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Just Asking For Opinions

wolfen's picture
Posts: 1313
Joined: Apr 2009




Hello All,

Just looking for opinions and/or our resident insurance guru, if we have one. As many others have done, my former company has decided to no longer be directly involved with supplemental health insurance for those of us on Medicare. I have received & tried to interpret(Ha, Ha!) all the new info. as well as attending an informational(NOT) meeting  concerning this action. Have also been perusing the related website, trying to get a feel for the different plans offered in my area. There are 14 Medicare Advantage(which includes scripts), 10 Medigap(no scripts), & 10 Drug Plans. Mind boggling!! If you don't have a headache when you start reading, you will soon after.

My son is coming by Thursday to help me go through all this & try to make a choice, but in the meantime, I'm just wondering if any of you have experience with Medicare Advantage or Medigap plans & the pros & cons of each.

Posted this on the H&N board also in case any of those folks have experience.

On another note, JBG is in Louisville waiting to see the surgeon. Her CT was this morning.




geotina's picture
Posts: 2116
Joined: Oct 2009

I became Medicare eligible last October.  I have Medicare Parts A and B.  I also have a Blue Cross/Blue Shield Medicare Plus Blue PPO.  At the time it seemed to offer the most and cover the most.  If Blue Cross/Blue Shield is available in your state, go on the website and there is a lot of understandable information.  You can even sign up over the phone which I did.

I, too, had difficulty trying to figure things out.  There is way too much out there and it is all so confusing.  Some of my friends have AARP and are pleased with their coverage.  AARP has almost too many different plans and I found them confusing so I put their mailings aside. 

I liked the Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan because if offered the most like dental, prescriptions, eye glasses, mamograms, colonoscopies, etc. with none to very little co-pay and if I am being honest, they were the easiest to understand what coverage I was getting.  Also, I asked some friends and they had the Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan and they were pleased with their coverage.   Some of them have medical problems and they have no problem seeing specialists, testing, oxygen needs, C-pap and the like.  My personal physician is at the University of Michigan Health System and that health system takes my coverage for any and all services and docors. 

There are cheaper plans out there but from what I could figure out, the monthly premium difference was not that much.  What you need to figure out is the co-pays and what you are able to pay if you need to frequent the doctor for a problem. 

One night I was sitting down, looking to make a decision,  and had all the plans from so many companies in front of me and I ended up almost in tears I was so confused and many of the web sites were worse.  Figure out what you are able to pay in a monthly premium and go from there.

Good Luck - Tina

danker's picture
Posts: 1109
Joined: Apr 2012

I have medicare as my primary insurance.  I opted for a supplement  with bcbs of Illinois to cover the 20% that medicare doesn't.  My blue cross blue shield premium is currently $295.00 per month.  My total cancer costs so far are about $650,000.00.  I haven't had to pay anything. Other than my supplement premiums.  Be careful in selecting a plan that limits the Drs. you can see.  Only select plans that provide prescriptions if you are currently requiring many expensive drugs. When that situation changes , you are only locked in untill the following year., when you can change plans.  Good luck in selecting a plan that works best for you. !!!

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3270
Joined: Jan 2010

I did my insurance shopping via AARP.

I have Medicare Part A and B.

I also have a supplemental plan F with United Health Care via AARP.  The "F" is the important part of any supplemental plan as that one covers the deductibles and the co-pays not covered by Medicare.  In other words, if a service is covered by Medicare, you will pay nothing.

I also have MedicareRx Preferred (PDP) with the same company for drug coverage.  The drug coverage is the one that is most confusing because of how the insurance companies have created "tiers" for the various drugs and that controls the price of what they will pay.  These co-pays and costs are not covered under Medicare and therefore not the supplemental either.  If you are on any medications on a regular basis, be sure to check to see how it is covered before making a choice.

I did consider an Advantage plan but my biggest concern was that if I became unhappy with it, it was going to be difficult to get back into Medicare. 

I feel most comfortable knowing that the big ticket items such as hospital and doctors are covered 100% as long as the service is Medicare eligible.

Hope this helps a bit.  Good luck in making your choices.


Marie who loves kitties

devotion10's picture
Posts: 631
Joined: Jan 2010

Advantage Plan but instead has a Medicare Supplement Plan F through AARP and also a separate prescription drug plan that she selected through the Medicare.gov website.  Each year in the open enrollment period she enters in her prescriptions to the site just to make sure that nothing has changed (coverage is sometimes dropped for certain meds). It is confusing but I understand once you settle on something you will be relieved.

Peace. ~ Cynthia

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