Thursday, December 9, 2010

The First time I heard Peggy Sue

Getting old. If you know about Medicare, please leave me a comment. Since I am still working (half time) I have not applied for social security. But I will soon be age- eligible for SS regardless of my work. I have heard that if you take SS, you MUST also have medicare. I have heard that medicare doesn't really cover everything. How does that work if you have other (really good) health insurance? If you know this from experience or can point me to some good clear answers, I would be grateful.


Tabor said...

My husband had really good insurance and it is now his secondary insurance and medicare is his primary since he turned 65. He has another retirement so is not able to collect SS. This probably doesn't help you much. I suggest you call the medicare office, the one my husband got was very helpful.

Ralph said...

LR, I've just been through this and can offer a fresh perspective ( if you're interested in the post.)

At age 65 all Americans go on Medicare and whatever policy you currently have becomes your secondary policy (which will for the things Medicare doesn't pay for). You can try to go without the supplemental but will end up with out-of-pocket expenses you won't have with it.

The surprise to me is that you end up paying at least two premiums (four, if you spring for separate dental and vision policies, and five if you have to go on prescription-only Part D--one to Medicare and another to the supplemental. And the supplemental doesn't give you a break just because it's now the backup. You pay the full premium.

As far as "signing up" for it--not to worry. It's all automatic. Three months prior to the month of your 65th birthday, you'll get a mailing that will include explanatory boilerplate and your actual Medicare card--a flimsy paper thing that you will need to laminate for protection, and which happens to be bigger than any of your other cards so doesn't fit neatly with them.

Part D: I've heard it's a headache, with that "doughnut hole" and all, and if you're lucky your supplemental's drug plan will suffice. (Mine did, thank goodness.)

If you sign up during FY 2011, which ends September 30, your Medicare premium will be $110, and yes, it will automatically come out of your monthly SS payment. As long as there is no SS COLA, as there was not in 2010 and will not be in 2011, that premium will not go up (although there will be a higher premium for those newbies coming into the system after 10/1).

Hope this helps. Love it or hate it, it will happen and it's simply a reality you have to deal with.

Dolores said...

Thanks always for your comments on my blog.

I wish I could help with the info about SS and Medicare, but it looks like Ralph has some good information.
Good luck!