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Old 05-23-2014, 05:56 AM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,972 posts, read 12,480,117 times
Reputation: 8702

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zugor View Post
If your current policy covers the same things as Medicare Part A & B then you can opt not to sign up for medicare. If you do choose to get Medicare coverage then you will have a variety of supplemental policies to pick from, if you want one, whether an Advantage plan or a Medigap plan. You are not required to have any supplemental policy. You are not required to keep the current policy from BC/BS. You will need to do some research to find out what the best option is for you.

Thanks. I have decided to sign up for A & B. I will be 65 in Nov. I imagine I will be receiving something in the mail about this over this summer. Otherwise I will be calling them soon.
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,415 posts, read 5,131,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimrob1 View Post
Thanks. I have decided to sign up for A & B. I will be 65 in Nov. I imagine I will be receiving something in the mail about this over this summer. Otherwise I will be calling them soon.
I turn 65 in Sept and just got the first bit of info from Medicare a little over a week ago. I then met with someone from the local Agency on Aging to go over all my options and figure out what's the best choice for me. Even though I had done some research and more or less figured out what I wanted it was good to have someone well versed in all the details to confirm that I'd understood my options and made the best choice.
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
703 posts, read 795,615 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimrob1 View Post
Yes I am a Fed retiree, and my BC/BS is thru my pension. I can keep it even when on Medicare. So it will be secondary to Part A and B. I am told I will have little to no copayments at age 65 with the combination of all these insurances.

I have been considering taking the GEHA plan if it will be cheaper than the BC/BS Federal I have now. I think as I get older it will be difficult to maintain the BC plan, simply because the premium goes up every single year. Since there is a penalty every year for not signing up for Medicare, I have decided to just take it in Nov when I turn 65.

I will research the GEHA plans and see if they are cheaper than the BC one I have now.

Thanks for your help.
My dh is a Fed retiree, and we have BC/BS(BASIC, which is essentially a PPO). It is a secondary to my dh's Medicare. He has had no out of pocket expenses, and no co-payments. Unfortunately it is many years before I qualify for Medicare.
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:06 AM
 
6,345 posts, read 3,574,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimrob1 View Post
Thanks. I have decided to sign up for A & B. I will be 65 in Nov. I imagine I will be receiving something in the mail about this over this summer. Otherwise I will be calling them soon.
I did not get anything in the mail. You can go on Medicare.gov, create an account with them, and sign up directly online. I turned 65 last November and signed up August. You can start the process on the 1st of the month 3 months before you actually turn 65. Medicare sent me my card in the mail about 6 weeks before my coverage started.

Interestingly, after I signed up for Original Medicare, I got non-stop stuff in the mail from insurance companies on their Medicare Advantage Plan, which I didn't want.

My husband is still working and has coverage through his job. He has Medicare Part A, but opted out of Part B, and went with the same employer insurance company as a Medicare Advantage Plan, which his employer pays for.
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Old 05-24-2014, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
9,986 posts, read 16,655,709 times
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OP I am a Federal retiree. The insurance rates are the same for everyone, age is not a factor. You choose self or family and an insurer on the list.

My husband is my dependent on my health insurance. The year before he turned 65 I did a spreadsheet of the insurance options available to us and determined that the GEHA Basic plan with Medicare Part B was the best buy. I also signed up for GEHA's dental insurance (dental insurance is a mixed bag). I kept that combination until I discovered Kaiser NW Medicare Advantage plan with Kaiser's own clinic dental coverage, I suspended my Federal health insurance participation last month but kept the GEHA Dental for now. One of the concerns we had is that as we age dental 'events' happen more frequently and it is difficult to discern if the recommendations of a dentist are based on patient need or the dentist's need. Years ago we had Kaiser dentists and are confident that they recommend what we needed, only.

Choose Medicare part B and a plan that eliminates co-pays. If you do so your health care costs may actually decrease if you look at this over a several year time frame. I found that GEHA & BC/BS participating physicians and hospitals are the same.

One word of warning: when you turn 65 Medicare is primary unless you are working and have a health insurance policy from your employer. There are some Internists who limit the number of Medicare patients they care for because the reimbursement is low. I found this a problem when I moved from Seattle metro to Portland, it didn't matter that I had GEHA. I recommend establishing a relationship with an Internist before you turn 65 at least for that reason.
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Old 05-24-2014, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
703 posts, read 795,615 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell Plotts View Post

One word of warning: when you turn 65 Medicare is primary unless you are working and have a health insurance policy from your employer. There are some Internists who limit the number of Medicare patients they care for because the reimbursement is low. I found this a problem when I moved from Seattle metro to Portland, it didn't matter that I had GEHA. I recommend establishing a relationship with an Internist before you turn 65 at least for that reason.
This is true, HOWEVER, the secondary picks up the rest so there is no loss on the Doctor's part. In our case, dh is a federal retiree, Medicare is primary, BC/BS(basic) secondary. With that said, he has only seen a family practice doctor and dermatologist since being on Medicare. Perhaps rates of pay are poor for the specialist?
We are dealing with finding new doctor's because we moved to a new state and are establishing new again.
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Old 05-24-2014, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,972 posts, read 12,480,117 times
Reputation: 8702
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell Plotts View Post
OP I am a Federal retiree. The insurance rates are the same for everyone, age is not a factor. You choose self or family and an insurer on the list.

My husband is my dependent on my health insurance. The year before he turned 65 I did a spreadsheet of the insurance options available to us and determined that the GEHA Basic plan with Medicare Part B was the best buy. I also signed up for GEHA's dental insurance (dental insurance is a mixed bag). I kept that combination until I discovered Kaiser NW Medicare Advantage plan with Kaiser's own clinic dental coverage, I suspended my Federal health insurance participation last month but kept the GEHA Dental for now. One of the concerns we had is that as we age dental 'events' happen more frequently and it is difficult to discern if the recommendations of a dentist are based on patient need or the dentist's need. Years ago we had Kaiser dentists and are confident that they recommend what we needed, only.

Choose Medicare part B and a plan that eliminates co-pays. If you do so your health care costs may actually decrease if you look at this over a several year time frame. I found that GEHA & BC/BS participating physicians and hospitals are the same.

One word of warning: when you turn 65 Medicare is primary unless you are working and have a health insurance policy from your employer. There are some Internists who limit the number of Medicare patients they care for because the reimbursement is low. I found this a problem when I moved from Seattle metro to Portland, it didn't matter that I had GEHA. I recommend establishing a relationship with an Internist before you turn 65 at least for that reason.

I have GEHA Dental. I have to say I have had problems with them several times. I think much of it stems from the fact that my BC/BS becomes primary. even with the minimal dental on that plan. Claims take forever to process, sometimes close to a year. Seems BC and GEHA fight with each other over who will pay the bills. Not sure if I will keep it much longer. Though I agree we definitely need Dental as we get older. I will look at other Dental plans at open season.

I will have to look into the GEHA Health plan you mentioned. If it is cheaper than I pay for the FEHB BC/BS then perhaps I should change to it as I get ready to go on Medicare. I think paying BC/BS as I get older is going to get very expensive. I don't think there is a year they don't go up, and with less coverage. We don't have anything like Kaiser here in Massachusetts. I think they must primarily be in the West. In fact I don't think there are any HMO's at all here in New England any longer.
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
9,986 posts, read 16,655,709 times
Reputation: 6391
The issue for professional providers is that Medicare sets the reimbursement rate which may be lower than the contract with BC/BS or GEHA. Yes, Medicare B pays, then BC/BS/GEHA pays the balance. The provider doesn't receive more $. I didn't realize that until we moved and had to change Internists. What a PITA for us all but frankly that is how the insurer can afford to eliminate co-pays.

Kaiser referred me to an endodontist. It will be interesting to see how GEHA handles that with my Kaiser dental coverage.
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:36 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
703 posts, read 795,615 times
Reputation: 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell Plotts View Post
The issue for professional providers is that Medicare sets the reimbursement rate which may be lower than the contract with BC/BS or GEHA. Yes, Medicare B pays, then BC/BS/GEHA pays the balance. The provider doesn't receive more $. I didn't realize that until we moved and had to change Internists. What a PITA for us all but frankly that is how the insurer can afford to eliminate co-pays.

Kaiser referred me to an endodontist. It will be interesting to see how GEHA handles that with my Kaiser dental coverage.
Thank you for this information. Now I understand more clearly.

JimRob - do you have Basic or Standard BC/BS? We have Basic which is the lower premium BC/BS. We've had it for about 5 years and have been very happy. The Standard is cost prohibitive for us.

ETA: We have no dental insurance. I don't consider the rider on BC/BS much of an insurance.
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Old 05-25-2014, 05:20 AM
 
29,764 posts, read 34,851,819 times
Reputation: 11675
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarajane2013 View Post
I retired when I turned 62 my health insurance is 244.00 a month just for me. When I turn 65 it will be much lower. It is a strain on me right now to pay this much. I am very healthy and am on 2 medications. Can I drop my insurance now and pick it back up again when I turn 65 ??? Is that legal...?
Is this insurance you got on your own or via a former employer. If from former employer once dropped it could be forever gone and not obtainable via your employer again.
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