What do you really know about Medicare? Bernie Saunders wants it for all, and it sounds reasonable and tremendous but is it really a good idea and will you get the best care???

After going to the doctor yesterday for a yearly physical, I am seeing that there are challenges and care issues with the system.  It was a whole different experience than it was when I had straight insurance.

Is Medicare Mandatory?

It is not mandatory that you sign up at age 65 if and only if you’re still working and getting healthcare from your employer. Then you can forego coverage until you retire.

I turned 65 last year and was collecting my late husband’s social security, so I was mandated to go on Medicare. I found out quickly there are several rules you must follow. They are:

  1.  Your initial enrollment window starts three months before the month you turn 65 and ends three months after the month in which you turn 65.
  2.  If you miss that initial enrollment window, you can still sign up during Medicare’s general enrollment period that runs from Jan. 1 through March 31 each year. But not signing up during your initial enrollment period could end up costing you a higher Part B premium — for life.

Is Medicare FREE?

Everyone seems to think Medicare is free and a good deal. Guess what? I found out quickly it is not Free. There are several parts to Medicare, some free of charge and others you pay for.  There are several plans however A & B are the two most have.

  • Part A: Medicare Part A for most the most part has no premium and it covers hospital visits. So yes this part is free.
  • Part B: Medicare Part B is not free, the government takes it from your Social Security check. Currently, the standard Part B premium is $134 (though it could be higher). If you don’t sign up for Medicare during your initial enrollment window, you’ll face a 10% increase in your Part B premiums for every year-long period you’re eligible for coverage but don’t enroll. Therefore, it generally pays to sign up for Medicare at 65 — unless you happen to qualify for one major exception. Plan B covers preventative care and diagnostic services.
  • Supplemental Insurance: Not only do you have Part A & B you also need to have supplemental insurance. Oh yes, and there are all kinds of plans that will blow your mind.

My Visit

I was given some paperwork to fill out, upon my arrival.  I thought this a bit strange as I had filled out personal information before and was not sure why the doctor wanted it again.

This paperwork was not for personal information but rather to give me information and what I was liable for in costs and what my Medicare was going to cover. I ended up calling my supplemental insurance company before we ever got started to find out what service I was covered for.

In reading these papers, I asked the assistant why anyone on Medicare with or without Plan B or supplemental would even go to the doctor.

I found out Medicare does not cover a head to toe physical only a wellness physical which basically is answering questions from the doctor.

If you want a full physical either you pay for it, or your supplemental pays for it. Is that not the craziest thing you ever heard?

I also found out they change the rules every year, so you never know what you’re walking into. Before getting any treatment check to see what you will be charged for and what you have coverage for. Don’t be shocked, like my brother was when he received a $250.00+ bill for the first pneumonia shot after the fact. To find out more visit Medicare For Dummies.

Insurance in General

I believe insurance should be inexpensive for all. No one can afford to get sick these days especially if you’re older and on a fixed income. Plan B comes out of their checks, and if their social security check is not very large it does not leave a lot left for the rest of the month.

I’m not sure giving Medicare to all is the answer because someone has to pay for it. The government does not give without taking something else away. Also, Medicare is really not FREE!

I believe if our politicians had to be on the same health plans and follow the same rules as we have to, there would be significant changes made in the system.

What are your thoughts? Do you think you Medicare should be free of charge after 65? Do you think it should be given to all?  Your comments are always welcomed.

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