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AARP and health insurance for members under age 65????

Am I missing something or does AARP truly have few health insurance options for members who are too young for Medicare?

 

All I can find is Delta Dental and Rx discounts through UnitedHealthcare's Optum . . .

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You are supposed to help me I'm willing to pay the fees help me with my knees

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Why am I having such a hard time to connect to you guys at AARP I watch your commercials on TV. You why I'm having such a hard time my name is Phillip Adams my phone number is three one two two hundred iPhone 6 6-3

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My husband recently retired (12/31/19) at 65 but I'm 62 and will need medical insurance,  I can sign up for COBRA but will need affordable insurance in the meanwhile.

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What is the process of getting medical insurance from AARP as a member?

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@GeorgeB177961 wrote:

What is the process of getting medical insurance from AARP as a member?


Be 65 years old * and eligible for Medicare - then you have a choice of either of these (and a whole lot of others not branded by AARP:

 

  • An AARP branded Medicare Advantage Plan from United Health Care - you don't have to be a member for this one -

                                                                OR

  • An AARP branded MEDIGAP plan which supplements original Medicare - have to be a member for this one

If you meet the 65 years old and Medicare eligibility requirement - start your search here https://www.aarpmedicareplans.com/ 

 

* some insurers in some states may sell some type plans to those less than 65 IF they are on Medicare as a result of a disability which has lasted more than 24 months.

 

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Hello,, just need alittle help. My husband has Medicare but I don't turn 65 till March 24. Does aarp united health help people like me with doctors and RX'S.  PLEASE  let me know what advice you can offer.  

                                         SANTINA RAPER 

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I need some insurance cause mines was cancelled on my job and me constantly going back and for to the doctor for my knee is expensive money that I don’t have  Help me please!!!

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Involuntary loss of employer group health triggers an SEP. Contact healthcare dot gov for assistance.


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The only program that was available to those under 65 is ending as of December 31, 2018.  We suspect that it is a condition of an upcoming merger between two large health care players. We were hoping that AARP would have been able to negotiate another similar program, but it was available prior to the full roll out of the ACA, and now the ACA addresses many of the issues that made such a program attractive to pursue.

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Easy to say that ACA will take care of everything. Not for me. I am in my early 60s, self-employed, and do not have any serious medical conditions (such as diabetes, cancer or cancer history, heart problems, high blood pressure, etc.) Yet I have to pay $912.07 just for my health insurance premium, plus a $5600 deductible, plus co-pays for any doctor visits. My few prescriptions are not covered at all until the deductible is met and a couple are not cheap. This is a rip-off, plain and simple, since anyone who works for a corporation or the government pays so much less. I did not want to go without insurance because at my age, something unexpected could happen. I'm just sorry that AARP cannot do anything to help people who are 50+ but less than 65. Can't wait for Medicare to kick in!

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@ellenb640249 wrote:

Easy to say that ACA will take care of everything. Not for me. I am in my early 60s, self-employed, and do not have any serious medical conditions (such as diabetes, cancer or cancer history, heart problems, high blood pressure, etc.) Yet I have to pay $912.07 just for my health insurance premium, plus a $5600 deductible, plus co-pays for any doctor visits. My few prescriptions are not covered at all until the deductible is met and a couple are not cheap. This is a rip-off, plain and simple, since anyone who works for a corporation or the government pays so much less. I did not want to go without insurance because at my age, something unexpected could happen. I'm just sorry that AARP cannot do anything to help people who are 50+ but less than 65. Can't wait for Medicare to kick in!


It sounds like you aren't getting a tax credit premium subsidy on your current health insurance.  That could be for a couple of reasons - either you are making over 400% of the Federal Poverty level and are income disqualified for receiving a tax credit premium subsidy under an ACA plan, which is a BIG problem with Obamacare, OR you are buying your coverage OFF the Exchange.

 

I just don't understand why you or anybody else thinks if AARP set up some sort of Association health insurance plan for those 50+ but less than 65 would make premiums less expensive considering that many in this category maybe disabled or just with the 3X age rating which Obamacare permits for this age

group.

 

It is having younger and healthier people in the mix to balance out the older and/or sicker that helps keep premiums constrained.

 

It is not like this subject age group of 50+ but under 65 would get Medicare Advantage rates.   

 

Association plans like any other private insurance needs a mix of healthier and younger to balance out the older and perhaps sicker individuals.

 

Open enrollment in Obamacare is now going on, why not check for another ACA plan on the Exchange to see if you can get a policy that better serves your health needs.  Healthcare.gov can give you your options or your state's own Exchange if they have one.

Periodic Contributor

BTW, once I'm on Medicare, it looks like I'll be able to get EVERYTHING covered with Medicare plus a supplemental plan for less than $400/mo. That's close to a $1000/mo difference for me!

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@ellenb640249 wrote:

BTW, once I'm on Medicare, it looks like I'll be able to get EVERYTHING covered with Medicare plus a supplemental plan for less than $400/mo. That's close to a $1000/mo difference for me!


You do have to remember that you have years and years of you and and your employer paying into Medicare Part A with payroll deductions and the employer match.

 

Are you also considering the Part B Medicare premiums that Medicare beneficiaries have to pay.  For most everybody for 2019, that is $ 135.50 per month.  Unless you are a higher income senior and then the price goes up based on your income of $ 85,000 per year and over.

 

Part B cost are shared with the government - currently 25% of the cost of the program is paid by beneficiaries in premiums and 75% is paid out of our governments General Fund.  With the huge number of baby boomers getting older and using more card, this premium can go nowhere but up.  Same will be true of any Medigap premium (Supplemental ins - Medicare GAP insurance) which increases with whatever rating method is used + medical inflation or cost of healthcare.

 

Then there are the Part D premiums too.

Add in a hundred or more in monthly cost for a Medigap plan.

 

And don't be late in signing up for Part B or Part D when eligible because then there are premium penalties assessed which go on forever.

 

Sure it will be cheaper hopefully but it is not in very good financial shape so who knows what may happen in the future.

 

 

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I am quite aware of the costs of Medicare at present, and I sure hope AARP is getting out there to keep the benefits we have worked so hard for and paid so much over decades of work history to have!

 

It just seems that people in the 50 to 65 group who are self-employed should have some kind of reasonable option in this country for healthcare. I was lucky enough to be able to handle the exhorbitant costs of the past decade, and perhaps those who cannot can get better rates from Obamacare. But the company that I had signed up with first doubled their rates in one year, then decided to cancel the plan altogether, forcing me to go with Obamacare, which was even more expensive yet.

 

One of my prescriptions was about $90/quarter when I was working for a corporation, and when I became self-employed, suddenly the same drug costs me $425/quarter. Why don't they just consider us part of some kind of group of self-employed people so we can get a reasonable price on prescriptions?

 

Honestly, many poorer and smaller countries (like Vietnam, Thailand, and Rwanda) have managed to provide solid basic healthcare to their people without causing financial distress. The medical insurance industry and precription drug providers here are surely raking in the profits on the backs of sick people (and even those who are NOT sick, but still have to pay crazy rates, like me.)

 

Anyway, as you can see, this is a hot button for me. It feels terribly unfair, and I just wish AARP was able to do something to help people in our position.

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I have to agree. I am not self employed, but my employers provider just raised the price of some of my generic medications by over 600% after turning 60. It use to cost me $46.00 without any insurance co-pays. It all came out of my pocket. Now the prescription company says that the insurance company has dictated new, higher initial costs.
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@kcwitthaus wrote:
I have to agree. I am not self employed, but my employers provider just raised the price of some of my generic medications by over 600% after turning 60. It use to cost me $46.00 without any insurance co-pays. It all came out of my pocket. Now the prescription company says that the insurance company has dictated new, higher initial costs.

A few things that could help your situation.

 

1.  In October 2018, Congress passed legislation to lift the "gag" rule on pharmacist preventing them from telling you the price of your medications WITHOUT using your insurance especially if the amount is lower than your insurance cost.

You can read more about this here:

Kaiser Health News October 11, 2018 - No More Secrets: Congress Bans Pharmacist ‘Gag Orders’ On Drug...

 

2.  Review your medications on GoodRx.com and see if there is a place in your area where the cost of these meds are lower without using your insurance - sometimes there are even coupons that you can use at specific places.

 

3.  Buy them via Canada - I use Blue Sky Drugs - Rx from Canada but others here can also give recommendations of other reputable Canadian pharmacies.

 

At least check the prices of your meds using these sites - you maybe very surprised.  Using your insurance for them is not always the best way.  Insurance is a pooled resource - sometimes you just have to look out for #1 (yourself)

 

There is a lot of legislation being proposed that could lower the cost of Rx meds in the U.S. - many of these are supported in a bipartisan way.  Course many of them are geared to reducing the cost of Rx for the government in Medicare and Medicaid but it would be a beginning.  Let's just hope our Congresscritters can get together and pass all or at least some of them when the new ones begin their duty in January 2019.

 

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I also fall into the catagory of over 50, but under 65. I am a 54 year old women who has had to give up her career in order to care for my disabled husband fulltime. The only health issue I have is a thyroid problem which is very much under control, other than that I am perfectly healthy, post-menpasual. I can't find private insurance because I have a pre-existing condition with the thyroid problem which a majority of people in the US have the exact same issue, so my only recourse is healthcare.gov, which is rediculously high.

 

For what I pay in premuims & as healthy as I am I would be better off to forgo the insurance. The only reason I don't is because if something did happen to me I don't get the discounts the insurance companies get & the hospitals would make me pay the full amount. Example: if I went to the emergency room & stayed just a few hours I would get charged approximately $20,000, plus doctors fees of about $400, plus any labs or x-rays guessing $300, plus anything else they decide to bill me for. The insurance company has discounts with these places & instead of $20,000, you only pay $3,000 for the ER hospital portion, but if I don't have insurance then the facility charges me the full $20,000 & will refuse any discount, that is rediculous as well. But since it is reaching the point where I'm paying $12,000 plus a year on health insurance & since I don't go to ER expect maybe once every 5 years then I would end up saving money in the long run to go without insurance.

 

I feel abandoned by AARP regarding this issue. They take my money to belong but do nothing to help those of use 50 - 64. In order for me to work I have to pay someone to watch my husband & at 54 I can no longer get a job that pays me more than I would have to pay out for his care because it must be done by a skilled person. I can't get decent health insurance any longer. I am one of the many abandoned. The young kids have a big mouth & cry "take care of us", the over 65 have earned their care, but those of us in that 15 year gap bear the brunt of this. We are paying more & more & more. AARP if you take money from those of us 50 & up you also need to fight for us. If I don't see some help soon then I don't see any reason to continue paying for a membership that does nothing to help me. I realize you're not an insurance company but you have people paying you for your help & your letting us down.

 

As stated before I am a fulltime caregiver, which the insurance companies, our government & quite frankly everyone expects from me as it is my husband who was in the accident & needs care. I love my husband & love being able to care for him, but I am losing out on health insurance & other benefits because of it. I joined AARP hoping they would help be an advocated for me as I don't have the time to be one because I am too busy caring for my husband. I feel you have taken my money & offered nothing to help me in return. I don't see myself paying to join again as you don't do anything to help me.

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@m724960q

 

I am confused by your post - 

 

Obamacare was created primarily to help those who needed coverage in the individual marketplace, perhaps had a pre-existing condition, and made between 138% - 400% of the Federal Poverty level.

 

If your family modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is between 138% - 400% of the Federal Poverty level you would have you premiums subsidized by the government for plans offered on the Exchange.

 

Now if your family MAGI is more than 400% of the FPL, the Obamacare plans without a subside are gonna be high - but there maybe some alternatives for you - check with a health insurance broker in your area for plans now offered OFF the Exchange - there are more and more alternatives coming onboard for those outside the "subsidy" group.

 

Even if AARP had just a plan affiliated with some large insurer, why would you think premiums would be any cheaper?

 

 

 

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GailL1, I guess you must be employed by a corporation or on Medicare already. I am self employed, and very healthy (fit, no cancer history, non-smoker, etc.), but over the years, because I have needed things like hernia surgery and a hysterectomy, and have osteoarthritis, one after another of the private insurance companies has "discontinued" whatever plan I was on. They would not offer me another plan. This is how the insurance companies have gotten around serving our age group. Finally, in 2017, the last private company "discontinued" my health plan. I was clearly told that my only option was Obamacare. My Obamacare premiums are over $900/mo. with a $5600 deductible plus co-pays for everything, and I have nowhere else to go until I turn 65 and can hopefully join Medicare, if it's still there! Count it up -- that's $16,400 out of my pocket before the insurance company will pay for almost anything except my annual physical! Because I am 64, I did not want to risk being without heath insurance even though my self-employment income has decreased this year, so I'm using retirement money to pay for healthcare. Truly, it's criminal!

 

Why would a plan with AARP cost less? Because they could combine all of us 55-64 yr. olds who are self-employed, care givers, or otherwise employed in situations where they do not receive insurance coverage, and negotiate a reasonable group rate with the insurance companies, which could be at least as good as a corporate rate. The insurance companies basically screw individuals.

 

I hope this clarifies for you. Obviously, from the responses to my original post, I am not alone in feeling that AARP has abandoned us in this age group in terms of health care.  I hope someone from the AARP is listening out there!

 

 

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@ellenb640249

I was self-employed, along with my husband, beginning in 1979 until I went on Medicare when I turned 65.  So I do know the price of individual plans, especially those of us who had to use that coverage because we did not have any benefits supplied by an employer.

 

All of our claims were paid as agreed under our individual plans.  In fact the insurer, when my husband became gravely ill in 2005, went above and beyond.  Our plan was great and we stuck with it through thick and thin - with our premiums being above $ 900 each when my husband died in 2006 (we were not 60 years old) - that's OVER $ 21,000 per year but the coverage was excellent..  He had terminal cancer - our wonderful policy at that time had a $500 deductible, then 80/20, a rider which added no copay or deductible if we went to (any) Emergency room for emergency care (we traveled alot), a drug plan with a $ 150 deductible and after that a $ 25 copay - and some of his oral cancer medication topped $ 4000 a month retail even in 2005.  They supplied everything we needed during his illness and at the end even to the point of helping my husband participate in our daughters wedding three weeks before he died with their supply of (usually over the limit) DME.  You are right, those type of policies are no more.

 

Obamacare changed everything in the individual marketplace with the non-exclusion of pre-existing conditions and coverage of all the EHB since many of those EHB pre-Obamacare were covered by rider issuance for those in the individual marketplace, and a new lower rating by age.

 

I am not a fan of Obamacare and can see exactly why premiums have risen extremely.  I can see exactly why some insurance companies have decided to leave specific geographical individual marketplaces.  But it is what it is - people who have EXTREME costly conditions can now get coverage with no questions asked.  No more denial of pre-existing conditions, no matter how sick or costly one might be.  And no more of the extreme rating by age.  The charging extra to smokers under Obamacare is not enforced in many (most) states.

 

So now we are paying hefty premiums for all of this, and healthy deductibles too just to help keep the premiums in check.  But it is NOT working for those who do not get a subsidy because they are feeling the total financial pinch of this increase - for those with a subsidy, the government is feeling the pinch in premiums, not the beneficiary.

CNN 10.15.2017 - Rising Obamacare premiums anger those paying full price

 

Within the Farm Bill that failed in the House last week was a provision to help to establish some type of Association type plans ( the topic) which many on the left think would erode the ACA, (HA, HA) like it is not already eroded - but the Farm Bill did not pass.

Kaiser Health News 05.08.2018 -How The Farm Bill Could Erode Part Of The ACA

 

States are now coming up with ideas to help improve the situation especially for those who get no subsidy.  These folks are also looking elsewhere for their coverage.  They are going to Medi-share plans, they are buying multiple non-sanctioned shortterm plans.  Many states are trying to reinvent the reinsurance program in such a way to subsidize those medical cost for the ones that are extremely sick and costly to insurance companies which in turn makes premiums escalate.  Other ideas are to foster those co-op ideas so that people can join together to get coverage.

 

You said:

Why would a plan with AARP cost less? Because they could combine all of us 55-64 yr. olds who are self-employed, care givers, or otherwise employed in situations where they do not receive insurance coverage, and negotiate a reasonable group rate with the insurance companies, which could be at least as good as a corporate rate. The insurance companies basically screw individuals.

 

That's what Obamacare insurers are doing now for all age groups- negotiating rate and coverage.  If AARP only insured those who are 55-64 years old under some policy umbrella, there is the consideration that this is the age group that could be the sickest and the most costly. This is the group with the heart problems, the weight problems, the cholesterol problems, the muscular - skeleton problems, the bad back, the costly brand name drugs, the group that wants to be saved from many a difficult illness no matter the cost and on and on . . . . .   There would be NO Young and Healthy to balance out the risk factor, helping premiums to stay down.

 

If you need health insurance and don't get a subsidy, check what other type plans are available in your state - check with your states office of insurance.  YES, it will be expensive because people oin the individual marketplace - on or off the Exchange -  have more to cover under the Essential Health Benefits by law and NO-One can be refused a policy for a pre-existing condition by law and because of that, the nature of insurance, those in individual marketplace plans - must SHARE in the cost of coverage.

 

There are still a few plans out there which have been grandfathered that don't have those laws applied to them but these plans can also deny insurance coverage.

STATNews 11.13.2017 This Tennessee insurer doesn’t play by Obamacare’s rules — and the GOP sees it a...

 

Insurance is an actuarial risk assessment - all types.  Health insurance, the way it is now, has a very high actuarial risk assessment - Insurance companies aren't screwing people - by law they have a set amount which they must payout in healthcare cost - you get a refund if they don't.  The actuarial risk factors are the place where the problem is.  This is just an example of one - there are many, many more very costly conditions.

USAToday 05.31.2017 - Iowa teen’s $1 million-per-month illness no longer a secret

 

It is partly the same problem which plagues Medicare and Social Security - we are living longer, we have very costly ways which can keep us alive - and we all have to pay for these benefits - so yes, something does have to be done.

 

 

 

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I couldn't have said it better ellenb640249. GaiL1, I DO NOT qualify for a subsidy, I am a stay at home caregiver & I have a pre-existing condition that keeps me from getting private insurance. For private insurance they put the pre-existing clause into it so it forces us to have to buy Obamacare. I called several of those so called brokers & one even hung up on me.

There are enough of us at the 50 - 64 age range that AARP could negotiate a better deal.
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@m724960qwrote:
I couldn't have said it better ellenb640249. GaiL1, I DO NOT qualify for a subsidy, I am a stay at home caregiver & I have a pre-existing condition that keeps me from getting private insurance. For private insurance they put the pre-existing clause into it so it forces us to have to buy Obamacare. I called several of those so called brokers & one even hung up on me.

There are enough of us at the 50 - 64 age range that AARP could negotiate a better deal.

Obamacare did away with the pre-existing condition exclusion - it is against the law in most all health plans, on and off the exchange, unless the plan is one of the very few which was grandfathered in, to deny a person health care coverage because of a pre-existing conditions.

 

My reply to ellenb640249 below will explain many other points especially this point from my reply below:

If AARP only insured those who are 55-64 years old under some policy umbrella, there is the consideration that this is the age group that could be the sickest and the most costly. This is the group with the heart problems, the weight problems, the cholesterol problems, the muscular - skeleton problems, the bad back, the costly brand name drugs, the group that wants to be saved from many a difficult illness no matter the cost and on and on . . . . .   There would be NO Young and Healthy to balance out the risk factor, helping premiums to stay down.

 

:

 

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I'm in this category and wish AARP had something to offer us! Self-employed and a healthy 63. Affordable Care Act - that's preposterous! I don't have any major health problems and yet the most "affordable" Obamacare plan premium available to me was $750/mo last year, with a  $3800 deductible plus co-pays for just about everything. My doctors are not in network,  so they were not covered at all!  This year, they just told me they are raising my premium to $1200/mo!!  And next year, my prescription drugs will no longer be covered (which was the one saving grace this year.) The insurance companies are taking advantage of us and AARP is letting it happen. 

 

I do feel abandoned by AARP, like many of the others who are writing here. I am just glad I only have another year and a half to Medicare and hope it will still be there when I turn 65!  But I feel sorry for people in my position who are still in their 50s. Can't imagine what it must be like for people with heart conditions or diabetes!

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That's what I was hoping to find: affordable health insurance for those of us who are not Medicare eligible. I saw something on AARP website that said AARP did have affordable health insurance but can't find anything. Why isn't there something? With AARP's huge membership, you'd think we could get some type of group discount.

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@c721357s wrote:

That's what I was hoping to find: affordable health insurance for those of us who are not Medicare eligible. I saw something on AARP website that said AARP did have affordable health insurance but can't find anything. Why isn't there something? With AARP's huge membership, you'd think we could get some type of group discount.


Since AARP is a membership of older Americans, and since individual health insurance is allowed by law to charge more based on age, you would NOT get a very good rate with this particular group.

 

Go to Healthcare.gov and begin your search unless you live in one of the states that have their own health insurance exchange, then go to their site.

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@BrighterShade wrote:

Am I missing something or does AARP truly have few health insurance options for members who are too young for Medicare?

 

All I can find is Delta Dental and Rx discounts through UnitedHealthcare's Optum . . .


BrighterShade,  are you under Medicare because of a disability? 

OR Are you just looking for an individual health insurance policy?

 

AARP only partners with United Health Care on their Medicare policies - either as a Medicare Advantage plan or as a Medicare supplemental policy (Medigap).  If you aren't on Medicare, there isn't any help here.

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AARP membership is available to anyone older than 50, but health benefits are only available for those over age 65 -- seems like a BIG, BIG gap that AARP should do more to address.

 

I'm NOT looking for Medicare because I'm younger than 65 -- and AARP has little to nothing helpful for reducing healthcare costs. For example, no guidance on features to look for in a Healthcare Exchange plan -- unless I missed it.

 

AARP's membership numbers exceed those of many business group plans, yet there's nothing AARP can do to effectively help younger membeers lower their healthcare costs?

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I am not sure you can say the group between 55 and 65 are in ill health. I can tell you that my mother who is 83 years old pays $216 per month for her supplemental insurance. In fact she recently received a letter from her supplemental health insurance telling her that her insurance will not go up. Yet she was hospitalized twice in two days and also a few weeks earlier. She see her regular doctor every 90 days, a kidney specialist every 90 days and now a cardiologist every 60 or 90 days. She had also broke her ankle a year and 1/2 ago so was hospitalized for that and sent to a rehab facility for two or 3 months. As a healthly 64 year old, I pay $700 per month yet only go to the doctor once or twice a year. It doesn't make sense to me that an elderly person, especially someone like my mother who is a fall risk (partially because of alcohol use) pays so much less. I really think that medical insurance just has to be regulated because it continually goes up more than the cost of living. I am glad I will soon be eligible for Medicare but am worried that Medicare will be seeing cuts now that the tax cuts for billionnaires passed and will add more than a trillion dollars to our naitonal debt when any savings should go towards paying down our huge debt, fighting homelessness, the opiod crisis and upgrading our aging infrastructure.

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@c721357s

Getting a little older does NOT change the outcome of chronic conditions which took years in the making -  CDC.goc - Older Persons' Health Data 2016

 

I believe you know very little about Medicare -  discussing only Medicare Part A and Part B

Your mother's Medigap only pays the 20% which Medicare does NOT cover, all or a portion of the deductibles depending upon which plan she has purchased.

 

So let's look at the rest of her cost which her Medigap does NOT cover in Medicare.

 

1.  You did not count the years and years of payroll tax deductions which she and her employer paid for Medicare Part A - Part A is premium free IF a person is vested into the program by paying these payroll deducted cost.  If they are not fortunate enough to have done this, their buy-in to Medicare Part A is over $ 400 per month.

 

2.  You did not count the beneficiary Part B premium which she pays every month as a deduction from her SS benefit - currently at about $ 134 per month for all beneficiaries.  Now this represents ONLY the beneficiaries premium cost in Part B - of which will continue to go up unless something is done.  This beneficiary premium cost ONLY represent 25% of the Part B Program

 

3.  The remaining 75% of the cost of the Part B program comes from the TAXPAYERS from the General Fund - here again this is continuing to rise unless changes happen.

 

4.  If you are fortunate enough to be a high income senior beneficiary - that means currently bringing in over $ 85,000 in annual income, you will also be assessed an additional premium each month called the IRMMA (Income Related Medicare Monthly Adjustment)

Be fore-warned, this income IRMMA threshold is illusive and could go down to cover more people and bring more income into the Part B (and Part D) program.

 

So when you are making your comparison in cost between you and your Medicare eligible Mom - make sure you are comparing apples to apples.  Medicare.gov - Medicare 2018 Cost at a Glance

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