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Old 03-25-2015, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,535 posts, read 43,972,276 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
out of blue cross and first united which is the better choice ?
Both have B+ or higher ratings according to Weiss. Medigaps can't mess around with payment. If Medicare pays, they must pay also. So, the choice boils down to financial strength - and maybe if the carrier is offering a few bells and whistles - and premium. Example, my hd-F offers unlimited payment for preventive services not subject to deductible. I really don't know how valuable that perk is because I haven't doctored since I bought it, but the other policies in WI limit that coverage to $500. NY carriers may have other perks we don't see here in WI.

Blue Cross did offer an hd-F in WI a few years ago and got out of the market. Insurance people say it's because of lack of demand. BCBS' rate was very competitive at $55/mo., I signed up and then changed my mind. Two years later when I decided I really did want an hd-F, BCBS was no longer selling hd-F in WI, and I ended up w/a policy for $76/mo. (now $74, rate went down), which has always bugged me. Given the deductible, even $74/mo. is too high. They probably won't pay a dime on me for a decade at least, if not much longer. Before BCBS got out of the market, rate for me last year would have been $67/mo. WI is down to two decent hd-F carriers, American Republic (A-), Physicians Mutual (A+). Colonial Penn at D+ doesn't count, imo.

You probably can't go wrong with Blue Cross, imo, but should look into First United.

One other thing, some carriers do raise rates during the year. My plan doesn't. So, look into that, as well.
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
4,687 posts, read 5,534,464 times
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Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
Just out of curiosity: why? If BCBS on its own has been fine for you for 41 years, and will still be fine for you when you're 64 + 364 days old, why do you feel that the following day at age 65 you'll all of a sudden need a different health care program (Medicare Part B)?

I'm not saying that such a decision would be wrong; I'm merely inquiring why you're so sure it is correct. I, myself, haven't decided what I'm going to do at 65 as I still have 6 years to go and who knows what health care will look like then. I'm not willing to extensively research choices now that may be completely outdated or obsolete by the time I'm 65.

BTW, you stated that you were unaware of any advantages to waiting to sign up; one that I can think of off the bat is if you want to go to a doctor who doesn't accept new Medicare patients.
You're right - I said we would sign up for Part B when we could (age 65). To be more accurate, I'm not completely sure, but mostly sure, that we'll do so. It's not so much of a *need* to enroll in Part B as it is having the opportunity to do so. I've got another couple of years to figure it out.

I've been very happy with BCBS. It was great in the DC area, and I'm finding that it's working well for me in Maine as well. And I would continue with a health insurance policy through FEHBP, but if I go with Medicare Part B, I'd switch to an FEHBP policy with a lower premium, to lower my total monthly premiums.

To the best of my knowledge, one advantage to having both Medicare Part B and a fee-for-service FEHBP plan is that most fee-for-service plans waive deductibles and co-pays for people with Part B (except for prescription drugs). If having both Medicare Part B and an FEHBP plan means I have little or no out-of-pocket expenses, that may make enough of a difference financially to make it worthwhile to have both coverages.

What I'll need to do in the year in which I first become eligible for Part B is to crunch some numbers ... look at the costs of Medicare Part B and a (relatively) low-cost FEHBP plan, look at a year in which I had higher-than-usual medical costs, and see if it makes sense for me to have both coverages.

You make a good point about doctors accepting new Medicare patients. I'm just not sure how much weight I should give that when I'm trying to determine my best course of action; i.e., numbers are much easier to assess than whether any specific doctor may or may not accept me as a new patient since I have Medicare.
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