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I am so confused about Medicare and the advantage plan and other insurance companies and what to look for in a policy. If someone could make suggestions to point me in the right direction, and tell me what I should do, I'd be just ever so grateful!
There is so much to learn - I'm terrified that I'll make a costly mistake that I'll have to live with for the rest of my life, but my time is getting close and I need to do something - right or wrong.
I'm single. Still working but as a "temp". However, I have been a temp at the same firm for nearly 3 years now, and very confident that the job will continue for another year at the very least. I would like to retire next year at full retirement age. Since I'm a temp, I receive no benefits from the firm, however I do have limited medical coverage through my temp agency, which I pay for.
My thoughts are that I should keep the limited coverage through my agency, and sign up for Part A only at this time, at least as long as I’m still working? Good idea? or should I look for better coverage elsewhere and discontinue the temp agency plan?
I called the Social Security office to see if I could learn something in order to make an informed decision, but after hanging up the phone, I didn't feel very informed at all. It appears that I have to pay nearly $100 a month for just Part A. This doesn't seem right, does it? I've read on the AARP site that Part A isn't supposed to cost anything because it's taken out of money I've paid into it through all my years of employment, so why am I told differently? I'm already paying for coverage at the agency, and now I have to pay Medicare another $100 on top of that. This seems a bit extreme to me, especially since I've been blessed with relatively good health and haven't been to a hospital since I had a D&C 20 years ago.
The lady at SS told me to call the Medicare office about parts C&D. There, I spoke with a very nice person who told me that C&D were like HMOs and PPOs (Ah, something I'm actually familiar with!). She said C&D covered all the things A&B covers, but I have to have A&B in order to get C&D. What? Am I correct in my understanding that I have to pay $100 for part A and then get coverage through another insurance company to get C&D, which covers what I'm paying for A to cover?
Is it just me or is this confusing to others as well? Frankly, I'd rather have a root canal than to deal with this business!
I spoke with a friend who said I should get the advantage plan during the "window" between October and December, but in order to get the advantage plan, I have to get A&B. Does that mean I have to pay Medicare $100 a month, plus another insurance company whatever their premium is too? Where's the advantage and why is this costing so much money? This pretty much eats up my meager "'temp" paycheck.
I guess what I need is for someone with knowledge of this whole business to tell me what they would do if they were me because apparently, I understand none of it and by the sounds of it, I can't afford any of it!
I am in relatively good health but was diagnosed with Barrett's disease about 5 years ago. For this, I take a Prilosec daily, but I buy it OTC and take no other prescription medications on a regular basis.
I confess that insurance has always been one of those things I never understood and never took the time to learn. I've never read a policy, which is normally multiple pages of print containing confusing language, in a size 3 font which would give anyone a headache while trying to discover what it all means.
Please don't be too harsh on me - I don't mean to pass the buck on a decision that I know I must make. I've tried to learn about it and to understand my options but I'm getting conflicting information and it seems the more I read, the more confused I become.
I know this is a long post and I apologize for taking up so much time and space, but thank you most sincerely for your anticipated helpful response.
At this point, I'm ready to go sign up for Part A, pay the 100 bucks a month, although it seems unfair, and get on with life.