Monday, May 29, 2017

Untangling Medicare

I've been hip-deep in the morass that is our Government-Issued/Overseen Health Care for Seniors for the last few months. I did NOT put enough time into it to be sure that I am making good choices, but I plan to monitor the situation, and re-assess as I approach the Open Enrollment period, so I can decide whether to keep that assortment of plans, or change them.

I'm in uncharted waters here. I've only had access to work-connected health insurance, and my choices were limited to a few plans. At most companies, the Benefits department does a reasonably good job of explaining the pros and cons of different plans, making decision much easier.

Two parts of Medicaid were easy - Parts A and B. I signed up for A last year when I turned 65, but didn't add B until I retired. No sweat, there was no real choice to make for these. Same for everyone.

I spent some time wrestling with which of the alphabeted plans to select, and decided on Plan G - it has coverage for illnesses/accidents out of state and when traveling, which is important to me. As I said, I will be watching my medical expenses closely, and evaluating the situation yearly.

I've selected a Part D plan, which is relatively affordable. Unfortunately, one of my meds - Spiriva - is WAY out of my price league, on ANY plan, so I'm going to have to talk to my pulmonologist about making an alternative selection. I did load up on a 30-day supply while still covered by my current plan, so I'll have time to make that appointment and change meds.

This is NOT an easy process, if you don't have access to a subsidized health plan or retirees. Even if you do, you have to weigh cost/benefits very carefully. I'm not satisfied that my choices were the best, but, do to time constraints, I'm going to have to roll the dice with what I've got.

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