I went on Medicare the past December. I was surprised at all the rules and things that made figuring it out unnecessarily complex. I didn't even realize that Medicare Part B was means tested until I learned that I would have to pay a higher Part B premium and drug plan premium. My upward adjustment only moves me up one tier right now, so it's not too bad. Compared to what I had paid for my BCBS individual policy, it was a huge overall reduction. I was paying about $10K in annual premiums just for me, plus a $2.5K deductible, plus a $2K co-insurance, plus all the co-pays. A few years ago, I developed a serious heart issue, so I can count of paying the full deductible and co-insurance each year. So, for my last year before Medicare, I paid about $18K in total out of pocket medical costs for insurance and all the add-ons. Heck, my drug co-pays for the year were $150 per month, and all my drugs are generics. Anyway, getting on Medicare, even with the added premium for being in a higher income bracket, cost me about $12K less than I was paying for BCBS. My wife pays the same thing I did for BCBS, only she doesn't have any real health issues, so she just pays the BCBS base premium (this year about $11K), plus a little of her deductibe). When she goes on Medicare, we'll save another at least $5K per year. Bottom line: Medicare is a great deal. I don't mind paying a higher premium since we have a nice income in retirement, but I do mind paying the extra money when nobody in DC, either Dems or Repubs, know how to be financially responsible in way, shape, or form. I also don't like the fact that the government gives me no choice but to be in Medicare, when the entire plan right now is to reduce the availablility of quality health care to retirees and just about everyone else as their idea of how to keep cost down. Well, that's my two cents on this subject.
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