perfect and there is a reason people from other countries with money come here for healthcare.

    I ran a Physician practice for some time. Medicare pays the least of any insurances. They have many mandatory quality programs to keep hospital care quality high. Medicare depends on insurances paying doctors more than they do so that the doctor can stay in business. Medicare pays about at a 50% rate to docs of what it costs to have a free standing physician practice. This forces doctors to have a limit in Medicare patients or work for a hospital group where they just see patients and do not get involved in office and staff costs.

  6. I have had a good experience. I got Medicare and an Advantage Plan. Some limitations on Drs. but nothing serious. Advantage plans generally offer a little more than Supplemental Plans but they do have some limitations. However, they do not require (at least here in Central FL) the payment of additional premiums and usually contain the Part D drug stuff within their coverage.
    Hope this helps
    regards Andy, KE4IXU

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