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Retirees, Social security, Medicare

Discussion in 'Me, My Herd, My Family' started by farmerjan, Jul 1, 2018.

  1. Jul 1, 2018
    farmerjan

    farmerjan Loving the herd life

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    Hi everyone. I am @farmerjan and have been on the site for over two years. I do post on others' threads but have never started my own.
    Anyway, I am going to hit 65 this fall. Have been inudated with 900 million things for supplemental ins and all this stuff in the mail. Crazy.....

    What do you other retirees have, or like or don't like with medicare and supplement plans? Our health ins provider has been trying to give us some info as there are HALF of us milk testers in the 60 + over age bracket and very few young ones willing to take on the crazy hours and such. With the state of the dairy industry, I'm not sure that this isn't a dying breed/job anyway.

    I have talked to several financial advisors that have said to keep working as long as I can and the SS check will be bigger. One of the girls at work said her financial advisor told her to start her SS as soon as she wanted; they did cost comparisons as to how much less she would get and how long it would take to "break even". She started hers and has been putting the whole thing towards what mortgage she has left and said it will get paid off soon and that she is GLAD she opted to start it. Also, her advisor said that it would take an average 7-10 years to reach that break even point and that who knows how long you will live. Case in point; the former CEO of our company waited to retire at 65, and collected SS for 5 months and dropped dead of a heart attack. So I can see the reasoning. Plus there are rumblings that by 2030 there might only be enough to pay 70 cents on the dollar due to the financial solvency... The difference for me to wait til 66 is only about $100 month and I can make that up with cattle money so I am probably going to start SS.
    I try to explain to the financial advisors the pain in the ankle and my knees, the years of being on concrete, and the limited options I have for the ankle besides fusion. Being off concrete for a few days, really does make it not quite so painful. I have tried everything that has been suggested, have been for consultations to over 10 different doctors over the last 5 years. I have been doing prolotherapy; the 2nd level which is PRP (platelet enriched plasma) injections to help possible regeneration of the cartliledge without the hoped for results. Some of the damage is wear and tear, some is from a couple of accidents. I just had some stem cells harvested from my hip and injected into the ankle joint. It will take some time to see if it will help.
    Mind you, none of this is covered by ins., so is all out of pocket, but I really don't want replacements if there are other options and replacement of the ankle is iffy since there are 3 joints and only one is replaced. Knee replacement has been discussed too. I will wait for medicare to kick in since it will cover much more than my present ins. due to our high deductible.

    So all that said, I take no "drugs", no high blood pressure, no diabetes, no cholesterol, nothing except being overweight and that has partly come from the joint problems; I cannot walk the pastures checking on the cows and cannot ride the hay wagons as I am not stable enough on my feet on the moving wagon, so I am not getting the exercise I used to. I am working on trying to figure a way to drop some and I usually do in the summer just from sweating while raking hay and such.

    So please, anyone willing to weigh in on the different plans, pros and cons, and how you have dealt with it all.

    Thanks, Jan
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018
    Pastor Dave and Baymule like this.
  2. Jul 1, 2018
    Mike CHS

    Mike CHS Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    I'm not much help on offering different options since I'm retired military so I'm drawing retired pay and Social Security. I'm on Medicare but also have Tricare as the backup for Medicare which has worked fine so far.

    The one opinion I can offer that may help is that I have seen far too many people pass on not long after applying for Social Security and a couple of friends that passed on before they started drawing it. I also did the math and the payback for me was longer than 7 1/2 years. I had planned on drawing at 62 but my old employer kept talking me into staying on the job each time the contract got renewed so I was 65 when I started drawing it.
     
  3. Jul 2, 2018
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    My husband started drawing at 65 but kept working until he was 70. He had to "turn off" the SS after he made $14,000 at his job. Finally, it didn't matter how much he made, he didn't have to pay a penalty and could draw his SS and work too. We moved and he had to quit! LOL

    He is on Medicare. After taking care of my Mother and witnessing her medical care, we did what she did for a supplement. My husband is on AARP traditional supplement, Plan F. It is a little pricy at just under $200 a month, BUT he has had some MAJOR surgeries and we have been out not one dime in costs. We have never paid anything out of pocket-nothing. He had open heart surgery, a 3 way bypass. This was followed by months of physical therapy-for which we paid nothing. He had both shoulder and knee replacement-again followed by months of intensive therapy 3 times a week (if we were paying out of pocket it would have been $400 per session) and we again paid nothing.

    When you walk into any doctor or hospital and lay the AARP traditional supplement card on the counter, it paves the way for treatment.

    I started drawing my SS at 62, am 63 now. It is a pitiful amount, will cover medicare and supplement in 2 more years. Then I'll go down the road of knee treatments, probably replacement.

    When we did the math on DH drawing SS, it would have taken 14 years to equal out the money. We didn't even bother with mine, I just signed up.

    I can't recommend the AARP traditional supplement enough. It is easy, accepted at ANY hospital or doctor that takes medicare. NO "network" or "accepted providers" or any of that other crap people have to put up with. Worth every penny.
     
    Mike CHS likes this.
  4. Jul 2, 2018
    greybeard

    greybeard trigger happy cowboy Golden Herd Member

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    Twin brother..officially retired and went on SS in July of the year he turned age 67. He died 4 months later. The only upside to that was it made it easier for his widow to get 1/2 his SS benefits since she didn't have to jump thru quite as many administrative hoops to file for it.
    I opted to take SS benefits a year earlier and have not regretted it.

    Medicare...
    Don't confuse 'Parts' with 'Plans'.
    For most people, there are 3 Parts to medicare.
    Part A covers many "in facility" hospital procedures. For most folks, it is free, depending how many quarters of medicare taxes you have paid in while working.
    Part B is your medicare for Dr visits. It's base will cost (for 2018) $134/month. If you are drawing SS benefits, that $134 will be deducted directly from your monthly SS benefit 'check'.
    It will not cover nearly all your routine visit costs so that's where the supplement comes in that you are being deluged with in your mailbox.
    You purchase it thru an insurance provider such as Humana, Blue Cross, AARP/United Healthcare etc.

    Part D is your drug plan. You buy it from a health care insurance provider. Whether it is cost effective or not all depends whether you have a lot of qualifying prescriptions or not. Lots of medications it will not cover and lots it will pay a lesser % of..meaning you have a co pay at your pharmacy. Just because you aren't currently using any medications doesn't mean you won't be next week.

    Plans. IIRC, plans run Plan A thru G, and the difference is how much and what they cover and what Co-pay and deductible you can stand. Their cost is based on what benefits you get. Plan F for instance has a fairly high monthly premium, a low deductible, and usually no co-pay for Dr visit or Hosp procedure.

    Most of the supplement plans, regardless of who the company is, are supposed to be the same as far as benefits go. IOW, Plan A from Humana is supposed to be the same as Plan A from AARP...PlanB from one insurance provider is supposed to be about the same as any other Plan B.
    The difference, is the cost, and whether your Dr or other medical facility actually accepts that insurance company's policy. This was the way it was set up via Obamacare...Medicare dictated this accross-the-board 'similarity'.

    Then, there is Medicare Advantage. I don't know much about it except it is more expensive than the others.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
  5. Jul 2, 2018
    goatgurl

    goatgurl True BYH Addict

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    I opted to start drawing my ss when I was 62. like others I did the math and it would have taken 7-8 years to catch up. have humana as my supplemental insurance. its ok, have little co-pays but so far nothing I can't handle. before I retired I paid my property off and built a little house with my savings so I have very little left to fall back on. down side to that is that I don't have much to fall back on, good side is that no one can ever take my home or land away from me. taxes are tiny and since i'm now over 65 my property taxes are frozen. I've never had to watch money more carefully than I do now but I've never been more content.
     
  6. Jul 2, 2018
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses True BYH Addict

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    I am working at not working. o_O

    That time when you say "enough is enough". Have a 12-18 month plan to be debt free as it can be -- taxes never end! Daily needs and maintenance, etc. Have put myself on a cash only life to pay off and "practice" the life I will be in -- in case :D Setting up for a little more farm income -- nothing huge but, cover expenses of animals, primarily. That's food & repairs. And working to be more efficient in providing food sources for me and them from/on the farm.

    So the SS will be main source of income. Still working 2PT jobs that flex so some weeks I work 60-70 hrs and others 20. It is "seasonal" as the surges occur with each job. @ 18 months I will divest of one job, eventually the other. At my age there are not a lot of job sources and this one is ok with & for a senior -- although I am healthy & active, may not be in 10 yr. Sure plan to be! Learning practical farm modifications to make life easier all along. My tractor is my best friend quite often...and a needed source to maintain 14 acres of pastures, crops & fence.

    I started SS at 62, been 10 yrs. Same as all with medicare and the cost from SS. It's fine. It isn't the income that is the concern so much as being prepared for any emergency maintenance needs. Like -- my nightmare -- the well pump dies! Several thousand immediate. Keeping options for such.

    My decision to start collecting ASAP was a good choice for me. The difference then or several years later at 70 was minimal and not enough to make up for what I was able to get and use right then. At the time I had a FT job and several months of SS was held for the $1 for every $2 deal. As luck would have it, the company was sold to a larger one and they dropped all of our office jobs in the buy-out of our firm. Then unemployment kicked in, the previously held SS funds were paid to me and I was sure glad to have a check already active! I've never looked back or regretted collecting ASAP.

    I believe -- beyond any retirement &/or SS -- comes a need to be able to adjust, assist and know where help can be found within your area. Short term needs, medical & RX expenses, help with maintenance or repairs, food, all that, is often available via your county, state & federal resources. Some power companies, churches, counties, have funds to help. Some have outreach & community service to help, or know of temporary assistance available.

    We will all have some tough times....most already have. It's life and needs to be addressed. Care & relocation of animals and your self should be a consideration. Long term care is an unbearable expense for most....letting your loved ones know where & how to care for your animals is a must...etc. Print your routine, the locations of feed, needs for animal care and post it some where. Would anyone know what to do if you ran away today???? :lol: :old
     
    Baymule likes this.
  7. Jul 2, 2018
    Bruce

    Bruce Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    My Dad had an ankle replacement a few years ago.

    Went to the monthly retiree lunch last Wednesday. Most are 65+ but I am not. In any case the whole insurance thing comes up often. Last week's "nugget" was that people with "Plan F" can continue to get it. Won't be available to new people. This is not insurance provider specific.

    Good info, didn't know they took your medicare cost out of the SS check. That sure would be a surprise if one started SS before 65 then WHAM! Sorry but your check is now $134 less per month. That could certainly mess with one's budget.
     
  8. Jul 2, 2018
    greybeard

    greybeard trigger happy cowboy Golden Herd Member

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    It's not an automatic thing. You will be asked by medicare or the plan provider how you want that $134 deducted or how you want to remit the funds. You can have it automatically deducted from your bank account or send them a check..or deducted from SS benefits before it is even direct deposited in your acct.

    Plan F is not going away for everyone and even after 2018, some, not already signed up can still opt for Plan F.
    Plan C is going to have a similar restriction beginning in 2020.

    The new law states that on or after January 1, 2020, a Medicare Supplement policy that provides coverage of the Part B deductible may not be sold or issued to a newly eligible Medicare beneficiary. You can read more here. That means that people whose birthday is December 31, 1954 (turning 65 on December 31, 2019) may be the last group able to enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan F. After January 1, 2020, you will not be able to enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan C, one of the closest alternatives to Plan F, either, since it also covers the Part B deductible. If you already have Plan F, you can keep it. The law only affects new enrollees.

    The good news for enrollees buying a Medicare Supplement plan after January 1, 2020 is that the Part B deductible, which will not be covered in your plan, is not one of the biggest health-care costs under Medicare. In 2018 the Part B deductible is $183 per year. The Part A deductible is more than seven times that amount. Almost all the standardized Medicare Supplement plans available in most states (except Medicare Supplement Plan A) still may cover at least 50% of the Medicare Part A deductible, which in 2018 is $1,340 for each benefit period.

    If you are unable to enroll in Plan F or Plan C, you may consider buying Medicare Supplement Plan G, which generally covers everything Plan F covers except the Part B deductible. Plan G may cover:




      • Medicare Part A deductible
      • Medicare Part B excess charges
      • Part A hospital and coinsurance costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted
      • Part B coinsurance or copayment
      • First three pints of blood used in an approved medical procedure (annually)
      • Part A hospice care copayment or coinsurance
      • Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) coinsurance
      • Foreign travel emergency medical care (80% up to plan limits)
    [/b]

    If you currently have Plan F and like it, DO NOT let your coverage lapse!!!
     
    Baymule likes this.
  9. Jul 2, 2018
    Bruce

    Bruce Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    True that!

    I guess Plan F is too good a deal so they are getting rid of it. I read all you posted and find it quite confusing.
    Glad I have nearly 3 years before I have to understand it.
     
  10. Jul 3, 2018
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    What SS office you go to for help has a lot to do with it too. We went to Lufkin the first time for DH, which was an hour away-and the opposite direction from the Houston area. We were pleased with the small town friendly people who worked there and the time spent plainly explaining everything to us on that and subsequent visits.

    We went ONE time to the SS office in Tyler. Vastly different experience. Will never go back. Bigger city, crowded, a loooong wait, overloaded and over worked people, a run-the-cattle-through attitude. Later on, we had a question and went back to Lufkin, 2 hours away, were in and out in less than an hour, question was answered to our satisfaction and a pleasant experience.

    Government offices of any level in Tyler are pretty much a miserable experience. When I needed to renew my drivers license, we went to the county north of us to a small town about 45 minutes away.