13 Replies Latest reply on Sep 5, 2011 4:40 PM by JerryD

    Choosing Medicare Medical Supplemental Insurance

    Mensch2u
      Does anyone currently on Medicare have any feedback as to the best Medicare supplemental medical plan?
       
      Im interested in the original Medicare route, not using HMO or PPO.
      '
      Im seeking feedback as to a member's view on their current supplemental plan to include Gap and Drug plan and their provider and their experience with their plan (like/dislike)
       
      Thanks,
      Art
        • Re: Choosing Medicare Medical Supplemental Insurance
          JerryD
          Using Blue Cross in AR for Gap and this year a cheaper Wal-Mart drug plan with another carrier due to little drug needs and cost. You need to insure that any drug plan covers your meds since they are all over the map on coverage. I believe that there is a SS site that lets you see coverage by plan. It's NOT painless but you should do it to mi9nimize drug costs. You may have to do it every year due to plan changes.
           
          I like BCBS in our state and they covered a moderate cost diagnostic/preventive procedure with no grief.
           
           
          • Re: Choosing Medicare Medical Supplemental Insurance
            casinisi
             
            The supplemental plans change each year.   Last year I would have sworn that Bankers Life & Casualty had the best and cheapest plan (it is age driven).   Now I'm hearing from my neighbors, who are may age, that AARP (United Healthcare) is a little cheaper for the same coverage. 
             
            Bottom line is that every year (in the early Fall) we need to get quotes from the contenders.  Lots of companies out there wanting our "business,"  so, "do your homework."
              • Re: Choosing Medicare Medical Supplemental Insurance
                JerryD
                casinisi said...
                ...
                 
                Bottom line is that every year (in the early Fall) we need to get quotes from the contenders.  Lots of companies out there wanting our "business,"  so, "do your homework."
                At least until you can't figure it out any more or like many you develop a condition that locks you into a plan due to the need for underwriting review. There are plans with less overage and higher rates because according to a BCBS consultant we talk to older folks are in them and the costs are higher.  figure we need to be in a good plan in case our health fails and we are stuck.
                • Re: Choosing Medicare Medical Supplemental Insurance
                  travel
                  I'm new to this.  Are you allowed to change insurance every year if you want to?  Do you have to qualify?  I know you can do that on the D but I  don't know the answer on the other.
                  • Re: Choosing Medicare Medical Supplemental Insurance
                    Sharon
                    Please don't go with United Health Care.
                    They pay their doctors and providers very little and cause then major grief. Very few doctors and medical providers will take United Health Care. 
                    We have Kaiser in California. All my friends love it. 
                    Other friends have Blue Cross and are happy with Medicare and Blue shield/blue cross. 
                    Talk to your own doctor before choosing!
                    If you like your doctors, ask if you can keep them on Medicare.
                    Many doctors won't take Medicare.
                  • Re: Choosing Medicare Medical Supplemental Insurance
                    MPLichtman
                    What I heard from my brother, who has BCBS in MI, is that if you are out of state for more than six months in any year, they can drop you or tell you to get other coverage. I wonder if other states also have those regulations. He is retired and spend half year in AZ, but generally is there under six months.  That seems to be a problem for many plans.
                      • Re: Choosing Medicare Medical Supplemental Insurance
                        mabellek
                        MPLichtman said...
                        What I heard from my brother, who has BCBS in MI, is that if you are out of state for more than six months in any year, they can drop you or tell you to get other coverage. I wonder if other states also have those regulations. He is retired and spend half year in AZ, but generally is there under six months.  That seems to be a problem for many plans. 
                        I have BCBS in MI and I'm very dissatisfied.  High copays, for example, a cortisone shot for my "trick" finger which they considered a hospital procedure. although it was done by my primary care physician --- a large copay.  Large copay for each physical therapy visit, etc.....I'm switching in 2012.
                          • Re: Choosing Medicare Medical Supplemental Insurance
                            MPLichtman
                            mabellek said...
                            MPLichtman said...
                            What I heard from my brother, who has BCBS in MI, is that if you are out of state for more than six months in any year, they can drop you or tell you to get other coverage. I wonder if other states also have those regulations. He is retired and spend half year in AZ, but generally is there under six months.  That seems to be a problem for many plans. 
                            I have BCBS in MI and I'm very dissatisfied.  High copays, for example, a cortisone shot for my "trick" finger which they considered a hospital procedure. although it was done by my primary care physician --- a large copay.  Large copay for each physical therapy visit, etc.....I'm switching in 2012.
                            Thanks for the update.  I am still employed FT but will soon have to choose a plan when I retire, so I'm looking seriously at them.
                            • Re: Choosing Medicare Medical Supplemental Insurance
                              JerryD
                              mabellek said...
                              MPLichtman said...
                              What I heard from my brother, who has BCBS in MI, is that if you are out of state for more than six months in any year, they can drop you or tell you to get other coverage. I wonder if other states also have those regulations. He is retired and spend half year in AZ, but generally is there under six months.  That seems to be a problem for many plans. 
                              I have BCBS in MI and I'm very dissatisfied.  High copays, for example, a cortisone shot for my "trick" finger which they considered a hospital procedure. although it was done by my primary care physician --- a large copay.  Large copay for each physical therapy visit, etc.....I'm switching in 2012.

                              When describing your experience shouldn't you include the particular supplemental plan option that you have. My BCBS in my state under the highest plan (Plan J, I believe which is no longer available to anybody) seems to cover a lot.
                          • Re: Choosing Medicare Medical Supplemental Insurance
                            Pickle
                            I have been on Medicare for about 10 years and I have never found a supplement that didn't cost more than it was worth.
                            Most charge $100-150 a month, considering the 20% copay of basic medicare you would have to have $6000 to $9000 a year in approved medical costs to break even.  Remember that just because your doctor wants $500 a visit doesn't mean Medicare is going to let him charge you that much.  For me the usual copay is about $25.
                             
                            My wife likes visiting the doctor so we got her a policy for a year or two, then dropped it because it was a waste.
                             
                            If you call 911 more than twice a year with "chest pains" it may be a good deal for you.
                              • Re: Choosing Medicare Medical Supplemental Insurance
                                JerryD
                                Pickle, it sounds like you are still in pretty good shape. What happens if/when you start having serious medical problems? Isn't it true that you will NOT be able to get a good supplemental insurance then without going through underwriting. As I understand it that means the insurer gets to reject you or limit due to pre-existing conditions. That would also mean that you get to pay out-of-pocket for the 20% plus deductibles. Insurance is just that. You pay when you are in pretty good shape as a hedge against if/when you need the insurer to pay sums that would either be impossible or hard on the budget.
                                 
                                I have a close relative that is medically poor because of serious illness and large co-pays.That can be very stressful. I suggest extreme caution over going it alone on Medicare.