• Health Insurance Change

    Asked by fiddler on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

    Health Insurance Change

    I'm now on Medicare A&B. I need input (from everywhere) so I can make a decision as to whether to go with Part F (expensive), or leave it with A&B and add D. Suggestions? I had TNBC Stage 1a, dx 2 years ago.

    21 Answers from the Community

    21 answers
    • cam32505's Avatar
      cam32505

      You definitely need part D. As for Medigap, you need to determine what you can afford to pay out of pocket should the need arise. The way insurance works, you pay higher premiums for more coverage, whether you use it or not. It's a gamble, like most insurances that you won't use it if you have it and you will use it if you don't have it. That being said, you need to seriously review the part D because many of them don't cover specialty drugs or cover them at a % of the cost. Chemo drugs cost thousands/month. After I came back to work from cancer treatment, I increased my coverage to the best policy available. Then, I needed blood thinning shots, which cost $4,000/month. Even with the best coverage, I had to pay 20% of the cost ($800/month). So, I changed back to the cheaper insurance because the drug coverage was the same, but I saved on the premium (allowing money to pay for the prescription). Besides, my plan has a maximum out of pocket for the year, so I always know what the worst is going to be for the year.

      over 4 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar
      lilymadeline

      PLEASE DO THE F!!! BECAUSE IT IS FAR LESS EXPENSIVE IN THE LONG RUN!!! I saved thousands of dollars by joining the F, it only cost a little more compared to the additional benefits at least. But I am in constant treatment, if you are free and clear it might make some cents to go with the cheaper policy but remember you could get easily hit with thousands of medical bills, and the cost to get plan F is only about $100 more a month? I’m under 65 so it is expensive for me, if you are 65 or over it will be far less expensive. I pay $400 for plan F through AARP, a wonderful thing and I am extremely happy with them!!!! They seem to be taken everywhere by the way....My friend who is 65 pays only $185 a month for plan F. So it really depends on how often you think that you will see the doctor? If you see them once a month I would go with plan F, if you see them once a year I would go with a less expensive plan. But again I’m also low income and paying the $400 is a huge bite of my income, my medical bills go to 2/3 of my income right now even with everything involved. Medicare will help you over the phone by the way! It just can take hours on the phone but they get all the information for you regarding coverage, drug coverage, everything you need. In fact I am covered very well now and very happy about it! Before I was on Medicare and plan F I was getting into debt thousands every month! And i do mean that, thousands of dollars in debt monthly! It was a nightmare!!!!!!

      over 4 years ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      When I became sixty five my husband and I opted for the best coverage we could afford. Medicare partA for hospital free,, Medicare partB and Medicare part D we purchase monthly. We also bought a supplemental thru AARP, level F, to pay what Medicare doesn't cover.Flash forward two years to my Cancer diagnosis, through all my chemo treatments and surgery plus one week in hospital for unknown fever paid less than 1000,00 .Husband said if had not been for the supplement our part of the total expenses would have been about 100,000 dollars. so it was a very good choice for us. Coverage is not cheap. Total cost per month 300.00 each for our coverage. Hope we never need a rest home, could not afford that coverage too.

      over 4 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar
      lilymadeline

      I’m 100% covered by Medicare and the AARP plan F, I don’t think it is expensive even though I pay separately for both ( 105 for medicare and 400 for AARP Plan F ) because I was paying about $700 for 60% coverage through my company policy before. And the medication plan is much better now as well. But I am low income stage IV so that might make a difference. Check it out, call Medicare and call AARP! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

      over 4 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar
      lilymadeline

      I know people who pay $1500 to $2500 a month for health care coverage. I count my blessings that I have Medicare and Medigap available to me! I get food from churches and friends but what can I do? It sucks! We should all move to Norway where they take care of their people with their oil money! :-)

      over 4 years ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      fiddler, you never know what is ahead,good insurance protection helps give you peace of mind whether it be house,car,or medical insurance.

      over 4 years ago
    • keahemalie's Avatar
      keahemalie

      Get the best coverage you can afford! When my husband lost his job in 2009, we paid greater than $1200/month for COBRA insurance. Then I had Medicare A, B, D @ over $300/mo. Thank goodness he got a new job with good health insurance because 1mo later, I was diagnosed with cancer. We would've run through our savings and be in debt by now without it! I feel so blessed that at least we don't have to worry about money...we already have enough to worry about!

      over 4 years ago
    • kghalva's Avatar
      kghalva

      yes, go for F. It covers EVERYTHING, you have no co-pays or deductibles to worry about. Find the best plan you can - mine only costs $130 a month (American Republic) and I think Mutual of Omaha is another affordable one. Get on the medicare website and plug in what drugs you take and it'll show you the best plan for prescriptions - but you'll always have co-pays for those. But plan F for all doctor and hospital bills is marvelous. I pay nothing for all the chemo (and believe me, those treatments are expensive - over $5000 each time)

      over 4 years ago
    • Judytjab's Avatar
      Judytjab

      I agree with all the others. I would go with plan F and definately part D. I have plan F and AARP UHC supplement and haven't paid a penny for my treatment. On the other hand, I did not sign up for part D at that time because I never took any medications. Little did I know I'd be diagnosed with cancer so now I pay a penalty every month for not getting the plan when I signed up. Goes to show you, you never know what lies ahead.

      over 4 years ago
    • suemartin's Avatar
      suemartin

      Go to Medicare.gov or call 800-MEDICARE and you can find lowest cost part D plans in your area. Well worth relatively low premiums. Aarp has premium under $35 in our area. Penalty if you don't and then decide to later.

      over 4 years ago
    • Horselady46's Avatar
      Horselady46

      I have AARP UHC plan N a little cheaper than F but I don't see the doctors that much anymore so I have a deductible and copays. Plus D.

      over 4 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      If you are fairly low income- Medicare will pay part of Plan D. My senior Care Adanatge plan took care of that for me.

      over 4 years ago
    • penny364's Avatar
      penny364

      When I turned 65 and retired, I got a Medicare Advantage plan. This covers Medicare Part A, B, and D. The Medicare premium is taken out of my Social Security. The plan I chose has copays that are a bit higher, but the cost to me is zero a month. You can pick plans that have lower copays for a monthly premium, but I'd rather pay only if I use a service instead of paying every month when I don't use anything. Check these out on the Medicare.gov website. AARP has a good Advantage plan. Mine is through Kaiser, since I already used Kaiser doctors. If you're in an ongoing medical situation, you should probably get a plan with lower copays for hospital stays etc. Best of luck with this!

      over 4 years ago
    • PinkPeony's Avatar
      PinkPeony

      I was lucky to have an F plan which also included prescription coverage. I got it through the group plan offered by the state after I retired. (I was a teacher.) It costs $308 a month. If you worked for the state, or a company that offered a group plan, I would contact them and start there. Here are a couple of links that might help:

      http://www.medicare.gov/supplement-other-insurance/compare-medigap/compare-medigap.html

      http://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/medigap-home.aspx

      My aunt told me years ago "always get the best insurance you can afford". I am so glad to have great coverage now that I have high maintenance million dollar breasts. Best wishes to you.

      over 4 years ago
    • Nonnie917's Avatar
      Nonnie917

      Fiddler, my husband and I have the Group Health Medicare Advantage Plan. It is the Harbor plan and you can check out their plans at ghc.org. Our plan covers everything including prescriptions and we pay $74 a month, but there is a $300 deductible for prescriptions. Their better plan with no deductible is $197 a month and includes prescriptions and no deductible. For the most part it has been good insurance. The only hassle is we have to get pre-authorization for seeing a specialist and I cannot have mammograms so I have to have an MRI every year. My out of pocket expense for that was $150. I am being penalized for not having prescription coverage since I have been on disability and Medicare. I called Medicare when it first started and the stupid employee told me I did not qualify because I was not 65. She was totally wrong and now I am paying for it. I tried to appeal the penalty, but to no success. Medicare doesn't care that it was their fault so I have to pay this penalty for the rest of my life. So don't go without prescription coverage for very long or you will suffer the same penalty.

      over 4 years ago
    • fiddler's Avatar
      fiddler

      THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!!

      - I signed up for part F.

      over 4 years ago
    • PinkPeony's Avatar
      PinkPeony

      You are welcome fiddler. I hope your F plan also has a drug plan? You've probably already checked that, but if there is not drug plan, you will need Medicare D, or another option. Sorting all of this out is daunting. Best wishes.

      over 4 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      I had the AARP United Health plan. I dropped it for a local plan Select Health. I found the AARP plan was very difficult to work. It took a long time to get procedures approved and my Dr.s unanimously hated it. I have my plan for one year and am very happy with it. I advise you to talk with an agent and review several plans and reevaluate those plans every year

      over 4 years ago
    • keahemalie's Avatar
      keahemalie

      In my county in California, there's only ONE Medicare supplement plan offered. And the rates are higher than any of the surrounding counties. They say it's due to the high costs of care here, which makes no sense to me.

      over 4 years ago
    • Nonnie917's Avatar
      Nonnie917

      keahemalie, the reason the costs are so high is because of all the illegals who get medical care through the ER or Medicaid. That is where our tax money goes. Have the same problems here in WA State. My county is 75% illegal aliens who are either on welfare or get help from Medicaid. I read an article the other day about how our premiums are helping to pay for the uninsured. Who knows, I just know that I am frustrated with how the insurance companies run our government.

      over 4 years ago
    • keahemalie's Avatar
      keahemalie

      I won't get started with how I feel about big insurance and pharmaceutical companies. I do know that it's very expensive to live in my county and many people have inadequate or no health insurance. As a R.N. for over 30 yrs, I saw how ERs were inappropriately used for primary care. Access to healthcare, or lack thereof, is another thing I won't get started on... I'm too frustrated about that! Thanks for your input.

      over 4 years ago

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