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Old 10-26-21, 06:32 PM  
sherry7899
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Originally Posted by annette View Post
I have no answer to your questions but I too have noticed so many medicare commercials. I will be 63 soon so have a couple years yet but the thought of dealing with it and all the "parts" stresses me out. It seems so complicated. I want peace in my life not this crap.
I am 52, but have the same thoughts for the future.
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Old 10-26-21, 06:44 PM  
hypnomoon
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Denver, CO
UnitedHealthcare dropped Silver Sneakers last year. They now have Renew Active. I'm still accepted at all the same gyms (24 Hour Fitness, Lifetime Fitness, Anytime Fitness, Planet Fitness, Orange Theory, etc.). I also get 4 sessions a month at a variety of barre and Pilates studios.

There is also something else going on where you can get a free Fitbit watch but, since I already have a Samsung watch, I didn't investigate that.
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Old 10-26-21, 06:48 PM  
Jane P.
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Medicare Advantage is like an HMO or PPO. You generally need to stay within the plan providers to get care. They are also the plans that provide extra services (like exercise) so they can be a good deal for some people.

Here's the rub, insurance companies love med advantage plans, because they get paid for each person who signs up, even if that person doesn't visit often. The practice I used to go to pressured me to sign up for their plan. I found myself another practice.

Medicare will probably change in the coming years so do your homework. There are medicare consultants that can help you out, but run the other way if they try and sell you something.
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Old 10-26-21, 08:03 PM  
bzar
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Originally Posted by Jane P. View Post
Medicare will probably change in the coming years so do your homework. There are medicare consultants that can help you out, but run the other way if they try and sell you something.
Quote:
Originally Posted by annette View Post
I want peace in my life not this crap.
i've been attending as many free sessions that i can and because i'm not old enough, they can't snag me as a customer yet. but i've spoken to some friends who used to work with me and they have given me pointers on what plan(s) they are on - it's worth it to talk to them to see what they've got. plus, you can change every year, so if something new comes along, you can adjust.

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Originally Posted by Izzy View Post
I had insurance under my employer; if you are 65 you have to sign up for Medicare. My employer pays 80% of it, I pay 20.

If you do not sign up for a prescription plan right away you will be penalized. I do not know why but I do know you will be if you don’t.

Be careful of Medicare Advantage. If you are traveling and the provider does not accept it, your cost is all out of pocket. Biden is apparently trying to get that changed. It hasn’t passed yet.

You do want to get the supplemental insurance.
my current employer has premium quotes for retirees (and current employees) who are >65 and medicare eligible. thanks for these tips/explanations.


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Originally Posted by hypnomoon View Post
UnitedHealthcare dropped Silver Sneakers last year. They now have Renew Active. I'm still accepted at all the same gyms (24 Hour Fitness, Lifetime Fitness, Anytime Fitness, Planet Fitness, Orange Theory, etc.). I also get 4 sessions a month at a variety of barre and Pilates studios.

There is also something else going on where you can get a free Fitbit watch but, since I already have a Samsung watch, I didn't investigate that.
Is United Healthcare a Medicare Advantage plan? i would seriously consider a plan that offers discounts to clubs and studios!
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Old 10-26-21, 09:20 PM  
Jane P.
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United Health Care has a zillion different types of plans. You might be able to find one that meets your needs.
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Old 10-26-21, 09:36 PM  
Jane P.
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Originally Posted by annette View Post
I have no answer to your questions but I too have noticed so many medicare commercials. I will be 63 soon so have a couple years yet but the thought of dealing with it and all the "parts" stresses me out. It seems so complicated. I want peace in my life not this crap.
Don't stress about this. There are consultants that will help you. I went to a seminar lead by my county agency on aging. There is probably something similar where you live. They explained everything and I was able to understand my options. Talk to the Human Resources people at your job (if there is a department). Once you understand things, it's not that complicated, and you can change your mind each year during open enrollment.
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Old 10-26-21, 11:30 PM  
adawn
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I have several years before i become eligible, but now that it's open enrollment, i've been seeing a lot of commercials about it. i've also gone to 2 info sessions at work on what to expect. the major take away i got, the message they kept drilling into my head, was when you become eligible, sign up, otherwise you will be monetarily penalized! why? because SOMEONE has to pay that premium.

i also learned that all of the independent medicare representatives have different plans! i always assumed medicare was medicare. not so.

my question is, once you are enrolled, do some of the plans have any fitness benefits (discounts on joining a club or points for staying active, or incentives for keeping up with various health check-ups)?
If you want someone independent, free and unbiased to help you navigate, pre-covid, you used to be able to get an appointment with a SHIP counselor in your state. They generally tend to meet with you one on one at a local senior center or community center. Depending on the state you live in, you can also visit your state's SHIP website and some of them have really handy tools and/or pdf documents and premium tables. Kind of depends on the state as far as how good their online tools and documents are. FYI, when you get beyond Parts A & B, plans and availability of plans can vary dramatically even from one county to a neighboring county.

Personally, I was able to learn mostly everything my mom needed to know using the online tools on the medicare website plus my state's SHIP website (I went to the SHIP appointment with her and the SHIP counselor didn't really add anything new to to my understanding).

My mom's a big fan of Plan F high deductible for her supplemental by the way. However, I have an uncle that loves his medicare advantage plan, but he doesn't care what doctors he sees and he's willing to go to dentists within their networks in order to get some limited dental coverage.

I'm not sure if any of my mom's doctors take advantage (plus, sometimes advantage copays are high for specialists vs. just paying 20% of the medicare Part B negotiated rate and so depending on how many specialists you see in a month, some advantage copays can really add up). And my mom's dentist does not accept the kind of dental coverage that some advantage plans provide, and a good dentist is hard to find so she's not willing to switch. I could discuss medicare stuff all day but I'll stop here.
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Old 10-27-21, 01:08 AM  
cataddict
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It really depends on where you live since all plans are not offered everywhere. My parents had United Healthcare supplemental insurance and it worked great for them, but in my area no one really takes it. DH chose an advantage plan that offers vision, dental, and prescription coverage along with "rewards" for getting vaccines and regular physicals. The copays (when required) are reasonable and it does offer emergency care when traveling out of network, so no, it's not 100% out of pocket. In our area there really is really only one plan that most doctors take, including the one that my DH has gone to for several years. Fortunately it is a good plan and he's been happy with it and the transition from his employer plan to the Medicare plan has been a seamless experience. I guess what I'm saying is like adawn mentioned, you need to investigate the plans offered in your area--that can really narrow it down and you can get a better idea of the benefits available to you, including the fitness benefit. The benefits can and do change from year to year, however. I believe that many Medicare advantage plans have some sort of fitness benefit, so it's not just Medicare supplements that do. The one in our area reimbursed $350 for fitness classes, memberships, and fitness activities such as fitness streaming subscriptions. Next year it covers Silver Sneakers membership only.

Oh, and yes, you absolutely need to sign up at least for Medicare Part A (hospitalization) by the time you turn 65, regardless of whether you are still covered under an employer health plan or you will be penalized later. You can delay signing up for Part B (doctors) until you leave your employer's plan.

It can be overwhelming to figure it all out, but the Medicare website really has a ton of information. DH didn't find it necessary to talk to an outside consultant (which he was concerned would try to sell him something) after looking at the website and contacting the insurance companies he was looking at to ask specific questions. As JaneP said, you can change it the next year if you aren't happy with the plan.

Some doctors don't want to accept Medicare patients or limit the number of patients they take because the reimbursement is pretty low. However, my DH's employer insurance plan also wasn't accepted at quite a few doctors for the same reason.
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Old 10-27-21, 12:25 PM  
Jeanne Marie
 
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I'll be 65 in a couple of weeks, so I've recently been through the whole process. I won't repeat anything here because several people have already provided great information.

My best advice is to find an insurance broker. They cost you nothing, and they will help you easily navigate the ins and outs of whatever you choose.

Definitely be careful signing up for Medicare Advantage because even though it's cheaper, your long term, out of pocket costs could be substantial. I have been paying astronomical private insurance premiums for years, with a deductible of $7000+, so the $145/month Medicare payment and $105/month supplement and $17/month prescription fee, and $250/year deductible is like a giant raise for me. Never expected to be so excited to turn 65!
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Old 10-27-21, 01:53 PM  
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The whole Medicare subject makes my head hurt. I have regular Medicare A & B, a drug plan, dental plan and supplemental insurance (medigap). I went through it last year and here is what I think. (Not advice, just my opinion).

Medicare Advantage is like an HMO. You can't choose the doctor you want. Sure, they cover vision, dental and hearing. You will probably get the cheapest glasses, hearing aids and dental choices possible. They will not cover brand name drugs. (Someone please correct me if I am wrong about that!)

You can pick the plan that you think is best. Or, have a broker help you choose a plan. Meanwhile, the plans change their minds regularly about what is covered and what is not covered. I take a brand name med and my supplemental drug plan didn't cover it fully at first, then they sent me a letter saying they would cover it fully, now they don't cover it fully anymore.

That is why there is the big scramble yearly to change plans. IMHO, its a crap shoot. You do have to make a choice, jut be prepared for things to change.

p.s.
Don't get me started on AARP!

p.s.s.
I found this book to be helpful. Of course, the rules change every year:

Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions: Get the Most Out of Your Retirement and Medical Benefits

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