I, one in every of tens of hundreds of thousands of child boomers, was at all times below the impression that, if I used to be fortunate sufficient to succeed in the ripe previous age of 65, all of my well being care prices can be lined below Medicare. I assumed that was one in every of my entitlements, my payoff for working… and paying into Medicare… and surviving… till retirement.
I used to be wanting ahead to the day after I might drop my outrageously costly personal PPO high-risk well being care protection (which prices greater than my month-to-month lease) and get what I used to be entitled to, get what I paid into for a whole working lifetime… Medicare. Three months earlier than I grew to become eligible for Medicare I made a decision to do some advance analysis on signing up for Medicare and likewise to see what my advantages can be.
Here’s what I found… painfully.
I went to the official U.S. authorities site for Medicare, medicare.gov. The federal government site, medicare.gov, did a superb job in describing and explaining what Medicare is and the way it works. And the way to enroll in Medicare. The satan, nevertheless, is within the particulars and the main points are obviously absent or extraordinarily tough to search out and/or perceive. I defy any human being in America, who shouldn’t be a Medicare insurance coverage specialist, to find and comprehend the benefits and downsides of the assorted must-choose choices below Medicare. It’s inconceivable!
In essence here’s what I found…
Plan A – covers hospitalization. Price: free
Plan B – covers medical doctors visits. Price: $110 a month
Nonetheless, Medicare does NOT cowl ALL the hospital prices or all of the physician go to prices. It’s essential to purchase a supplemental personal insurance coverage coverage to cowl these gaps. In my zip code (Los Angeles) the price of a supplemental personal insurance coverage coverage, to cowl the 20% hole in hospital prices and your physician co-pays not lined by Medicare, is over $200 a month. So now, my supposed “free” Medicare will price me $110 plus $200, over $300 a month. Out of pocket. However wait, it will get worse. Medicare doesn’t cowl the price of prescribed drugs! Zero protection. What? No drug protection? What sort of a medical health insurance coverage is that? No drug protection? The typical variety of prescribed drugs taken by individuals age 65 and older is 11. None of that are lined below Medicare. So, which means it’s important to purchase yet one more medical health insurance coverage to cowl the price of your drugs. In my case, there have been some 30 completely different “supplemental” insurance coverage insurance policies obtainable in my space for prescription drug protection and it’s as much as the person to match all of the plans. Did I get a headache? Sure. Was I in a position to determine alone which plan was the most effective plan for me? No. Although the month-to-month premiums on these plans have been very cheap ($35-$65 per thirty days) NONE of the obtainable plans lined all the prices of my drugs. All of them had co-pays. The co-pays for my 5 meds would whole as much as as a lot as $300… each month. The co-pays are lots much less if I substitute generic manufacturers for my meds however I can’t, there seems to be no generics for my cardiovascular meds.
So now, my “free” Medicare will find yourself costing about $600 a month. About the identical price as any first rate regular personal well being care coverage that you just had earlier than you might be eligible for Medicare. And, below Medicare, you might find yourself with three completely different insurance policies in your protection (or 2 insurance policies if you wish to mix supplemental protection and drug protection, which known as “Medicare Advantage”, besides you’ll be able to’t work out which “Medicare Advantage” coverage is any good or what benefits and downsides they every have).
So, after paying into Medicare and attaining the retirement milestone of 65 years of age, you’ll find yourself getting nothing you did not have already got. Beneath Medicare you get no free well being care protection, and worse, you doubtless find yourself paying about the identical as you have been paying in your well being care protection earlier than Medicare, until you have been getting free or backed lifetime well being protection out of your employer. Or, in case your free or backed well being protection out of your employer stops once you cease working, then, below Medicare, you may be paying MORE. Much more.
The federal government collected Medicare cash out of your paycheck (and out of your employer) all by your working years. The federal government collected that cash all by your working years to cowl the price of your Medicare. Solely it would not cowl the price of your well being care at age 65. Removed from it. As an alternative of getting free and full well being care below Medicare, at age 65 you will have to pay $500 or extra per thirty days, out of your personal pocket, to get correct and full medical and drug protection. And, so as to add insult to harm, the federal government desires to chop Medicare advantages even additional!
That is what child boomers labored a lifetime for? That is what child boomers get for paying into Medicare over a whole working lifetime? That is the payoff for child boomers who survive to age 65?
This begs the query: is it Medicare or Medicrap? Is Medicare a large authorities rip-off? Is Medicare a large authorities rip-off of a whole technology of child boomers? Is Medicare a large authorities rip-off of child boomers, aided and abetted by the personal insurance coverage trade? As hundreds of thousands and hundreds of thousands of us method age 65, and Medicare, we child boomers should determine… and take care of it. And we’ll. Beginning proper right here. Beginning proper now. We child boomers have energy. Plenty of energy. We have now schooling, we’ve got cash, we’ve got loud voices, and we’ve got tens of hundreds of thousands of votes. Child boomers are activists. We marched, we protested, we modified the world. And now we’re armed with electronic mail and cell telephones. We child boomers can bombard our senators and our members of the Home of Representatives in Washington about points that deeply concern us. Like Medicare. We child boomers have energy. Plenty of energy. Use it or lose it!