Many of us on this site in the U.S. are on Medicare.  If you want maximum control over choosing your providers and healthcare facilities you need to make an informed choice about the type of Medicare you choose.  I don't need to tell you how disturbing it is to be in a group that is not meeting your needs and you must accept whatever care they provide or don't provide.  Some of you have posted on this site how expensive your deductibles and copays are with certain plans and the cost involved in getting the necessary surgeries and treatment.  

Open enrollment for Medicare starts on October 15 and ends December 7.  This is for coverage that starts on January 1, 2020.  Many organizations are pushing Advantage plans because of the benefit to the organization's bottom line, but these plans severely limit your choice about providers and treatment and have some of the highest costs to you if you are going to need expensive care.  What you are offered is up to the group and you are not able to choose another provider or facility if this doesn't meet your needs.

The best plan, not the cheapest, is to have regular Medicare and a supplement.  The supplement that will give you the most choice in providers and will cost you nothing after you pay your monthly premium is Plan F.  Plan F is the identical coverage no matter which insurer.  All Plan F's are the same whether with Blue Cross, Humana, United Healthcare etc.  With Plan F as a regular supplement to Medicare you can go virtually anywhere that accepts Medicare and will be 100% covered.  If you are unhappy with care from a provider you can change to another.  If you need something complicated like a lead extraction you can go to a big medical center that has the most experienced team and pay nothing.

If all of this is confusing by all means see an insurance broker who specializes in health insurance.  This will not cost you anything as the broker gets his commission from insurance and not from you.  You can discuss your needs and get the best coverage for your circumstances.  

I hope this helps.  We are very vulnerable at this age with heart issues and need to understand how to navigate the health care system.  


Medicare Choices

by donr - 2019-09-06 00:28:12

RIGHT ON, Swan Girl!  Look very carefully at any choice beyond straight up Medicare & a supplement.   Most of my daughter's primary care practice patients are very unhappy w/ their choice of the expanded plan carriers they chose.   They may not be able to find a provider in our town & have to go as many as 50 miles to find an in plan provider.  Very slow service getting prior authorizations for advanced procedures, like an MRI.   It also drives the primary care provider nuts w/ the many restrictions & hoops to jump through.  With Medicare you can gop to any provider who accepts it.  Really expands the availability of providers.


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