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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,796
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: Getting switched with little warning into Medicare Advantage

I have never been so darn confused as this Medicare thing.  I have handled all financial/medical stuff all my adult life, but this got me!

 

My husband needs to enroll.  We have been inundated with phone calls and mail.

 

We have had a company to work with via his employer.  It is really so confusing at first, and I am just hoping we get it now!

 

He has enrollment in Part A and B.  Then, we are choosing a Medigap policy (referred to as Part F) and a prescription drug plan, which is separate.  At first we were going to do a Medicare Advantage plan, but after some explanations, decided on the alternative.  Both the plans we chose are Blue Cross Blue Shield.

 

I found it very overwhelming, and hope we chose correctly!

 

Hyacinth

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,548
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Getting switched with little warning into Medicare Advantage


@hyacinth003 wrote:

I have never been so darn confused as this Medicare thing.  I have handled all financial/medical stuff all my adult life, but this got me!

 

My husband needs to enroll.  We have been inundated with phone calls and mail.

 

We have had a company to work with via his employer.  It is really so confusing at first, and I am just hoping we get it now!

 

He has enrollment in Part A and B.  Then, we are choosing a Medigap policy (referred to as Part F) and a prescription drug plan, which is separate.  At first we were going to do a Medicare Advantage plan, but after some explanations, decided on the alternative.  Both the plans we chose are Blue Cross Blue Shield.

 

I found it very overwhelming, and hope we chose correctly!

 

Hyacinth


@hyacinth003, we are in the same boat!  Trying to understand Medicare and the accompanying plans has been a challenge for sure!  I, too, hope we made the right choice for my husband.  Time will tell but we did have some help from a Medicare counselor at the local Area Agency on Aging.  

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,128
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Getting switched with little warning into Medicare Advantage


@terrier3 wrote:



As someone who does sell HI, seniors must remember to check every year. Medicare Plans change EVERY YEAR. Most seniors I have advised are very knowledgable...they study the literature very closely and ask lots of informed questions.

 


 

 

@terrier3  This really scary & of interest to me.  I will be helping my Mom figure out her insurance very soon.  Can you give me any pointers please?

 

My Mom is on my Dad's group insurance for 1 year past his death (12/28/15)    I'm pretty well versed on dental and medical insurance. Medicare throws me for a loop.  I had no idea that Medicare Advantage is different than Medicare

 

Thanks for any tips you can give.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,010
Registered: ‎08-29-2010

Re: Getting switched with little warning into Medicare Advantage

@Mary Bailey   I certainly am not Terrier 3 and will not attempt to usurp her knowledge and advice on these important choices.

 

Until Terrier3 comes back to the thread, I can offer you this tip: Medicare and You 2016 is a helpful and valuable resource for decision making.  It covers each option and does so in plain language.  

 

You can request a paper copy of the book by calling 1-800-Medicare.  If you want information more quickly, you can download the book in various formats at the link I provided above.

 

 

Strive for respect instead of attention. It lasts longer.
Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,627
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Getting switched with little warning into Medicare Advantage


@hyacinth003 wrote:

 

 

He has enrollment in Part A and B.  Then, we are choosing a Medigap policy (referred to as Part F) and a prescription drug plan, which is separate.  At first we were going to do a Medicare Advantage plan, but after some explanations, decided on the alternative.  Both the plans we chose are Blue Cross Blue Shield.

 

Hyacinth


 

This statement is not quite correct. PlanF is a Medigap plan, but there are other Medigap plans as well.  So saying Medigap = Plan F is not accurate.

 

To those who need to make decisions about Medicare and Medigap, please don't look for advice on a message board.  Instead, talk to a local certified Medicare advisor. These people can give you accurate information about Medigap plans that are available on your state and can help you figure out which plan best fits your needs.  

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Getting switched with little warning into Medicare Advantage


@Isobel Archer wrote:

I guess I am not understanding this.

 

Having just enrolled in Medicare - and keeping my supplement - I am paying two fees - one to Medicare and one to the supplement.

 

Doesn't Medicare Advantage just have the one fee?

 

Wouldn't someone notice this?

 

What am I missing here?


When you have an advantage plan, it takes over. You are paying for your amount due to Medicare and also any up charges for the private insurance advantage plan. There should also be a charge for a drug plan.  

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,916
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

Re: Getting switched with little warning into Medicare Advantage

@Witchy Woman 

Nice to talk with another civil servant.  Immediately after high school I started my federal employment and I retired in 2008 with over 37 years.   I must say when I look back at all those years I truly enjoyed myself, not only for the work I was doing but for the wonderful people I met.  Another high point was I met and married by DH.

 

I was working in HR when FERS rolled out.  We didn't have many CSRS employees switch over.  CSRS was still seen as a better retirement system.  Of those that did convert, many were those that had already worked years paying into social security and had lesser years of government service.  Also some of our professional high wage earners changed because it was a lucrative plan for them and they could afford to maxed out their TSP contributions.

 

I am thrilled that @Isobel Archer returned to post.  I am so appreciative of her providing that information!

 

You sound like you had a exciting career, I would have loved to work in Washington DC and while I was recruited to go there after graduation, my mother said absolutely not.

 

My best to you.  

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,796
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: Getting switched with little warning into Medicare Advantage


@nomless wrote:

@hyacinth003 wrote:

 

 

He has enrollment in Part A and B.  Then, we are choosing a Medigap policy (referred to as Part F) and a prescription drug plan, which is separate.  At first we were going to do a Medicare Advantage plan, but after some explanations, decided on the alternative.  Both the plans we chose are Blue Cross Blue Shield.

 

Hyacinth


 

This statement is not quite correct. PlanF is a Medigap plan, but there are other Medigap plans as well.  So saying Medigap = Plan F is not accurate.

 

To those who need to make decisions about Medicare and Medigap, please don't look for advice on a message board.  Instead, talk to a local certified Medicare advisor. These people can give you accurate information about Medigap plans that are available on your state and can help you figure out which plan best fits your needs.  


 

I think most people KNOW not to take what is said as gospel for their situation.  I find reading through other people's situations helpful in determining which questions I should ask or to be aware of something I may not have thought of.

 

In my information, this particular plan (Blue Cross Blue Shield Medigap) is listed as Plan F.  I was disclosing my choice.  There are many other Medigap plans, I think we were given 55 to look at.  But we chose this one referred to as Plan F.  I don't remember what the others were called.  And we chose a Blue Cross Blue Shield Prescription Drug Plan, and there are many of those.  There were 3 or 4 by Blue Cross Blue Shield even.  Every state or even county can be different.  There are HMO's and PPO's listed.  Not sure if that was just Medicare Advantage or the Medigap's too.  There are different premium prices even for the same company. 

 

Which is why I said it feels overwhelming.  We did work with an advisor, and I also recommend doing so.

 

Hyacinth

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,796
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: Getting switched with little warning into Medicare Advantage


@debcakes wrote:

@Isobel Archer wrote:

I guess I am not understanding this.

 

Having just enrolled in Medicare - and keeping my supplement - I am paying two fees - one to Medicare and one to the supplement.

 

Doesn't Medicare Advantage just have the one fee?

 

Wouldn't someone notice this?

 

What am I missing here?


When you have an advantage plan, it takes over. You are paying for your amount due to Medicare and also any up charges for the private insurance advantage plan. There should also be a charge for a drug plan.  


In the midst of going through this, I came away with this.

 

You will pay your $121 per month to Medicare (deduction from SS if you are getting it)

Then you pay the fee for the Medicare Advantage, and they sort of administer the plan.  I also think they include prescription drug coverage.  There were 14 choices in that for my husband.  (2 monthly costs)

 

We chose the Medigap and separate prescription drug coverage.  So, he will pay the $121 per month, as well as for the Medigap, and separate for the prescription drug plan (3 monthly costs). 

 

This is my understanding of what WE had to choose from.  I am just learning!

 

Hyacinth

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,040
Registered: ‎03-15-2010

Re: Getting switched with little warning into Medicare Advantage

@Allegheny

 

Sounds like you did OK, too.  I know people have a bad view of Feds, but all but a few of the folks I met worked very hard at their jobs and took them seriously.  Had a few nutty bosses, but they were political appointees, not career.

 

I was young and started at the low end of the scale and worked my way up.  You could do that back then.  OPM wasn't a bad place to work, but you didn't miss a thing by not being in DC!

 

My daily commute was almost 2 hours each way on a bus and that's what finally wore me down.  I spent more time sleeping with strangers on the bus than I did with my husbandWoman LOL

 

I see we both had long careers.  But, it's good to be retired.

 

Enjoy!