Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
I have no idea.

Medicare is a part of SS, and SS is not mandatory for anyone. Everyone who has an SS policy had to voluntarily ask for a policy.

I am a retired US servicemember. My family and I are on Tricare. My ID card expires on my 65th birthday. The ID card office told me this it to force me to come into their office that week, so they can sign me up for Medicare. I suspect that for me, as a voluntary SS policyholder and US servicemember, I will be forced to be on Medicare.
I have a friend who retired from the Navy. He has a birthday coming up January where he will turn 69 or 70. I forget which. But he and his wife both have Tricare.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
For most people, Medicare is critical. Understanding it is a different question and problem.

You night try calling an insurance broker. There are a few that publish videos on youtube and seem to know their stuff. They make a commission if you sign up for an Advantage plan, a Medigap plan, or a drug plan, but I have always fund them willing to answer questions.

You also need to check and make sure you can stay on your husbands policy once you are eligible for Medicare. If I remember correctly, I think most policies have a clause asking if a person is eligible for Medicare or other insurance.

If you do have to go on Medicare, make sure you understand the program because your initial plan choice may be almost impossible to change in the future. Because I had my aortic valve replaced, I can't change plans without going through underwriting.
I think everyone goes through underwriting. I know when I was thinking of changing to a more expensive, all coverage plan I had to.

If all you're doing is going from one Advantage plan to another there shouldn't be any issues with switching.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
Technically it is not mandatory. HOWEVER, if you do not sign up when you are first eligible, the PTB ding you for an extra 10% for every year you don't sign up. And that is a forever ding.

Not only that, but if you refuse Medicare, they withhold your Social Security. No Medicare, No Social Security.
Great program , huh? Shouldn't be legal, since it is YOUR Social Security, but there it is.

We just went through this with my husband. Just because you are 65 you are basically forced to sign up and pay.
They also don't let you pay monthly, it is a great big quarterly chunk they bill you for.
Even though his full retirement age is 67 1/2 and were planning on waiting till then (when he might actually retire) to start Social Security.

If you can prove you have alternative insurance, you can defer it, but they will probably still ding
you for the extra $.
It depends on the plan. I pay monthly.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
I'm not talking about a Medicare Advantage plan. I am talking about basic Medicare that is provided directly by the govt.
You don't have to sign up for extras which is what Advantage plans are. That is an extra $ amount on top of what you
pay through SS for Medicare. They may let you pay monthly, but the gov't. does not.
Yes, they do. $170 each month comes out of my SS check. For Part B. Advantage Plans don't necessarily mean you pay more than $170 out of your SS. But choose one of the other plans and it could cost more.

Medicare is a complicated convoluted mess. We're at an age where things are more of a challenge when it comes to dealing with stuff like this and the government hasn't helped with all their never ending alphabet of plans.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
When you first turn 65, you must sign up for Medicare Part A.
You don't have to use it, however.
I did not retire until age 67.5, at that point I began using Part A and activated Part B.
However, that is not enough to save you from bankruptcy if you have a catastrophic illness or injury.
That is where a supplemental policy from a non-government becomes essential. HOWEVER, you MUST do your research and get a good one.
So, the government charges $200/month for Part B, plus I pay $300/month for my supplemental. NOT an Advantage Plan, they suck.
As ex-military I am eligible for USAA insurance. I have their Medicare Supplemental Plan F, and my recent total knee replacement was completely covered. Just the hospital part alone was $138,000!!!
I could have gotten it done by the VA, but there is no way in hell I would let a VA doctor do something that extreme.
Exactly. I wish I could afford the coverage you have but that alone could bankrupt me. My hubs had it a couple of months after he was diagnosed with cancer. Just in the three months before the DX and the two months he didn't have the plan like yours our out of pocket was in the thousands with our Advantage Plan.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
It was quite a surprise. Not happy about the whole situation, but....

They do take it out monthly from SS. I was talking about if you aren't getting SS and have to pay out of pocket.
He didn't want to start his SS until his full retirement age, which is NOT 65. Therefore, in order to sign up for Medicare and NOT get the penalty later, we would get billed for Part B.
Which the gov't. does not let you pay for monthly if you are not getting SS as well.l
Someone already mentioned this. This subject is moving so fast it's hard to keep up.

I think it was Danus that said if her hubs could prove he had insurance through his employer he didn't have to pay the penalty. If your hubs does not have health insurance then he would pay the penalty.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
I am in that situation right now. I have been on disability a few years and already negotiated the Medicare mess.

Once you turn 65, or you have been on disability long enough to get Medicare you must sign up for part A. When I had to do it I was able to find the part where part A is required but I don't have that in front of me right now. Part A doesn't cost anything but it automatically becomes your primary HOSPITALIZATION coverage.

Part B, C, D and whatever other letters they use is not mandatory as long as you have equitable coverage. If you have insurance through your employer, a severance package or a spouse's employer you do not need to sign up for other Medicare letters. If you do not have other equitable coverage after you become eligible for part B and a prescription plan, you will be penalized according to however long you have gone without coverage. You will pay the penalty forever after. If you are hospitalized after becoming Medicare eligible, part A is your primary insurance. Anything not covered will be submitted to your other insurance which is your secondary insurance.

I'll see if I can find the information later.
OK, someone highlight @Danaus29. This is spot on and so well explained that most of us that hate dealing with this stuff can understand.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
Penalized as in they send you a bill in the mail which you have to pay on threat of further action? Freeze your accounts, put a lien on your house, auction it off and leave you homeless in the street?
No. They take it out of your SS check. Part B is deducted from your check normally if you're Part B or on an Advantage Plan. Right now it's 170 per month. If you fail to sign up the first year you're eligible then they will tack on a 10% penalty to that 170. And take it straight from your SS check.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
Right around your 64th birthday your mailbox will be packed with ads from various insurance companies wanting you to choose their plan. They don't seem to accept that you still have a year before you can sign up and they don't tell you their plans will be changing before you can sign up.
That is so true.

Even after you get Medicare, at this time of year the mailbox gets stuffed with Medicare stuff.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
@Pony, you must realize you were paying into Medicare Part A from your paychecks. That's why it doesn't cost extra. Part B is optional and up to you on whether you want to accept it or not. That's the one that comes out of your SS each month.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
Can someone explain this to me.....

I just looked at a old paycheck of mine.
SS comes out separate and Medicare came out separate.

So when I get my SS check, the part for the Medicare ( $ 170 ) comes off
the top of it first and goes to my health insurance company. I then get the
balance of the SS money. When I have a medical claim, my insurance
company gets billed for it. I get the co pay part to pay. I don't have
any other additional insurances to supplement.

So I understand there is a Part A....and a part B....
but when I see my insurance statement after a claim.......
.there is no breakdown of what went where.

So where does the money for the medicare that came out of my paycheck,
when I was working......
on a separate line, where did that go ?
Because now we are paying again for our Medicare coverage.....correct ?
Or is this the Part A......and how does it apply to a bill ?

r i
You paid for Part A, that's hospitalization. Part B or Advantage is for everything else, like Dr's visits. That's what you're paying the 170 for each month.

If it's, say a doc visit and labs, that's Part B.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
But Part B is NOT optional. If you don't take it, you are penalized. And they'll hijack your SS check for the Part B funding.

In fact, from what I am reading so far, if you don't take Medicare at a certain point, they'll just withhold your SS check. And we are all essentially held at gunpoint to contribute to Medicare, just like taxes and every other line item the parasitic "elite" bleed off from those who actually work for a living.

Land of the free? I don't think so.
Part B is absolutely optional. You make the choice to have it or not. If you don't choose to have it until a later time then you're penalized. That was your choice knowing the penalty would happen for late sign up.

I don't know where in the heck you got they'll withhold your SS. They don't. Can't legally do so since you paid into it.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
It says so right on the medicare site. I also have a letter from SS stating the same thing. They CAN and they WILL because they are the gov't and do pretty much what they want. And there is not a blasted thing you can do about it.

I was wondering why AARP and senior advocates hadn't started screaming about this years ago. I guess we are
supposed to be grateful to be "allowed" to have health coverage at such a "reasonable" price.

Optional means you don't have to have it, not that you don't have to have it NOW. Being penalized basically means
it is not optional.
Links? The only thing I find involves SSi which is not SS.

If you choose not to participate in Part B when eligible, then ten years down the line have to see a doc regularly. Why should you have the same benefit without penalty that others have been paying since eligibility?

Most of us don't spend that 170$ each month for medical charges. Basically it's banked for when we need it later.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
@Max Overhead, don't plan all you want. Stuff happens.

Hubs was a healthy person. Rarely needed a doc for anything. Six months after he retired he started having health issues. There were a lot of doc visits trying to figure out what was wrong. Two weeks in a local hospital, six weeks in a university hospital, doc visits on release, then back in the local hospital for two weeks. Lots more doc visits. Outpatient cancer treatments. More doc visits.

The oncologist, the radiologist, the pulmonologist, the primary care, thoracic doc, the general surgery guy. Without Part B we would have been toast financially.

There was no indication if all we looked at his general health to know this was coming.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
@Pony and @robin416 I had to read the whole section on their site. You have to get part B first if you have to BUY part A. Part A is free if you or your spouse have paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years. The pdf won't let me copy and paste the info. Grrrr.
I was beginning to wonder if that's what that buying Part A was about. Not enough work hours. There are also some that buy Part A because they're not yet 65.

The problem seems to be that people are confusing what you found @Danaus29 to what normally happens when you qualify for Part A.

Or it's being used as part of an agenda.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
@Big_Al, if only we could afford to have 300$ a month taken from our SS checks. It's just not realistic for many. Or maybe I should say most.

There absolutely is a rider that can be added with the right company. I pay less than 50$ a month on top of my Advantage plan. I'm reimbursed for quite a bit of out of pocket expenses for surgeries or hospital stays.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
As long as your insurance is Part B compliant you won't be assessed a penalty if you sign-up for Part B at a later time. The penalty is severe so you'll want to make sure your alternative insurance is compliant. I think the penalty is 10% of the Part B premium for each year you didn't have Part B or an approved substitute, and you'll have to pay that penalty for the rest of your life.



Most everyone contributed to FICA for 10 years or more so most retirees don't pay a Part A premium. But if you contributed for less than 10 years, calculated as 40 quarters, then there is a hefty premium. If you contributed for 30 to 39 quarters then your Part A premium will be $274/month, and of you contributed for less than 30 quarters your Part A premium will be $499/month.

So if you contributed for 40 quarters or more you might as well take Part A because it will cost you nothing.
Thank you. Very informative.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top