Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

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Good Listener
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Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by Good Listener » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:15 pm

Tomorrow, after pondering for 3 days, I will pull the trigger and enroll in a Medigap policy and Part D policy, both with Aetna; and after getting my cards will unenroll from my company sponsored Medical Advantage plan (which from another post yesterday I declared that i hate). The drug plan is set in my mind and easily changeable every year anyway. I have narrowed Medigap to Plan F or G. And the decision could possibly be permanent as there is underwriting involved to change plans even in the same company. So lets assume it's an immutable decision.

The only difference between F and G is F pays your deductible (currently 183) and G doesn't. Essentially all companies price the plans so that it is dollarwise dumb to get F even after it pays the deductible. In my specific case, it is a 42 dollar a month difference (206 vs 164). This results in a net extra a net anual cost of $333 when you subtract the deductible from the premium difference. Plus F won't be issued beginning 2020 which will result in some worsening of the risk pool as no new members of young ages will join. Plus the increases are typically higher since for deductible increases, they typically go up 1.5 times the increase for F while it doesn't affect G.

Nonetheless my personality is such that i would rather never see a bill of any type or even think about the deductible. So my inclination, confirmed by my best friend, is just to get F and be done with it. Once done, well, it won't even be a thought in the future.

So it is economically dumb to pay an extra $333 annually which will likely increase. But can anybody understand where I am on this and even say they would do the same? Thanks....

jebmke
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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by jebmke » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:23 pm

I believe the deductible that you would pay on a G plan is $183. The math is simple. I am signing up later this month and I am going with a G plan.
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GerryL
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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by GerryL » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:35 pm

I, personally, would not sign up to pay (at least) $333 a year for the next n years (with n being how long you expect to live) just to avoid dealing with an occasional bill. (Try multiplying $333 x n and see what that looks like.) In fact, I opted for F High Deductible, for which I currently pay $36/mo. Although I have to fiddle with occasional bills and EOBs, it is a minor PITA and well worth the annual savings.

But your position on this helps explain why a broker told me they don't even represent F-HD plans. She was curious about how I felt about dealing with the bills and said their clients don't want to have to do that.

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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by cashmoney » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:51 pm

Good Listener wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:15 pm
Tomorrow, after pondering for 3 days, I will pull the trigger and enroll in a Medigap policy and Part D policy, both with Aetna; and after getting my cards will unenroll from my company sponsored Medical Advantage plan (which from another post yesterday I declared that i hate). The drug plan is set in my mind and easily changeable every year anyway. I have narrowed Medigap to Plan F or G. And the decision could possibly be permanent as there is underwriting involved to change plans even in the same company. So lets assume it's an immutable decision.

The only difference between F and G is F pays your deductible (currently 183) and G doesn't. Essentially all companies price the plans so that it is dollarwise dumb to get F even after it pays the deductible. In my specific case, it is a 42 dollar a month difference (206 vs 164). This results in a net extra a net anual cost of $333 when you subtract the deductible from the premium difference. Plus F won't be issued beginning 2020 which will result in some worsening of the risk pool as no new members of young ages will join. Plus the increases are typically higher since for deductible increases, they typically go up 1.5 times the increase for F while it doesn't affect G.

Nonetheless my personality is such that i would rather never see a bill of any type or even think about the deductible. So my inclination, confirmed by my best friend, is just to get F and be done with it. Once done, well, it won't even be a thought in the future.

So it is economically dumb to pay an extra $333 annually which will likely increase But can anybody understand where I am on this and even say they would do the same? Thanks....

It really doesn't make sense to give the insurance company 333.00 in premium to pay a 183.00 claim.BTW your agent should have told you that you the the enrollment in a stand alone part D plan automatically dis-enrolls you from the medicare advantage plan and puts you back in the original medicare option.

Spirit Rider
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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by Spirit Rider » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:57 pm

Both of the two previous replies do not seem to understand that the OP was referring to the amount of money they would save on premiums for Plan G over Plan F.

Also, while Plan F may be a good idea for some people. However, assuming that you will only have an occasional bill might be a little short sighted. Many people will find that in retirement their health status declines, requires expensive and recurring medical charges.

Unless you live in one of the 10% of states that allow the change of plan without medical underwriting, you will be stuck with Plan F and paying most or all of the deductible year after year.

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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by neilpilot » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:09 pm

cashmoney wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:51 pm


It really doesn't make sense to give the insurance company 333.00 in premium to pay a 183.00 claim.BTW your agent should have told you that you the the enrollment in a stand alone part D plan automatically dis-enrolls you from the medicare advantage plan and puts you back in the original medicare option.
Actually, the OP will be giving the insurance company $504 to pay the $183 deductible. Definitely go with G.

Also, it's entirely possible if you are in good health that you will not even need to pay the annual deductible.

RudyS
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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by RudyS » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:09 pm

The extra cost of Plan F is worth it to DW so that she gets no bills at all . I understand the economics. I am a total fool about my wife, so we just pay it. I personally have Plan N. Different medical situations.

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Watty
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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by Watty » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:16 pm

If you are a fool for using "G" then we are too.

Paying the deductible is trivial and usually just the first Dr appointment or two of the year.

neilpilot wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:09 pm
cashmoney wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:51 pm


It really doesn't make sense to give the insurance company 333.00 in premium to pay a 183.00 claim.BTW your agent should have told you that you the the enrollment in a stand alone part D plan automatically dis-enrolls you from the medicare advantage plan and puts you back in the original medicare option.
Actually, the OP will be giving the insurance company $504 to pay the $183 deductible. Definitely go with G.

Also, it's entirely possible if you are in good health that you will not even need to pay the annual deductible.
And you might be paying that for a couple of decades so it can really add up.

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PaFromFL
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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by PaFromFL » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:20 pm

I was advised not to sign up for standard Plan F because it will probably be phased out in 2020 (Congress doesn't like plans that pay the Part B deductible because they don't make you have "skin in the game"). If you are in a grandfathered group of aging policyholders, premiums may increase and in turn drive healthier members out of the plan. If you have a group policy rather than an individual policy (read the policy fine print and also pay attention to attained-age vs issue-age clauses), your Plan F might get replaced or dropped.

I opted for high-deductible Plan F because I am a light user of healthcare. My wife will probably go with Plan G because she is heavy user of healthcare. Advantage plans put you at the mercy of insurance companies. [OT comment removed by moderator prudent]

SR II
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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by SR II » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:56 pm

Check with your local HICAP. This link is for the one in San Francisco, but I believe they are nationwide: http://www.hicap.org/hicap-services/medicare-counseling

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celia
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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by celia » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:35 am

Good Listener wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:15 pm
Nonetheless my personality is such that i would rather never see a bill of any type or even think about the deductible.
I feel the same way. I have better things to do in retirement than spend time finding out why the billing is wrong (again). But then, I meet the Medicare deductible in the first visit of the year each year. So, we each pay off that deductible with the first one or two bills each year, then rest easy for the remainder of the year. To keep it simple, if you should choose Plan G, you might want to schedule your first appointment of the year to be something you know costs more than $183.
Plus F won't be issued beginning 2020 which will result in some worsening of the risk pool as no new members of young ages will join. Plus the increases are typically higher since for deductible increases, they typically go up 1.5 times the increase for F while it doesn't affect G.
If Aetna Plan F is currently $206 for you and Plan G is $164, after Plan F has been closed to new enrollees and their rates go up more than Plan G, the rates in 2025 could be something like $300 for Plan F and $200 for Plan G. I would expect the spread to grow more each year with F premiums growing faster (due to older and sicker participants--no new blood joining the Plan F pool).

Note that the Plan G deductible is the Medicare deductible, the amount that people who only have original Medicare would also have to pay. Since many would not have Medigap plans, I think public pressure would tend to keep the Medicare deductible more reasonable. Others may see it differently.
Tomorrow, after pondering for 3 days, I will pull the trigger and enroll in a Medigap policy and Part D policy, both with Aetna; ... I have narrowed Medigap to Plan F or G. And the decision could possibly be permanent as there is underwriting involved to change plans even in the same company. So lets assume it's an immutable decision.

Although I live in a state with a "birthday rule" (allowing change of plans or carriers at your birthday), my understanding is that you can always go from Plan F to any other plan at the same carrier without underwriting. Are there any other carriers in your state with a Plan F and G that allow you to change without underwriting? Is the "immutable decision" an Aetna rule only?

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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by Good Listener » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:38 am

cashmoney wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:51 pm
Good Listener wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:15 pm
Tomorrow, after pondering for 3 days, I will pull the trigger and enroll in a Medigap policy and Part D policy, both with Aetna; and after getting my cards will unenroll from my company sponsored Medical Advantage plan (which from another post yesterday I declared that i hate). The drug plan is set in my mind and easily changeable every year anyway. I have narrowed Medigap to Plan F or G. And the decision could possibly be permanent as there is underwriting involved to change plans even in the same company. So lets assume it's an immutable decision.

The only difference between F and G is F pays your deductible (currently 183) and G doesn't. Essentially all companies price the plans so that it is dollarwise dumb to get F even after it pays the deductible. In my specific case, it is a 42 dollar a month difference (206 vs 164). This results in a net extra a net anual cost of $333 when you subtract the deductible from the premium difference. Plus F won't be issued beginning 2020 which will result in some worsening of the risk pool as no new members of young ages will join. Plus the increases are typically higher since for deductible increases, they typically go up 1.5 times the increase for F while it doesn't affect G.

Nonetheless my personality is such that i would rather never see a bill of any type or even think about the deductible. So my inclination, confirmed by my best friend, is just to get F and be done with it. Once done, well, it won't even be a thought in the future.

So it is economically dumb to pay an extra $333 annually which will likely increase But can anybody understand where I am on this and even say they would do the same? Thanks....

It really doesn't make sense to give the insurance company 333.00 in premium to pay a 183.00 claim.BTW your agent should have told you that you the the enrollment in a stand alone part D plan automatically dis-enrolls you from the medicare advantage plan and puts you back in the original medicare option.
Thank you. I am looking at the agent in the mirror 😀. No I know that. I am officially unenrolling at my employers benefits Department with unenrollment forms at their suggestion otherwise it may take them awhile to stop my premium payments to them.

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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by Good Listener » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:51 am

celia wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:35 am
Good Listener wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:15 pm
Nonetheless my personality is such that i would rather never see a bill of any type or even think about the deductible.
I feel the same way. I have better things to do in retirement than spend time finding out why the billing is wrong (again). But then, I meet the Medicare deductible in the first visit of the year each year. So, we each pay off that deductible with the first one or two bills each year, then rest easy for the remainder of the year. To keep it simple, if you should choose Plan G, you might want to schedule your first appointment of the year to be something you know costs more than $183.
Plus F won't be issued beginning 2020 which will result in some worsening of the risk pool as no new members of young ages will join. Plus the increases are typically higher since for deductible increases, they typically go up 1.5 times the increase for F while it doesn't affect G.
If Aetna Plan F is currently $206 for you and Plan G is $164, after Plan F has been closed to new enrollees and their rates go up more than Plan G, the rates in 2025 could be something like $300 for Plan F and $200 for Plan G. I would expect the spread to grow more each year with F premiums growing faster (due to older and sicker participants--no new blood joining the Plan F pool).

Note that the Plan G deductible is the Medicare deductible, the amount that people who only have original Medicare would also have to pay. Since many would not have Medigap plans, I think public pressure would tend to keep the Medicare deductible more reasonable. Others may see it differently.
Tomorrow, after pondering for 3 days, I will pull the trigger and enroll in a Medigap policy and Part D policy, both with Aetna; ... I have narrowed Medigap to Plan F or G. And the decision could possibly be permanent as there is underwriting involved to change plans even in the same company. So lets assume it's an immutable decision.

Although I live in a state with a "birthday rule" (allowing change of plans or carriers at your birthday), my understanding is that you can always go from Plan F to any other plan at the same carrier without underwriting. Are there any other carriers in your state with a Plan F and G that allow you to change without underwriting? Is the "immutable decision" an Aetna rule only?
Wonderful post. Thank you. United has a plan also in my area. It is sponsored by AARP and they are allowed to require you to join AARP to obtain the insurance. Amazing. And they tell me that currently they allow people to switch from plan types of any kind to the others, but that can change at anytime. I am going to have my best friend of over 50 years read this thread as he knows me and advised me to take Plan F. But I just get the sense that one may be locked into Plan F with a ticking time bomb as the risk pool gets worse once new enrollees are not allowed after the next two years. Then, one may not be able to get out as it might be highly profitable for the insurance companies if they raised the rates even higher on plan F holders and kept you in.

I in fact have one high cost encounter that I normally do in mid-December every year that I could simply shift to January every year and then meet the deductible in the first two weeks of the year.

I also strongly agree that there would be tremendous pressure against large increases in Medicare deductibles. When I speak to Old Folks they flip out when the deductible goes up or even a few dollars a year. They also flip out that Social Security benefits only go up a small amount in a given year and become literally suicidal when it is frozen for a year.. So seniors who are a strong voting block will probably keep pressure on the elected representatives to keep deductibles from rising too fast.

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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by Spirit Rider » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:55 pm

celia wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:35 am
Although I live in a state with a "birthday rule" (allowing change of plans or carriers at your birthday), my understanding is that you can always go from Plan F to any other plan at the same carrier without underwriting. Are there any other carriers in your state with a Plan F and G that allow you to change without underwriting? Is the "immutable decision" an Aetna rule only?
There is no requirement that any carrier honor such a request without medical underwriting. It certainly isn't even an "immutable decision" by Aetna. They can revoke this ability at anytime. There have already been anecdotal reports from other carriers with this so called "rule" which is nothing more than a policy decision, may not survive until 2020.

dcdowden
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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by dcdowden » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:08 pm

My wife and I both signed up for Medicare and a Medigap Plan F program this year. A few years ago, I helped my parents transition from their Megacorp retiree supplemental plan when Megacorp decided to discontinue it and just give them an annual credit toward a medigap plan. My parents are both in their 90's and have found the convenience of essentially never having to deal with medical bills, copays, deductibles, etc very comforting. We had older friends that also felt the convenience was worth it, so we went that way as well and so far we are quite happy. Actually, just going on Medicare even with Medigap Plan F and a Plan D plan is so much less expensive than what we were paying for insurance before, that we feel like we just got a very big raise.

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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:17 pm

dcdowden wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:08 pm
My wife and I both signed up for Medicare and a Medigap Plan F program this year. A few years ago, I helped my parents transition from their Megacorp retiree supplemental plan when Megacorp decided to discontinue it and just give them an annual credit toward a medigap plan. My parents are both in their 90's and have found the convenience of essentially never having to deal with medical bills, copays, deductibles, etc very comforting. We had older friends that also felt the convenience was worth it, so we went that way as well and so far we are quite happy. Actually, just going on Medicare even with Medigap Plan F and a Plan D plan is so much less expensive than what we were paying for insurance before, that we feel like we just got a very big raise.
Sure - almost all of us (taxpayers) pay for the coverage. The costs do not go down - actually go up - so it is a matter of who is paying the costs.

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celia
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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by celia » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:21 pm

dcdowden wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:08 pm
My wife and I both signed up for Medicare and a Medigap Plan F program this year. A few years ago, I helped my parents transition from their Megacorp retiree supplemental plan when Megacorp decided to discontinue it and just give them an annual credit toward a medigap plan. My parents are both in their 90's and have found the convenience of essentially never having to deal with medical bills, copays, deductibles, etc very comforting. We had older friends that also felt the convenience was worth it, so we went that way as well and so far we are quite happy. Actually, just going on Medicare even with Medigap Plan F and a Plan D plan is so much less expensive than what we were paying for insurance before, that we feel like we just got a very big raise.
This is exactly what this thread is talking about--the convenience vs the costs. If you haven't read the previous posts, I encourage you to do so.

OP, don't feel rushed about this decision. Read other threads, if you wish. Or talk to a representative from a Medigap plan about the pros and cons or whatever questions you might have.

I think the AARP United Healthcare plan has the easiest underwriting questions and it looks like they just started the Plan G. (We recently left them because they didn't have it, so will keep our eyes on them for a possible future move back.)

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dm200
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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:45 pm

-the convenience vs the costs.

Exceot for the up to $6,000 out of pocket in case of very unusual (but possible) expenses, my Medicare Plan (Medicare Cost with Kaiser) is very low cost ($30/month plus Part B), includes drug coverage and is the ultimate in convenience (never any claim forms to submit).

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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by technovelist » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:48 pm

Good Listener wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:15 pm
Tomorrow, after pondering for 3 days, I will pull the trigger and enroll in a Medigap policy and Part D policy, both with Aetna; and after getting my cards will unenroll from my company sponsored Medical Advantage plan (which from another post yesterday I declared that i hate). The drug plan is set in my mind and easily changeable every year anyway. I have narrowed Medigap to Plan F or G. And the decision could possibly be permanent as there is underwriting involved to change plans even in the same company. So lets assume it's an immutable decision.

The only difference between F and G is F pays your deductible (currently 183) and G doesn't. Essentially all companies price the plans so that it is dollarwise dumb to get F even after it pays the deductible. In my specific case, it is a 42 dollar a month difference (206 vs 164). This results in a net extra a net anual cost of $333 when you subtract the deductible from the premium difference. Plus F won't be issued beginning 2020 which will result in some worsening of the risk pool as no new members of young ages will join. Plus the increases are typically higher since for deductible increases, they typically go up 1.5 times the increase for F while it doesn't affect G.

Nonetheless my personality is such that i would rather never see a bill of any type or even think about the deductible. So my inclination, confirmed by my best friend, is just to get F and be done with it. Once done, well, it won't even be a thought in the future.

So it is economically dumb to pay an extra $333 annually which will likely increase. But can anybody understand where I am on this and even say they would do the same? Thanks....
I did the same, so if you are a fool then so am I. :sharebeer
In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, they often differ.

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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by Good Listener » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:48 pm

Ok it's done..... :sharebeer
I spoke to a different person at Aetna today when i called to sign up, thinking Plan G probably, but the premium for F is 191, not 206 (the agent Friday gave me the smoker rate accidentally). Multiplying it all out, for 2018 the incremental cost of F over G when considering not having to pay the deductible is $147. I went for it. I also signed up for Part D with Aetna at $20 per month and if my current meds hold I will spend somewhere between $50 & $350. So the total of all the above is less than $3000. Not bad. But I am paying the maximum B and D Irmaa so the Medicare premium total will be a bit over 500 per month....6k per year. So the total will be about 9k. It's a lot but a disaster cannot slaughter me. And even if I had to get to the 5k drug max, it would be about 13k. What is funny is that because of the IRMAA, I will be paying much more for medical care on Medicare than before but I guess that's life...

Thanks all.

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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by technovelist » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:40 pm

Good Listener wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:48 pm
Ok it's done..... :sharebeer
I spoke to a different person at Aetna today when i called to sign up, thinking Plan G probably, but the premium for F is 191, not 206 (the agent Friday gave me the smoker rate accidentally). Multiplying it all out, for 2018 the incremental cost of F over G when considering not having to pay the deductible is $147. I went for it. I also signed up for Part D with Aetna at $20 per month and if my current meds hold I will spend somewhere between $50 & $350. So the total of all the above is less than $3000. Not bad. But I am paying the maximum B and D Irmaa so the Medicare premium total will be a bit over 500 per month....6k per year. So the total will be about 9k. It's a lot but a disaster cannot slaughter me. And even if I had to get to the 5k drug max, it would be about 13k. What is funny is that because of the IRMAA, I will be paying much more for medical care on Medicare than before but I guess that's life...

Thanks all.
If the IRMAA adjustment is due to pensions and/or annuities, then there isn't much you can do about them. But if it is because of capital gains, have you checked whether it would make sense to bunch those to avoid having the IRMAA apply every year?
In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, they often differ.

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GerryL
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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by GerryL » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:09 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:55 pm
celia wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:35 am
Although I live in a state with a "birthday rule" (allowing change of plans or carriers at your birthday), my understanding is that you can always go from Plan F to any other plan at the same carrier without underwriting. Are there any other carriers in your state with a Plan F and G that allow you to change without underwriting? Is the "immutable decision" an Aetna rule only?
There is no requirement that any carrier honor such a request without medical underwriting. It certainly isn't even an "immutable decision" by Aetna. They can revoke this ability at anytime. There have already been anecdotal reports from other carriers with this so called "rule" which is nothing more than a policy decision, may not survive until 2020.
Spirit Rider, I believe the "birthday rule" is a state law that the insurers operating in those few states must abide by. Here in Oregon during the month of my birthday, I have the right to change to the same plan at a different company. I could also change to a plan with lower coverage. (In other words, you can't switch from an A plan to an F plan.) This is without underwriting.

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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by Spirit Rider » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:23 pm

GerryL wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:09 pm
Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:55 pm
celia wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:35 am
Although I live in a state with a "birthday rule" (allowing change of plans or carriers at your birthday), my understanding is that you can always go from Plan F to any other plan at the same carrier without underwriting. Are there any other carriers in your state with a Plan F and G that allow you to change without underwriting? Is the "immutable decision" an Aetna rule only?
There is no requirement that any carrier honor such a request without medical underwriting. It certainly isn't even an "immutable decision" by Aetna. They can revoke this ability at anytime. There have already been anecdotal reports from other carriers with this so called "rule" which is nothing more than a policy decision, may not survive until 2020.
Spirit Rider, I believe the "birthday rule" is a state law that the insurers operating in those few states must abide by. Here in Oregon during the month of my birthday, I have the right to change to the same plan at a different company. I could also change to a plan with lower coverage. (In other words, you can't switch from an A plan to an F plan.) This is without underwriting.
Yes, you are correct and I fully understand this.

However, Celia was referring to the fact that many carriers in states without lifetime guaranteed issue provisions have an unwritten policy. This policy generally allows you to downgrade policies (E.g. Plan F -> Plan G) without medical underwriting.

I was merely pointing out that in the 45 states without such legal protection, nothing guarantees it will be possible to go from Plan F -> Plan G without medical underwriting after 2020.

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Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by Good Listener » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:33 pm

technovelist wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:40 pm
Good Listener wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:48 pm
Ok it's done..... :sharebeer
I spoke to a different person at Aetna today when i called to sign up, thinking Plan G probably, but the premium for F is 191, not 206 (the agent Friday gave me the smoker rate accidentally). Multiplying it all out, for 2018 the incremental cost of F over G when considering not having to pay the deductible is $147. I went for it. I also signed up for Part D with Aetna at $20 per month and if my current meds hold I will spend somewhere between $50 & $350. So the total of all the above is less than $3000. Not bad. But I am paying the maximum B and D Irmaa so the Medicare premium total will be a bit over 500 per month....6k per year. So the total will be about 9k. It's a lot but a disaster cannot slaughter me. And even if I had to get to the 5k drug max, it would be about 13k. What is funny is that because of the IRMAA, I will be paying much more for medical care on Medicare than before but I guess that's life...

Thanks all.
If the IRMAA adjustment is due to pensions and/or annuities, then there isn't much you can do about them. But if it is because of capital gains, have you checked whether it would make sense to bunch those to avoid having the IRMAA apply every year?
It's pension plus dividends. Over the top into the final level by Roth conversions at the 35% rate (I figure we will be at 50% in a few years :shock:). But when i have to take SS in 5 years i will be in top IRMAA until my final resting place. I am going to have my daughter put on my gravestone and now I do not have to pay IRMAA :sharebeer

neilpilot
Posts: 1032
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by neilpilot » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:35 pm

technovelist wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:40 pm
Good Listener wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:48 pm
Ok it's done..... :sharebeer
I spoke to a different person at Aetna today when i called to sign up, thinking Plan G probably, but the premium for F is 191, not 206 (the agent Friday gave me the smoker rate accidentally). Multiplying it all out, for 2018 the incremental cost of F over G when considering not having to pay the deductible is $147. I went for it. I also signed up for Part D with Aetna at $20 per month and if my current meds hold I will spend somewhere between $50 & $350. So the total of all the above is less than $3000. Not bad. But I am paying the maximum B and D Irmaa so the Medicare premium total will be a bit over 500 per month....6k per year. So the total will be about 9k. It's a lot but a disaster cannot slaughter me. And even if I had to get to the 5k drug max, it would be about 13k. What is funny is that because of the IRMAA, I will be paying much more for medical care on Medicare than before but I guess that's life...

Thanks all.
If the IRMAA adjustment is due to pensions and/or annuities, then there isn't much you can do about them. But if it is because of capital gains, have you checked whether it would make sense to bunch those to avoid having the IRMAA apply every year?
If you are IRMAA because of a recent retirement, and your income in retirement will drop below IRMAA limits, then you can appeal. The chances of a successful appeal, and retroactive return of IRMMA adjustments, is typically very good for retirees.

https://www.hhs.gov/about/agencies/omha ... index.html

technovelist
Posts: 2452
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:02 pm
Contact:

Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by technovelist » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:37 am

Good Listener wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:33 pm
technovelist wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:40 pm
Good Listener wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:48 pm
Ok it's done..... :sharebeer
I spoke to a different person at Aetna today when i called to sign up, thinking Plan G probably, but the premium for F is 191, not 206 (the agent Friday gave me the smoker rate accidentally). Multiplying it all out, for 2018 the incremental cost of F over G when considering not having to pay the deductible is $147. I went for it. I also signed up for Part D with Aetna at $20 per month and if my current meds hold I will spend somewhere between $50 & $350. So the total of all the above is less than $3000. Not bad. But I am paying the maximum B and D Irmaa so the Medicare premium total will be a bit over 500 per month....6k per year. So the total will be about 9k. It's a lot but a disaster cannot slaughter me. And even if I had to get to the 5k drug max, it would be about 13k. What is funny is that because of the IRMAA, I will be paying much more for medical care on Medicare than before but I guess that's life...

Thanks all.
If the IRMAA adjustment is due to pensions and/or annuities, then there isn't much you can do about them. But if it is because of capital gains, have you checked whether it would make sense to bunch those to avoid having the IRMAA apply every year?
It's pension plus dividends. Over the top into the final level by Roth conversions at the 35% rate (I figure we will be at 50% in a few years :shock:). But when i have to take SS in 5 years i will be in top IRMAA until my final resting place. I am going to have my daughter put on my gravestone and now I do not have to pay IRMAA :sharebeer
Have you considered selling your dividend-paying stock(s) and buying something that accumulates capital gains instead? Then you could decide when to take the gains.

Of course this is only a wild notion I have. I'm not a tax expert, so don't blame me if it doesn't make sense.

In any event, I don't have to worry about this because I don't have nearly enough income to qualify! :sharebeer
In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, they often differ.

khh
Posts: 198
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 10:31 pm

Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Post by khh » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:37 am

Good Listener wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:48 pm
Ok it's done..... :sharebeer
Good for you! I opted for Plan G last year, but totally I get your reasons for going with Plan F. You have removed an annoyance from the next 35+ years ahead of you and it's worth the extra money.

:sharebeer

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