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Old 04-19-2008, 12:28 AM
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,172 posts, read 6,889,716 times
Reputation: 1525


There is another option and that's a Medicare Advantage program. It's a hybrid of Medicare and private insurance. You get it through a private company and use that instead of Medicare. You pay for part B Medicare and a monthly fee to the company.
Some you don't have to pay extra, just assign the Part B payment to the company. Others, which I have, you pay extra but get extra benefits and assign the Part B payment to the company.
Doctors sign up to be part of the program. Most operate like PPOs or HMOs.
I've always used the Advantage program. Straight Medicare just doesn't cover enough. I pay an additional $51 to 81 a month for the Advantage program in addition to Part B.
Some of the Advantage programs have a "gotcha" though. They can bill the patient for excess charges that the Advantage payment doesn't cover. I avoid those.
You can find out more about the Advantage programs here.
Medicare.gov - MOC: Select a Search Option
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Old 04-19-2008, 03:46 PM
26,591 posts, read 52,344,141 times
Reputation: 20438
Originally Posted by Jimrob1 View Post
Our healthcare in this country is nothing less than a absolute disgrace. When Im overseas and relatives bring up this subject Im uncomfortable and ashamed to even talk about it. Im mostly ashamed because Im afraid I will rant so much about this subject that I will make them uncomfortable. Im retired from the VA Medical Centers so I understand Health care and its many problems. I can honestly say there are more people than one could ever imagine in this country that have died or will die because of lack of medical care or the ability to pay for it.
When I'm overseas and asked about American Health care... I say America has the finest Healthcare System Money can buy... which usually starts a series of followup questions.

I realize this is a Retirement Forum... but I like to comment on another side of our Healthcare System...

I have a tenant that became a Grandmother at age 30... her Grandson was born premature and had a number of issues, including a serious Heart Defect.

I believe it when I was told that the months her Grandson spent at Stanford Hospital and followup care easily cost over 500k... and it was all provided without cost to the family... including free family stays at the Ronald McDonald House and Lucile Packard Center...

I also know several other children that have received phenomenal care without regard to the families ability to pay. My facility regularly hosts Shriner's Clinics where all children are seen at no cost.

The Nurses in Germany that I was relating the above story to told me that "such" a child would not have had anywhere near the care under socialized medicine unless the parents were wealthy or famous...

American Health Care has very high costs... It is not unusual for RN's in the San Francisco Bay Area to make upwards of 100k per year and everything that goes into a Hospital costs more... everything is regulated right down to the fabric rating of the material on the lobby chairs and many Surgical Items are Single Use Only and tossed in the trash once the Surgical Pak has been opened... whether the item is used or not.

The Real Question is how much are we as a Society willing and able to pay and how long can medical facilities remain compliant as reimbursement rates continue to decline?

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 04-19-2008 at 03:55 PM..
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Old 04-19-2008, 06:30 PM
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,118 posts, read 8,163,742 times
Reputation: 18774
If you really want to see how nationalized health care works, take a look at Canada. You wait 6 months to see a doctor. Multitudes have crossed the border into the US to pay for urgently needed care, because it is 'illegal' to pay for your own in Canada!

The solution - which nobody wants to hear - is to get government to heck OUT of the health insurance business. Go back to paying for it ourselves, no insurance needed. I'm sure enough of you here are old enough to remember how things were in the 1950s and 60s. Doctors were affordable, and would make house calls. Today? Don't make me laugh! And most mature people were not taking multitudinous "prescriptions" as they are today - for what??? You need to pay for expensive health insurance to fund the purchase of expensive drugs. Big pharma is in bed with the medical providers, and so is Big health insurance. Throw 'em all out!
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Old 04-19-2008, 09:12 PM
48,516 posts, read 83,989,888 times
Reputation: 18050
The thing is that we didn't have near as much in the way of healthcare. People suffered with back pain their whole lifes;had no bypass surgery and if you had cancer they discovered it when opening you up and then closed for you to die.Just look at a cemetary some day and the ages peole died. The number of infant deaths is unbelieveable then.
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