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View Diary: Obama finally spoke to my sister (199 comments)

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  •  64% of people who get Medicare make less than $30K (2+ / 0-)
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    bamjack, ladybug53

    I pay $1000  a month for health insurance at 63. Delay me getting Medicare and you cost me about $10,000 a year. Or more since I do not think my cost for private insurance will go down next year or the year after.

    •  The good news is I think you're okay (1+ / 0-)
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      We're on the same wave length on this. I say I think you're okay but when I look at the circus of right wing proposals coming out of the house, I wonder.

      I'm 67 and went on medicare in 2003 for a 2000 disability and I'm as committed as you can get to not increasing the age, now or ever. Lowering it makes more sense.

      It hasn't per se saved me any money on insurance. I still carry BC/BC as a former fed which we need as a supplement for me and regular coverage for my wife who's 64.

      I had some reservations about Medicare, probably the indirect result of Republican complaints. Ive been hospitalized with more frequency that I'd like and I had endless billing problems with hospitals and all those oddball things that aren't regular doctors. I'd have a doctor who was in system who used an out of system doctor for a pre-op physical. Should have asked, $1,000 out of pocket. The hospital was dunning me for payment of a trivial bill. My wife was working and I had a war with Social Security going. They had done this before and had to apologize. This time, I found that I had already paid the bill - not once but three times.

      None of that happens with Medicare and not only is it not bureaucratic (to us), it's efficient and doesn't bury us in paperwork. Our regular insurance covers my copays, deductibles, etc. Drugs also. It's not cheap. The big bills are paid by Medicare and while we may be an exception, FEHB says retirees are overcharged and have considered a different plan.

      In terms of expense, I recently had a triple cervical fusion, a complicated procedure with a vertebra removed, two surgeons for four hours. My workup was complicated because I'm a nest of problem. It went well. I come home after two nights, one early. The hospital bill was reduced from $90,000 to about $15K, The anesthesiologist was knocked down from $24K to less than $5K. Medicare sent us an FYI copy. Don't remember the surgeon bill but it was their standard rate.

      I have a long list of specialists. One of them, who's been pulmonary and back up cardiac, was disturbed to find that my former rheumatologist dropped me and other Medicare patients. He's retiring at 73 after organizing and running a very  prestigious but sane diverse practice with specialists at the top of their fields.  

      He said his experience was that in the end Doctors needed Medicare although they need sane treatment. He said it worked to hold down commercial insurance rates because they'd become in effect price setters. And it is essential as that bill showed.

      It's got quirks like a limit on blood thinner tests of one per six months. I need one at least every six weeks.  But I wish you the best in this. For the most part I think you're going to like  it a lot and not just for the money. I'll cross my fingers this mess doesn't screw you up.

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