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Old 10-05-2010, 10:04 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,436 times
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Angry Gold Choice

I live in California and my Gold Choice has been discontinued. I am mad as hell and I will remember this in November.
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:39 PM
 
13,544 posts, read 22,420,220 times
Reputation: 9890
I have BC/BS advantage plan.. They offered 3 different ones from '0' to $142.00 a month. I paid $41 a month. Ironically the one I have was the best deal for me. I haven't heard of any cancellations yet. I do know I may have to have eye surgery next year so I will be searching for the best deal on hospitalization compared to monthly payments.
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:33 PM
Status: "Back in Texas" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: San Antonio Texas
10,551 posts, read 9,160,993 times
Reputation: 4667
Quote:
Originally Posted by Townandcountrygal View Post
Got a letter from Humana that they are cancelling their Gold Choice Medicare Advantage program effective Dec. 31. I suspect many other health insurance program providing Medicare benefits will be going away, too. Any one else's Medicare plan being eliminated?
Depends which part of the country that you live in. Gold Choice is a PPO?
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:49 PM
Status: "Back in Texas" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: San Antonio Texas
10,551 posts, read 9,160,993 times
Reputation: 4667
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Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
This is a little inaccurate. For 2011, the Medicare payments to Medicare Advantage plans are not being reduced, but are frozen at 2010 levels. The reductions will begin in 2012, and they aren't all that draconian.
thanks for saying that. I get so tired of everyone blaming this on Obama. Medicare Advantage plans were at the federal trough for so many years; subsidized with tax dollars. So many were so used to the generous benefits for so long that it's hard to come down off of it. They can still cut down on their expenses. There are still many overpaid sales managers, CEOS and others in the industry that they could still eliminate. Furthermore, how many AARP Secure Horizons commercials do I need to see when I'm watching TV?
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Old 10-07-2010, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
10,833 posts, read 7,706,164 times
Reputation: 3858
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
This is a little inaccurate. For 2011, the Medicare payments to Medicare Advantage plans are not being reduced, but are frozen at 2010 levels. The reductions will begin in 2012, and they aren't all that draconian.
I think for most people - it doesn't matter exactly why something is happening - but the fact that it is happening - so they can plan for it.

Does anyone know why we had Medicare Advantage plans in the first place? They never quite made sense to me. Robyn
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Old 10-07-2010, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
10,833 posts, read 7,706,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeper View Post
I have BC/BS advantage plan.. They offered 3 different ones from '0' to $142.00 a month. I paid $41 a month. Ironically the one I have was the best deal for me. I haven't heard of any cancellations yet. I do know I may have to have eye surgery next year so I will be searching for the best deal on hospitalization compared to monthly payments.
Don't know what kind of eye surgery you may need - but a lot of it - probably most - is done on an outpatient basis these days (as are many other kinds of surgery). So I'd investigate and see what the story is regarding my particular kind of surgery. FWIW - if it's cataract surgery (just guessing here because it's common) - that's outpatient. But an important thing Medicare - and probably most/all Medicare Advantage plans - don't cover is zippy corrective lenses implanted during the surgery. My father had both eyes done with those a few years ago when he had his cataract surgeries. They cost about $3k extra out of pocket - but were really worth it in terms of his vision (he's saving a bunch on glasses too). Robyn
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Ocala, FL
66 posts, read 75,324 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
Does anyone know why we had Medicare Advantage plans in the first place? They never quite made sense to me. Robyn
Made sense to me. It's like an HMO, you go to their doctors. DH had the Humana Advantage Gold. For the same $96.40 Medicare cost, he also got the supplement that covered what Medicare didn't, along with a drug plan. His prescriptions had a co-pay if he got his refills at, say, Walmart (Humana only used certain drug stores, too) or they have an outfit called Rightsource that he could get a 3-month supply with no co-pay, just had to plan ahead.

I can't figure out why more people didn't take advantage of the plans. Why pay $200 a month to BCBS when you get the same thing for free? Medicare paid the $96.40 that they take out of his SS check to Humana. Works for me. Every dollar I can keep in my pocket is that much more I have for groceries.
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
9,036 posts, read 6,707,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheltie166 View Post
Made sense to me. It's like an HMO, you go to their doctors. DH had the Humana Advantage Gold. For the same $96.40 Medicare cost, he also got the supplement that covered what Medicare didn't, along with a drug plan. His prescriptions had a co-pay if he got his refills at, say, Walmart (Humana only used certain drug stores, too) or they have an outfit called Rightsource that he could get a 3-month supply with no co-pay, just had to plan ahead.

I can't figure out why more people didn't take advantage of the plans. Why pay $200 a month to BCBS when you get the same thing for free? Medicare paid the $96.40 that they take out of his SS check to Humana. Works for me. Every dollar I can keep in my pocket is that much more I have for groceries.
I am also a big fan of Medicare Advantage plans, and I agree that they give us the most bang for the buck, but I think you are a bit confused about how the financing works. Medicare payments to Humana (or any other Med. Adv. plan) are a hell of a lot more than the $96.40 per month premium - like 8 or 10 times that amount. Do you really think Humana could give you what you are getting for $96.40 per month?

Medicare Part B premiums in general (whether we are talking about Med. Adv. plans or original Medicare) are designed to pay only about 25% of the cost of the benefits which enrollees receive. The rest comes from general tax revenue. (The Medicare payroll taxes go to Part A).
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:57 PM
 
13,544 posts, read 22,420,220 times
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Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
Don't know what kind of eye surgery you may need - but a lot of it - probably most - is done on an outpatient basis these days (as are many other kinds of surgery). So I'd investigate and see what the story is regarding my particular kind of surgery. FWIW - if it's cataract surgery (just guessing here because it's common) - that's outpatient. But an important thing Medicare - and probably most/all Medicare Advantage plans - don't cover is zippy corrective lenses implanted during the surgery. My father had both eyes done with those a few years ago when he had his cataract surgeries. They cost about $3k extra out of pocket - but were really worth it in terms of his vision (he's saving a bunch on glasses too). Robyn
Even if it is day surgery it still cost X amt for the hospital or surgical center. My deductible is $100 a day right now for hospital up to 5 days IIRC. I am not having cataract surgery, already did that and it was day surgery. I am having transplant next time and depending on the type of surgery will depend on if I have to stay in the hospital.

I like BC/BS advantage plan for the most part. I have only had one issue with them in 2 years and it was the hospital's fault for the way they coded the bill.

I am relatively healthy and for only $41 a month I am a happy camper. I pay $15 for doctor visits and meds are really cheap usually. I am a widow and have only my income so I will take all the help I can get.

What the new year will bring as far as premiums and advantage plans who knows.
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You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us.
Robert Louis Stevenson

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Old 10-08-2010, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
10,833 posts, read 7,706,164 times
Reputation: 3858
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheltie166 View Post
Made sense to me. It's like an HMO, you go to their doctors. DH had the Humana Advantage Gold. For the same $96.40 Medicare cost, he also got the supplement that covered what Medicare didn't, along with a drug plan. His prescriptions had a co-pay if he got his refills at, say, Walmart (Humana only used certain drug stores, too) or they have an outfit called Rightsource that he could get a 3-month supply with no co-pay, just had to plan ahead.

I can't figure out why more people didn't take advantage of the plans. Why pay $200 a month to BCBS when you get the same thing for free? Medicare paid the $96.40 that they take out of his SS check to Humana. Works for me. Every dollar I can keep in my pocket is that much more I have for groceries.
Yes - the Medicare Advantage recipient pays the same amount - but Medicare pays more to the insurance company (about 13% more if I remember correctly - could be wrong). Good deal for a lot of Medicare recipients - but not a good deal for the taxpayers. That's what I don't understand.

Now I realize that Medicare has lots of "gaps" - which is why my husband has a Medigap policy. And that decent Medigap policies aren't cheap (my husband pays $165/month for one of the higher end plans that was discontinued this year - my father pays over $200/month for an older "gold plated" Medigap plan that was discontinued years and years ago). And a lot of older people can't afford to plug the gaps that way. But instead of Medicare paying 13% more for anyone - regardless of income - who chooses a Medicare Advantage plan - why not simply provide more benefits - less gaps - for low income seniors? I don't mind paying some taxes for older people who can't afford their health care - but I don't feel like paying for Medicare Advantage plans so people can play 4 extra rounds of golf a month.

And people also pay more now for their Medicare part B when they earn more. Nothing wrong with that IMO. And perhaps people with lower incomes should pay more for Medicare Part B (my husband and I will pay basic rates unless our modified adjusted gross income is more than $170k/year). If you're 64 and paying for private insurance - good chance you're paying a ton in premiums (deductibles - copays - etc.). Even a reasonable increase in Medicare premiums will have you breathing a sigh of relief when you hit that age 65 line. Robyn
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