RobLee: I am relatively new at the Medicare game and have purchased a Medigap (supplemental) to pay for copays, deductibles, etc. Just wondering if you have a supplemental plan that might pick up some of potential out-of-pocket expenses you have mentioned?
Fortunately I was already on medicare when my wife and I retired, and it paid for all of my prostate cancer treatments. My wife was only 64 at the time and were fortunate to have Obamacare when she was diagnosed with lymphoma. But unfortunately that was in December so we had to pay her deductible for both that year and the following year.
We both now have traditional medicare parts A and B, plus a standard supplemental plan. There have been several threads here on HW regarding medicare and supplemental coverage if you use the search function. Basically the government provides part A which covers hospitalization for free. Part B covers doctor visits and costs an additional $130 per month (about
). Note that A and B each pay only 80% of covered charges.
Supplemental plans are offered by a number of commercial insurance companies such as Aetna, Humana, United Healthcare and Mututal of Omaha. Plans are standardized by law but most people choose plan F or G. One costs slightly less but has a small deductible. Most supplemental plans pay the extra 20% that medicare A and B do no cover.
Different companies will charge slightly more or less for the same plan, so it pays to shop around. Personally I have Aetna and and my wife has Humana. Participants are allowed to change plans and companies every year from mid October into mid December, called
Many insurance companies offer part C or "advantage plans". They give them flashy names like "Gold" but they are actually HOM's, meaning that you are restricted to a specific network of doctors and hospitals. People who have had cancer are at a risk of recurrence and probably should avoid advantage plans because they may not cover all treatments for their particular cancer. The "advantage" of part C plans is that they are cheap and they usually throw in perks like free gym memberships or drug coverage.
Speaking of which, Part D is prescript
ion drug coverage, which is another nightmare altogether. I won't even get started on that. Most likely some others will jump in here with additional specifics on medicare coverage.