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Can someone offer advice, it appears my Dad's pension plan pays $645 monthly for Part D coverage. Medicare part A & B are deducted from his S.S. benefits already. Can this be correct? YTD gross prescription costs are $1200 ($200 month Jan-June), premiums approx. $4000 not including co-pays.

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As Medicare doesn't pay for everything and never will, people buy Medicare Supplemental Plans. AARP through United Health Care Plan F is a good one.
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to clarify moms26's answer, the medicare Advantage plans are good until you need to go to the nursing home or you need rehab, for example after knee or hip surgery. then they are very limiting as to where you can go to be treated. For example, where we live in Iowa, the nearest preferred provider for rehab is 50 miles from Boone, which can be a real hardship on the spouse of the patient. They also limit which drugs you can receive, not usually too much of a problem as you can switch to similar things if the ones you currently take are not covered. They are great for doctors' office visits and routine care and they can be very cheap.
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United Healthcare and Humana both offer a medicare advantage plan. In some counties, there is NO monthly charge for the plan. My husband has been on AARP Medicare Advantage Plan since he was 65. Now 81. The plan is underwritten by United Healthcare. We have never paid a monthly premium. He has received services at no or little out of pocket during that time. Just check to see if your county offers such plans. Good Luck.
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Biomidkid: When it came time for my husband and I to sign up for what-can-be-very confusing Medicare, we used a Medicare insurance agent, a pro bono service for us. I suggest you look into that.
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Thank you everyone for your responses. You are correct in that I am in the early stages of Medicare education!
I did speak with Medicare and he can obtain script coverage thru CIGNA for under $100 month.
I intend on really getting all the info before making any changes. I still believe that premium includes additional coverage.
I also think that it is part of a group policy acquired by his union. It probably was a good deal over 20 years ago and most likely was paid with "before tax dollars".
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That depends on what Medicare Supplement Plan Letter he is on.
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My part D has no copays nor deductibles; I don't pay anything for it. It is Cigna Healthspring. I got it because I worked for Cigna Corporation at one time
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This is outrageous! My Husband has a part D plan from AARP, it is $68/month. You can change part D plans any time of year. You can only change your supplement during open enrollment which starts Oct 15th of each year. I am not sure if you understand the difference. Medicare A and B cover inpatient hospitalization and rehab needs. However there is a big copay for these services, usually 80/20. Your supplement pays the copay charges. My husbands copayer is from AARP as well, plan N, and it costs $106/month. He has a $20 charge to go to the DR. and a $50 charge to go to the ER. Otherwise, everything is covered 100%. You can get a plan from AARP where everything is covered at 100% that costs $134 a month. plan F. Your dad is likely paying for his supplement and plan D together which they are charging him $645/month for. He can get good coverage much cheaper. I worked with insurance for years at the Hospital and the AARP plans are good plans. It does cost $16 per year to be an AARP member but it is totally worth it. Call AARP and talk to an insurance person. They are super nice to work with and will give you lots of help and advice.
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It could well be that your dad's Part D is not the right fit for what his current drug costs are. As MAC said, he can change it in next years open enrollment period.

Right now he is pretty well in his current plan till next fall's open enrollment; unless he has a major health crisis like a hospitalization that allows for plan changes. But what you can help dad do between now and next October is look at all his health care costs and then what his current plans pay for and what other options are out there that might be better. It will be a lot of info to wade through (& often conflicting info too), so the sooner you start the less stress in making an informed decision. This site has articles on Medicare that are good and the fed's CMS Medicare site is very good too.

Bobby40 is spot on in that it could well be that his current plan is the best option for him over time. That was the case for me with my mom, she was FEIB as my dad was a fed & when he retired in the 1980's he chose the high-option BCBS health insurance which paid for almost everything 100% other than whatever Original Medicare paid for. She wanted to change it as she was inundated with those "MediGap" policies letters & seminars which tout low or no cost (as in theory would not have BCBS monthly premium taken from civil service annuity), but fortunately didn't. To me, "gap" plans are often a total ruse as to what they cover as eventually when the day comes that they actually have real & prolonged health care & medication costs they find their co-pay or deductible is sky-high &/or they cannot realistically go outside of the health provider system affiliated with the "gap". And when that day comes (and if they live long enough believe me it will come), they cannot ever get back onto the old & better insurance plan and they are stuck into whatever high cost coverage that is available in your state until they are poor & sick enough to be eligible for Medicaid. (well Medicaid as it is now & not whatever clusterF likely going to come from new health insurance bill in the Senate).

Biomid - also it's important that you understand the letters of Medicare. Part A is NOT taken out of his pension, it is Part B that is taken out. Part A for almost all is premium-free as we pay into Medicare via FICA. (There are a few who do pay for Part A but usually its cause they do not have enough FICA quarters to meet Part A pay-in; I'm thinking it's like maybe 5% of all on Medicare who fall into this crack, so unless your dad is in this tiny group his part A is premium free). Part B for 2016 was approved @ $ 122 or $ 166 a mo & it's quite the bargain as there is no way for someone to ever get insurance coverage for basically $ 1500 a year. Plan C's are "advantage plans" or gap plans that include Rx's; Plan D are drug plan's; Plan F's are kinda complex as they cover Plan B costs and drugs and most all other charges. None of these Medicare letters cover long term care costs, like the room & board charges at a NH or MC.

Part A can cover a post hospitalization rehab stay at a NH with a rehabilitation unit. Medicare also covers hospice but does not pay for the room & board costs for hospice (like if they are in a NH & on hospice). Really it's a lot of different issues to look at to find what might be the best insurance situation for your dad. If you all are rural or living in a town far away from a big city with a health science center (has teaching hospitals) or competing hospital systems, you just may find that there may be no real options to choose from.

Also if dad's drugs are coming from Express Scripts (MedCo) or any of the big chains, you want to help dad establish an on-line account & tie it to your email address so you can look at just what his drug history & costs have been. Otherwise its gonna be some kinda sticky to get this information even if your his DPOA. Good luck and try not to let all this get you too overwhelmed.
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I have a hunch the $645 is for a Medicare Advantage Plan (Medicare Part C). Advantage plans require patients to pay Part B premiums separately. There is no such thing as a Medicare Part A premium.
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That sounds excessive.

I pay $300 month for Ray's BC & BS of MS along with another $104 to Medicare.

Everyone has told me that $300 for his supplemental is extremely high - but it is an advantage plan that is no longer available and it pays towards his medicines. The VA files to BC & BS and we get most of Ray's meds for free as BC & BS picks up our portion.

I agree about "be very careful before cancelling or changing," but definitely you need to find out why he is paying so much.
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If you have any type of medical insurance through a pension from a former employer be very careful about canceling. You may think costs are high, but it is difficult to find comparable coverage that is cheaper. AND, once out of your former employer's plan you probably can't go back.
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When next year's open enrolment comes around, sit down with him to choose a better plan. $645 sounds high plus I am not sure that his plan pays for this. Pensions should go in his account. Is this just an automatic deduction?
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