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Hi, My father broke his hip and wound up in a rehab facility a few months back. He lives in Florida with his girlfriend and me and my brother are in Pennsylvania. His primary insurance ran out so his case worker switched him over to Medicare. Unbeknownst to me, neither the case worker or his girlfriend looked into signing him up for supplemental insurance to offset the amount more Medicare doesn't cover. So his girlfriend calls me on the phone yesterday panicking about the rehab bill he just received for $5000.00 that's due in a week. She then proceeds to ask me and my brother to pay the entire bill. I asked her why he wasn't signed up for supplemental insurance and she replied with, "I'm looking into it." My question is isn't it incumbent upon the case worker to have looked into this for him before switching over to Medicare?

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I think the hangup here is that he has to wait for the next open enrollment period. Only dad is responsible for his bills so avoid the bullying and refuse to sign anything for him. Girlfriend is struggling to a knee jerk reaction. Supplemental does not cover long term care. Did he stay longer than 21 days in rehab? The $5000 sounds like he extended his stay for another month. How did he run out of primary insurance? Maxed out or did he lose his job due to months of disability? I am just speculating. You can find supplimental info on the Medicare website. But this should be dad's concern if he is mentally cognitive.
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Reply to MACinCT
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I know of employers who "cap" insurance when one retires. They have a certain amount that is allowed, lets say 100k. Once the person uses that up, no more insurance.

Savanah, not signing up for Medicare at 65 can cause penalties. The POA should contact Medicare and see if he is paying more than the norm. POA will see less in the SS check. If so, he may need to prove Dad was under an employers insurance to havevthe penalty removed. Not sure of this but think it has been mentioned on the forum. I really am surprised that the facility was able to sign Dad up with Medicare. Its not their responsibility to sign him up for supplimental. Picking a supplimental is a personal thing. First the cost. Second, does the person travel out of the state or the country. What are their needs? Some supplimentals have high deductables and may not be worth getting. If Dad goes on Medicaid for his care, he won't need a supplimental.

Just for curiosity sake, how old is Dad. What age did he retire. No obligation to answer but I may be able to clear some stuff up by the answers to these two questions.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Savanah writes:

"Hi, My father broke his hip and wound up in a rehab facility a few months back. He lives in Florida with his girlfriend and me and my brother are in Pennsylvania. His primary insurance ran out so his case worker switched him over to Medicare. Unbeknownst to me, neither the case worker or his girlfriend looked into signing him up for supplemental insurance to offset the amount more Medicare doesn't cover. So his girlfriend calls me on the phone yesterday panicking about the rehab bill he just received for $5000.00 that's due in a week. She then proceeds to ask me and my brother to pay the entire bill. I asked her why he wasn't signed up for supplemental insurance and she replied with, "I'm looking into it." My question is isn't it incumbent upon the case worker to have looked into this for him before switching over to Medicare?"

You do not provide enough information for anyone to give you an informed answer relative to Medicare. However, the answer that says "it's not your responsibility" is correct. It's probably not the girlfriend's responsibility either if the term "girl friend" is being used in the traditional way (or is he or she a common law wife and what are the laws concerning common law marriage in FL?)

The most confusing thing is the fact that your father's age is not given. If he is older than 65, why was he not on Medicare already. If he is younger than 65, you can't just be "signed up for Medicare." Or did he turn 65 in the midst of the incident?

It is very unusual for a person to only be on the group insurance plan of a former employer and not on Medicare. But if that is literally true -- that some kind of limit of the former employer's plan was reached -- a person could not then switch to another type of insurance (Medicare in this case) and expect it to cover the situation in arrears.

And a case worker cannot sign someone up for Medicare no matter how old they are (only the person himself or herself can do that... or a legal guardian   -- which is not the same thing as having "power of attorney," which is misrepresented in one of the answers here). So take another crack at it. Or -- best advice -- ignore the girl friend.
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Reply to DennisByron
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Agree with the above. The social worker should have suggested or informed the person about Medicare’s status and maybe the SW did just that, but your father forgot or misunderstood & didn’t question her/him.
Your father’s POA should help him along this path as well - the POA is the person who will be paying those monthly premiums for his parent.
I think it is everyone’s own responsibility to be aware of what coverage your own policy covers. Social workers can’t know everything about each patient’s resources or needs. The enrollee & POA should have already been thinking about a Medicare supplement. It takes a lot of work researching those plans and then  signing up for a Medicare supplements as there are so many different levels of care & cost. A social worker can give you resources about the plans and who to call to enroll but a SW can’t choose the person’s policy as the level of care is usually consistent with the monthly premiums which the SW wouldn’t know. The Medicare recipient shoild do the call with their proxy or POA for a second ear. 
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Reply to Shane1124
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I think it would have been up to his power of attorney to question his former employer about Availability of Medicare supplemental insurance when he left work, retired or went on Medicare.
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Reply to anonymous439773
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His insurance is with his former employer. So that explains why he isn't on medicare. My brother has power of attorney.
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Reply to savanah
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Why wasn't he on Medicare when he turned 65? Was his former insurance with an employer? Was it Cobra? A supplimental may not have paid the full balance anyway. Medicare pays the first 20days 100%, 21 to 100 days 50%. Mom had AARP and they did not pick up the remainder. Mom owed $150 a day. Is Dad still in rehab? GF should tell finance there is no money. They will either help her with Medicaid, if he qualifies, or discharge him. You are not responsible for this bill. Dad is. That doesn't mean you can't help pay it, just want you to know you can't be made too. You are too far away to handle this. She needs to.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Do not pay the bill. The social worker should check into medicaid for him. Of course there are qualifiers. Who has his powers of attorney?
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Reply to gladimhere
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