Originally Posted by donsabi
I had an advantage plan that cost me nothing. When I moved to my new area I was told there were no advantage plans available here. I decided to go with a medigap insurance from a well known firm. After the first year I got hit with a 25% increase in premium even thought I had no major cost. I talked to one of the insurance companies reps and he said they go up every year and sometime have increases through the year. The the rate of 25% a year increases it won't be too long before I can no longer afford medigap insurance leaving me with Medicare alone.
I know one fellow in NJ who did not have anything other than Medicare. He was dx'ed with prostrate cancer and treated with radiation. He told me he got a bill from the radiologist for $16k. I told him Medicare care would pay most of that. He then told me that bill was after Medicare had paid their share. He said he told the radiologist he had no money and is sending them $100 a month. The medical facility seems to accept the payment plan he offered as they took no legal action. This person owns his home and has a half a mil in the bank and investments.
I personally think it is outrageous that seniors must pay for Medicare, pay for a medigap plan, pay for a prescription plan, and still have deductibles.
I've read a lot of messages here - but never one that stated that no MA plans were available where a person lived. Where did you move to?
Note that premiums are adjusted for your group - not only for you. And because you didn't sign up for Medigap when you were first eligible - well I really don't know the rules about price increases in that situation. Since we signed up at the start - we can never be charged more than any new person entering our plan at age 65 - even when we're 85.
Different Medigap policies pay for different things. With Plan F - you will pay almost nothing out of pocket except under certain very limited situations.
If your friend's 20% co-pay for his radiation therapy was $16k - that means the doc charged $80k. That's nuts. Of course - to a lot of us who live outside the high-priced spread parts of the US - the costs of everything in places like that look nuts. For example - a great SNF here that costs about $75k/year will easily cost you double that in parts of the NE - California - etc.
As for what things cost....
I am one of the few people here who has been in a government run health insurance program for a long time. Like 20 years. The Florida high risk health pool (has been closed to new enrollment for quite a while). No allegedly fat cat insurance companies - or insurance company executives raking it in.
I've followed its finances closely for those 20 years. Because I was always afraid of losing the coverage (don't know why - because the state doesn't pay the losses - the losses are passed on to every person in Florida who buys a health insurance policy - guess I'm just a worrier). Last time I looked at the financials - there were 500 of us left in the pool. And those 500 people ran a collective loss averaging $10k/per person per year (perhaps because a majority of people left in the program are people with AIDS who stay in it to cover the cost of their drugs). And that's not because the premiums are cheap. By law - I am required to pay 125% of the average cost of a similar private market policy for someone my age with no pre-existing conditions (as if someone who's 64 has never had a problem). Note that I am a class 1 insured. Minor problems. Class 3 - major problems - will be 175% of private market rates. My husband - with MS - was class 2 (150%) before he left the program to go on Medicare. Anyway - in my case - that now means paying about $600/month with a $10k deductible plus a 20% co-pay up to an additional $3k out of pocket every year.
Anyway - I never had a sense of entitlement when I was younger. And I don't think I'll acquire one instantly when I go on Medicare next month. What leads you to this sense of entitlement just because you're old? Robyn