Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Encouraging Call from Doctor's Office, and Insurance Question

I know my doctor will be out of her office for the first part of the week, but apparently she is still in communication with them.  I got a call today to change my appointment time because the doctor would "like to spend more time with me."  Now when was the last time you've heard that!  I remember once I went in for an appointment with a different doctor and had a list of questions. I had made the appointment because I had felt rushed in the past and was told I had to make a special appointment to ask questions.  As it turned out after I had asked just a few, I was told my allotted appointment time was up, and I would need another if I still wanted to ask questions.  Believe me, that was the last time I went there! This was not at Kaiser by the way, there the doctors always gave me as much time as I needed and answered all of my questions.

Speaking of medical issues, I'd like to ask the American, over 65, fulltimers what kind of health insurance they have. In addition to Medicare do you have an Advantage plan, or a Supplemental?  If it is an Advantage plan, does it cover you where ever you are at the same copay as your home office, or do you have to go back to your home base for most issues other than emergencies?

I signed us up for the Supplemental plan offered thru the AARP that is with United Health Care.  So far the coverage has been great.  I can go to any doctor who accepts Medicare, and any Hospital.  When Craig cut his head we went to an ER and he was covered 100%.  If we had gotten an Advantage plan it would have been with Kaiser, and I know it cost $100 copay for an ER visit, unless you are admitted.  We don't have any copay with the Supplemental, but our premium is higher than the Advantage plans. 

When we do go fulltime, I will probably try to get a doctor in San Diego for both of us because that is where our daughter lives and we are likely to visit there at least once a year. Once we sell the house we have no real reason to return to the Bay Area since we do not have family here at all.

If you feel this question is to personal or intrusive.  Please ignore my question.  

I heard from my sister that "Obamacare" is gutting the Advantage plans, but I also read that Republicans like Ryan want to gut Medicare.  Can they do that? 


  1. Since I'm a retired Fed I have my Blue Cross coverage for both Jim and I so we don't have the Medicare B or D or whatever it is. However, my Aunt Happy has the AARP supplemental insurance and she really likes it. Since she's really tight with her money, that would be a good endorsement.

  2. I have a Medicare Supplement through Gerber Life. It pays my Part B deductible, the 20% of what Medicare approves AND any excess charges.

    Therefore, All I do is pay my premiums and after Medicare does their part, Gerber takes over and does the rest.

  3. I forgot to add that as an EX Insurance agent, I priced every program out there and Gerber gave me the most for the $$$ spent.

  4. I'm sure since they are the government they can do what they want. They do it now. I'm glad you get to spend more time with you dr.
    That is nice that they did that, those times seem to be a thing from the past.

  5. Al will be 65 soon, so we're also looking into a supplemental. I was pleased to find out that my retirement health insurance from USAA will be his supplement, with Medicare primary, and that we will have no deductible. I think he will have good coverage, but I guess we'll see how it plays out. Sorry no help here, except to say that Paul Ryan does not want to gut Medicare, he's trying to make sure there is enough money available to keep it and Social Security for all of us that have paid into it over the years.

  6. I despise insurance companies. We are into our 3rd year of Medicare for Kathy and 8th year for me. We had Continental Life, BC/BS, United American and now USAA. We have the Plan F supplement. So far USAA has been great. USAA reduced our premiums this year. I pay more than Kathy because I am on Social Security Disability. However, USAA says that when I turn 65 they will lower my premium to match Kathy's. We will see. I turn 65 in Aug, so check back with me and I will let you know if they kept their word. The next revolution we need to get the insurance companies out of the health care business. By that I mean an insurance company should only be allowed to ask 2 questions; number 1 is the premium current and if the answer is yes than the next and only other question allowed should be; where do we send the check. I despise insurance companies.

    Please be careful on the road.


  7. my mom has medicare aarp with united health care....she loves it! and it seems to me that she gets very good preventive (so far) care. I had a long (2 hour) talk with my insurance lady last week on what to do to help lower my premiums...was that ever interesting!. She said NO ONE has any idea what is going to happen next year..

  8. I have coverage through my retired GA teachers system that offers a supplemental for Joe who has Medicare. When we went to Canada we were told we would have to pay out of pocket for medical (thank goodness we didn't need it) , but to save bills, et. and we would be reimbursed.

    We have reservations for Grand Canyon April 30. Can't wait! And yes, Red Rock Canyon is on our list too.

  9. Hi Merikay,
    Joe and I are both retired and We have AARP MedicareComplete/United Health Care as our supplemental ins. Our office CoPay is $15, specialist is $30 and ER is $65 but if we are admitted as an inpatient the ER Copay is deleted. We can go to any Dr. or Hospital and Have great coverage when we are traveling. I just had an abdominal ultrasound and the final amount I had to pay was $27. Oh, and the best part of it is there is NO monthly premium payment no begining of the year deductable. I have three prescriptions, I get a ninety day supply and I pay $6-$9 total.
    We've never had any problems in the seven years we've had it. I hope you find what meets your needs.

  10. My understanding of the Advantage plans is that they mostly restrict you to a service territory and will not work well for extended of full time travelers. They may have a procedure for out of network service but you will pay more on the deductible and have a greater problem finding a doctor that will bill them.

    We went with United Healthcare through AARP also. I would point out that they have more than one plan. We chose one with no deductible. There is a slightly cheaper one that has a deductible. We have had great luck with it so far. They have paid everything that isn't covered by Medicare.

    I would not worry about the "gloom and doom" people who spout things about Obamacare and what it will do to our coverage or premiums. We may come out ahead and we still have the option to change insurance plans and providers every year.

    By the way, we also bought a Plan D for drugs and prescriptions. We went with Humana, who also has multiple plans, so that we could get our prescriptions from Wal Mart (other pharmacies are also covered). The coverage actually is better in 2013 than it was in 2012.


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