I suggest you stay in traditional Medicare with a supplement plan G and drug plan. This is the best financial combination for you.
Stay away from Medicare Advantage part C. You will have high deductibles and copays and very limited networks.
This is basically sound advice for someone like you who will need lifetime treatment because, as someone noted above, if you start on a Medicare Advantage plan you will be unlikely to be accepted into a supplement plan later on if you decide to revert to standard Medicare.
But depending on your financial situation - monthly retirement income, amount in 401k or other savings -- choosing the best option may take some research and personal financial risk/benefit decision making. And the best way to do that is to compare plans available in your state on the Medicare website.
My wife and I are in a Blue Cross Medicare Advantage plan and happy with it. These plans differ greatly from state to state, from insurer to insurer, and even among different plans offered by an insurer. Not all Advantage plans are HMOs. Ours is a PPO, which means we can go to any doctor anywhere, though with possible extra cost for out of network doctors and hospitals (though in our plan in and out of network costs are mostly the same). Our plan costs $86 per month each for me and my wife, which is much cheaper than what a Medicare supplement plan and Medicare pharmacy plan would have cost us (around $500 per month combined for the two of us). The co-pays are reasonable - I average about
$80 per month for oncologist visit, blood tests, and Firmagon shot. The financial risk is that a major hospitalization for either of us could run us into the plan's annual out of pocket maximum - $4,900 each and that would hurt. When we chose to go with this Advantage plan when I retired 7 years ago we chose to self-insure against the risk of paying the out of pocket maximum in some future years. We weighed the risk of either of us hitting this maximum in any one year against then known cost of higher premiums every year if we went with standard Medicare plus a supplement insurance plan. Our annual medical insurance premium is about
$2,000 per year with the Advantage plan vs. an annual premium of about
$6,000 per year if we went with Medicare plus a supplement plan. So far the decision has paid off in that neither of us has paid more than a few hundred dollars per year in co-pays or other expenses other than premiums - (though right now I have the monthly Firmagon shots through next April) which means over the past 7 years we've saved at least $25,000 in premiums, but we think of that as self-insurance against running into the out-of-pocket maximum in some future years.
All of that said, I have an ace in the hole that isn't available to many, in that if necessary I can take all of my care to the VA with no co-pays or out-of-pocket maximums if my insurance costs go too high with the Advantage plan, reducing our financial risk exposure to only costs incurred for my wife.
-2002-PSA 9.4, 5 of 10 cores 30-50%
-RP 2002 PT3B N0 MX Gleason 3+4 75% left lobe small focus rt lobe
-PSA low 0.01 slow rise to 0.4
-SRT 2010 1 lymph node targeted. Casodex during SRT
-PSA 0.00 thu 2014
-0.02 Oct 14; 0.04 Apr 16; 0.2 Oct 16; 0.51 Jan 17; 2.46 Jan 18, 4.19 Apr 18;
-6.62 May 18 start Firmagon; PSA 0.45 Jun; 0.08 Jul '18; 0.02 Nov '18
Post Edited (Bohemond) : 12/30/2018 11:59:39 AM (GMT-7)