How do we maneuver Medicare?

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  • #2431

    While those who are younger are scrambling to see what happens once the Affordable Care Act is scrubbed, those of us who are either over 65 or on disability are trying to figure out what our options are for our own health coverage. The system is not as simple as it looks. My husband and I have had Medicare part A, B, C & D for a few years now and each year I know that I should take a fresh look at the Medicare Advantage plans and Medigap policies that are available to us, but the reality is…that I get lazy and stick with the same one.

    Those of us on Social Security don’t even notice the amount taken our of our check each month, but once we get to the doctor or hospital, it is obvious that Medicare alone is not enough to cover everything.

    I learned quickly that on top of the plans that the government provides that we needed more. The retail price of my husband’s monthly medications exceeds $2500 per month…which would leave us with having to decide between medication and eating without the additional plan. Since I prefer to pare things down, I found a Medicare Advantage plan that costs us $0 per month and offers us additional benefits (Part C) and incorporates medication (Part D).

    Still, I worry that I am not taking advantage of the BEST program for what our spending is. The government offers a page where you can see the various plans available in your area. You are able to input all of your drugs and learn which of the plans will give you the best coverage. I’m determined to cut down our health costs in 2017, and this is where I’ll begin.

    I’d love to know that I’ve chosen the BEST Medicare Advantage, Part D &/or Medigap policy for our needs and taking a fresh look at our healthcare spending yearly is the first step.

    What are you doing to help reduce your health costs on Medicare?


    I’m so glad you are addressing this, Zipporah, because I fear that many people have not added Supplemental coverage to their Medicare at all, let alone the best coverage. Supplemental Medicare coverage is a game changer when the costs start piling up. Doing my Dad’s taxes this year, his total out-of-pocket for prescriptions and extra medical expenses was only $2,600 due to the good D and Supplemental coverage he and my Mom started paying for 15 years ago, and have never lapse since. In his case, living in Michigan, there is only one game in town, UnitedHealth, as far as I am able to discern, so he is fortunate that the coverage is good. Before my Mom died, her treatment for frontal lobal dementia was getting very extensive, but due to their coverage, it did not derail their retirement savings. As to the best coverage, it is a state-specific issue so at least that narrows people’s search.


    That’s great to hear Carla. We have the AARP plan which is essentially UnitedHealth and have been very happy that our doctors and hospitals are not limited.

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