Aug 06, 2013 - 9:02 am
I'm reaching out to you guys hoping to get some input on deciding how to handle Medicare which starts for me next month. I met with a Medicare Counselor yesterday and though he was a very nice and interesting person, I'm still indecisive/confused about which way to go. I've been on disability for two years and medicare automatically kicks in at this point. I've been paying a large amount for Cobra continued coverage which has pretty much exhausted my savings but I'm glad I had the coverage.
I qualified for disability (first time) due to Lymphoma and other medical conditions. I am on medications that are very expensive and like most of us, I have regular CT scans, onccologist visits, etc. I also have regular specialist visits for the other medical coditions.
I have been considering:
1) Regular Medicare Part A,B,D and medigap policies. You can't have medigap and an Advantage plan together. Medigap is expensive but can cover nearly all of the 20% that medicare doesn't cover on Part A & B. Medigap offers nothing toward Part D (drugs). This option would offer coverage pretty much anywhere in the US. The counselor told me Medigap is the best of all options but is expensive (especially if you are under age 65).
2) Medicare Advantage Plans. These generally combine Parts A,B and D and in many cases there is no additional premium for them. But like Medicare, they generally cover 80%, may have deductibles and some have out of pocket maximums (Medicare does not). The drug coverage is good for generic type drugs (reasonable co-pay) but for certain drugs there could be a 33% patient responsibility. These plans often offer other perks like limited Dental/Vision, gym memberships, etc. These plans are generally limited to a geographic area and have in-network medical teams.
Anyway, I know some of you are on Medicare and am reaching out for any helpful information you might provide. I've been paying nearly $750 a month for Cobra and have been looking forward to that going away :). I would appreciate any infromation/experiences you could share either on this post or via private message.
Thanks and kick cancer butt!