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So, we went to a so called Medicare/SS consultant a few months ago. Quite frankly we had more information that she did.
Does anyone have any information that would be useful to someone who will be looking at Medicare plans in the next few months.
I heard that Medicare Advantage might go away.
I have no idea if that's true or not. Lots of rumors flying around.
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Does anyone have any information that would be useful to someone who will be looking at Medicare plans in the next few months.

I start Medicare in two weeks. I consulted with an insurance broker who knows everything about Medicare and all its plans. Sorry your consultant wasn't so knowledgable. Keep looking. My broker made everything very clear and easy to decide.

I've also heard that Advantage plans may be squeezed going forward. You can change plans every year during open enrollment but IIRC if you get a supplemental plan when you start, there are no questions asked, while if you switch from an Advantage plan you may run into refusals or higher rates, depending on your history.

Since I was already receiving Social Security, Part B will be automatically deducted from my SS payment without me having to do anything. Through my broker I signed up for the cheapest Part D (I don't take any meds, but the cost of Part D goes up if you wait to enroll) and also for the Mutual of Omaha supplement. Total premium costs will be less than half of what I've been paying for private individual health insurance and deductibles and co-pays will drop to near nothing compared to my current 30% copays and $1500 deductible. When DW starts Medicare a year from now, our savings on health care costs will be enough to fund a yearly trip to Europe. Thanks, taxpayers.

--fleg
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My broker made everything very clear and easy to decide.


Thanks. There is an insurance agent in the new town that we want to move to. He seems to be the "go to" guy for all types of insurance. We will most likely be talking to someone in his office in a few months.
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I go on Medicare effective December 1. I'm signing up for a Medigap policy this week, plus a separate drug plan. I'm avoiding Medicare Advantage because I have significant pre-existing issues, and I'm concerned about not being about to see the right specialists down the road, and I'm also concerned about Medicare Advantage not being so advantaging down the road. Bottom line: I'm willing to pay a little more to be as certain as I can be that I'll get the best coverage I can get on Medicare. My biggest concern is that Obama plans to gut Medicare by rationing and exclusion for certain high cost medical procedures, but there is little I can do about that in the event it happens.
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My biggest concern is that Obama plans to gut Medicare by rationing and exclusion for certain high cost medical procedures, but there is little I can do about that in the event it happens.

That's assuming the president gets re-elected.
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My biggest concern is that Obama plans to gut Medicare by rationing and exclusion for certain high cost medical procedures, but there is little I can do about that in the event it happens.


Don't believe all the Republican rhetoric about Medicare. There will be no gutting or rationing when Obama is reelected.
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Some of the Senior Service organizations in many communities have very knowledgeable folks on the subject.
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Don't believe all the Republican rhetoric about Medicare. There will be no gutting or rationing when Obama is reelected.

And you know this how?
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Brooklyn me thinks you need some information and less "facts" from people with political agendas.

Medicare Advantage is a version or part of medicare. In traditional Medicare premiums paid by those receiving benefits were/are paying 25% of the total program costs. The reminder of the program costs are paid by deductibles, co-pays and payroll taxes. A person who signs up for traditional Medicare will get at no cost something called Part A -- this is hospital coverage. It may have a deductible of a few hundred bucks, but with a typical hospital stay (not counting ER) costing over $1,000 a day - the deductible is not really an big part of the cost. Medicare also has a Part-B -- this is for physicians, office visits and just about everything else (including physical therapy, wheelchairs, etc.) that is not specific to a hospital stay. There is a Part-B deductible that is about $300. Additionally Medicare Part-B only pays 80% of the total net bill. (As you undoubtedly know all the medical people have a Rack Rate and then a much lower real rate for anybody with insurance.) Medicare pay 80% of the Medicare approved cost.

More recently there is Medicare Part-D that is drug coverage.

Medicare Advantage is a single policy that takes care of Parts A, B and D with a single premium (which may be zero to the retied person).

Prior to the Advantage plans, people on Medicare paid the 20% our of their pocket or get a Medicare Supplement (aka Medi-Gap) insurance policy. These polices are given letters to identify them. All "C" or "N" or what ever policies must offer a specific set of coverages. There are minor differences between the AARP "C" policy and the AETNA "C" policy, but unless you have a specific need for replacement glass eyes or what ever AETNA adds to their "C" policy, customer service and price are the only real differences between two Medicare Supplemental Policies.

I won't get into here - but be aware, you are only guaranteed only one option to get such a Medi-Gap policy. After that one time, the insurance companies can accept you, reject you or charge you any rate they want. (There are exceptions, but there are narrow and very specific.)

OK the supplemental policies cost in the range of $100 to $200 a month which is not trivial to folks who are living on social security.

Somewhere along the line the idea of advantage plans was developed. When all is said and done, here is how they work. A person signs up for Advantage insurance Company #1 The Federal government pays Company #1 what ever the average for all other medicare folks cost for Parts A. Also there is a Part-B premiums which for 95% of folks is currently $99.90 per month. That money goes to Company #1. In exchange for all that money, Company #1 pays all the medical costs for its policy holders. For a variety of reasons, Congress decided to give an additional capitation rate (several hundred dollars) per person per year signing up for Advantage plans to Company #1.

Obviously the AETNAs, United Healthcare, Hummanas, etc. of the world thought getting all that money (premiums plus capitation funds) offered a chance for profit and they started offering Advantage Plans. There are several. They are not all equal like the Medi-Gap Supplemental polices. One may be cheaper. Another may have advantages for those who are frail and need more in home care in the later years. Read the fine print!

Note - This capitation money is the $716 Billion dollars either the Ryan budget or the Obama budget is "stealing" from Medicare - sort of depends on you political views as to who is talking about taking medicare funds.

Now why do folks want Advantage plans -- the cost is less for the same coverage one get with all traditional Medicare plus the Medi-Gap insurance. If I can have a Lexus for the cost of Ford Focus, it has appeal - not hard to understand.

Although no one has publicly admitted it, if you look at the situation currently there is a payment from traditional Medicare funds to the Company #1s of the world. If that payment ends, the choices for Company #1 are not pleasant for Advantage plan people. Company #1 may (I don't know) be legally allowed to charge a higher premium. Company #1 certainly can restrict the insured choice of doctors, hospitals and drugs. In short Company #1 can start running thins like the HMOs of the 1980s.

You commented about Obama gutting Advantage plans and killing them. If you consider stopping a transfer of funds form the traditional Medicare system to provide a capitation for Advantage Plans "gutting' advantage that is part of current law. But before you blame it solely on Obama, keep in mind it was part of Ryan's budget plan that the Tea Party folks in the House all loved a few short months ago.

We have a healthcare cost problem in this country. People feel entitled to best medical care money can buy. If a new cancer drug comes out that extends life by 30 days -- people demand that drug and don't care if the incremental cost of $100,000 a year.

People need to seriously answer the question, how much would you personally pay for 7 days of life? Would you personally give up your house and retirement funds? Would you leave a spouse destitute should you could have a few days or weeks of life?

These are not easy of simple choices.

But to get back to your concerns - Medicare is not going away. Advantage plans are not going away. Both options will change. You can expect increased costs. If you pick an Advantage Plan and your insurance company goes out of the insurance business, you will be given an option to select some Medi-Gap and some Advantage plans. Pre-existing conditions will not be a factor. But there may be some limitations. For example I have a friend who was in a Medicare HMO and her insurance company quit the business. She was given the option of several AARP Medi-Gap policies - but not every policy. There were two out of maybe 15 she could not select.

I do not know all the details of the current healthcare law. It is possible the initial Medi-Gap policy window has changed. But the One Bite at the Apple limitation I mentioned above is how it worked prior to the Obama healthcare law.

One other thing, in my experience, very few retires understand, despite all the co-pays, premiums and deductibles they pay -- that is way less than 30% of the total cost of the medicare money paid to hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, etc. Last time I checked there was no free lunch and I think it fair to say retires as a group cannot pay for what they are getting now. So folks are going to have to accept rationing either via cost (buy what you want) or via a bureaucracy.

I hope this gives you some help and background.

Gordon
Atlanta
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Thank you Gordon!

My husband and I have decided that the best insurance policy is keeping ourselves healthy and fit. I am 64 years old. I do ten miles a day on my exercise bike and try to do 10,000 steps a day. (I have a pedometer).
I don't smoke or drink. Gave all that up nearly 30 years ago.
Some things we have control over. Other health issues come into our lives unexpectedly and we have no control over that. Having a positive attitude helps.
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Congratulations on your smart choices - well smart in my warped view those are wise choices. Such choices do extend our lives, but the end still if full of issues and costs. I read some where that if the medical costs for the first and last year or two of our lives as a whole were eliminated over all costs would drop some huge amount -- I hate to say a number but the cost was well into the double digits. Imagine 15% of all healthcare associated with say 0 to 18 months and the last year and half.

Gordon
Atlanta
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Brooklyn, most of the cuts will be to the Medicare Advantage Plans, due to the fact that they are pocketing much of the money instead of allowing Medicare recipients to obtain the proper care. To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, I have a friend on one of the Medicare Advantage Plans. He does have a co-pay, but the doctors to whom he is relegated are sub-par MD's. How do I know? His "internist" used to be a personal-injury doctor of plaintiffs' attorneys in auto accident cases. The MD's he refers his patients to (the specialists being on the Medicare Advantage list) are also sub-par, in my opinion. Rather, let me put it this way. I would not go to any of the doctors on his Medicare Advantage provider list.

I seriously doubt that Plans A through G (or whatever the last letter is) will be cut very much.

Donna
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TwoCybers, I would like to add that my Medigap Coverage is Plan F (not the high-deductible one) which has no co-pay and no deductible. Therefore, for every visit to the doctor, lab, etc. I pay nothing. My premium for this plan is $123.00 per month. In addition, my Plan F covers up to $50K for out-of-the-country emergencies.

Donna (in SC)
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BS - My advantage plan providers are excellent!
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I seriously doubt that Plans A through G (or whatever the last letter is) will be cut very much.

Donna,
I will have to go over the Medicare plans again. We will be moving to
another state in about 6 months (hopefully less). I had picked out a plan that had a 5 star rating and low cost. It was a Medicare Advantage plan. Now I may have to re-evaluate the choices.
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Brooklyn - I was significantly off with regard to traditional medicare costs for people without media-gap insurance. (I have that and things have changed a lot over the years.)

Here are the current costs - keep in mind when reading these costs #1 Medi-Gap policies generally pay most/all of these with the exception of the limitations of 30 days and 90 days in the hospital. #2 Advantage plans also pay these costs as far as I know.

http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/2011/10/27/2012-medicare-pre...

Neither Advantage or Medicare pays hospital or nursing home (as far as I know) costs. If you have no nursing home insurance, your care is paid by Medicaid. That is a state administer program and rule details depend on where you live. But generally speaking you must spend all your money, sell all your assets and sign over all your Social Security payments before Medicaid pays a dime. (Again a few exceptions like you can keep $25 a month for personal items -- say clothes and tissues.) Medicaid is not something anybody wants, but all recipients are thankful for.

Gordon
Atlanta
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Thanks! It looks like Medicare is a good deal for seniors.
I think it's every persons responsibility to take care of themselves. I have friends whose health is terrible and they have done nothing about it. They continue to whine, eat what they want and rarely move off the couch. My husband still puts in a 12 hour day at work at the age of 65.
He runs circles around the guys at work who are half his age.
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If a person is not independently wealthy, medicare is essential. For practical purposes insurance companies will not write health insurance for people over 65. One exception is the few business that offer insurance to retirees. These are all large companies with thousands of retirees -- that is the only way the risks can be held to a reasonable level.

My father had some complications with a heart valve replacement in 1995. He was in ICU for 12 days. The cost of just that part of hospital stay was over $10,000 per day. Certainly costs have increased in 17 years and heart valve replacement is hardly and uncommon surgery.

In my view people need to be either wealthy or of limited means not to have media-gap or go with the Advantage plans. It is not hard to run up co-pays and deductibles of several thousand dollars.

Gordon
Atlanta
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In my view people need to be either wealthy or of limited means not to have media-gap or go with the Advantage plans. It is not hard to run up co-pays and deductibles of several thousand dollars.

I've been dithering around about this for the past month. My effective date for Medicare is December 1. Today, I called and got my medigap and drug coverage. The drug premiums will be deducted from my SS, but I have to directly pay for the medigap. I've got a number of health issues, so I decided that I couldn't risk going with Medicare Advantage. Anyway, what's done is done, at least until the next open enrollment. I figure Medicare and all it's various programs are going to go through a lot of changes over the next 5 to 10 years, including significant increases in premiums. We don't really have a choice, unlike our politicians who get coverage for life outside of Medicare. It's past time to make those slugs live with what they have put on the rest of us. Just my two cents.
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It's past time to make those slugs live with what they have put on the rest of us. Just my two cents.

Amen!
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We don't really have a choice, unlike our politicians who get coverage for life outside of Medicare. It's past time to make those slugs live with what they have put on the rest of us.

Lest we forget what old people had before "those slugs" burdened them with Medicare, can you say "nothing"? They weren't exactly an attractive market for our friends the market solvers.

I yield to no one in my disdain for Congress, but even they're entitled to be judged against the truth, not this urban myth of gold plated heath care that has taken on a life of its own.

Like all Americans who draw a paycheck (or have earnings from self-employment), members of Congress pay the Medicare tax. Payment of this tax over a period of time entitles one to "premium-free" Medicare Part A at age 65. (You can see your own Part A status on the SS earnings estimate.) If you are covered by Part A it is your primary insuror for the things it covers regardless of what other insurance you have.

Sitting members of Congress, along with active Federal civilian employees and most civilian retirees (including me) are eligible to get insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program. It's a great program, without a doubt, especially the ability to remain in the same group with the same premiums upon retirement if you meet the requirements. (I don't know what the requirements are for retired members of Congress in terms of length of service.)

Things get murkier when retired FEHB participants turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare. Like anyone else age 65 they can participate in Medicare Part B, and many do. I turn 65 the end of next year, so I really need to hunker down during this year's November open season and see what options I have. When I delved into this a little bit last year I didn't see anything in the FEHB plans that looked like Medigap. My own coverage, which costs roughly the same this year as the standard Medicare B premium, would pay all of my Medicare Parts A and B deductibles and co-pays, so by doubling my monthly premium I would fix my out-of-pocket expenses to that amount plus prescription co-pays. I have the option of declining Part B, but there's also a lot of mumbo-jumbo in the plan literature about "coordination" whether you have Part B or not that I need to decipher.

Lots of number crunching ahead. Oh joy.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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Under Medicaid, you are allowed to have $2,000 in assets, total. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicaid_(United_States)#Assets...

Medicare will pay for a short time in a nursing home/rehabilitation center. <<How Much Does Medicare Pay?
Original Medicare will pay the full cost of up to 20 days of care for covered services provided by a skilled nursing facility. If you qualify for skilled nursing care, your Medicare coverage will include a semi-private room, meals, medications, medical supplies, dietary counseling, and the required skilled nursing and/or rehabilitative care. For days 21 through 100, Medicare coverage will pay for all of the services except for a daily copayment, which you will be required to pay. In 2008, the copayment was $128 per day. This copayment may be significantly cheaper under a Medicare Part C plan. After the 100th day, Medicare coverage no longer applies and you will be required to pay the full cost of the services. These timelines and benefits may be different under certain types of Medicare policies, such as Medigap or Medicare Part C (also known as a Medicare Advantage Plan). Check with your plan for details. >> http://www.medicare.com/assisted-living/does-medicare-pay-fo...

Donna
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Phil, one of my best friends is a Federal Retired Employee. She is insured through the Mail-Handlers Plan for Part B and Medigap, in case you are interested. If you want more info, she will be back in town Thursday, and I'll get it for you.

Donna
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Medicare will pay for a short time in a nursing home/rehabilitation center.

Unless things have gotten much more liberal than when I cared (I doubt it), this is only for rehab after a hospital admission, and only until semi-weekly evaluations indicate enough progress that you don't need it or not enough progress to benefit from it, at which point they boot you. Medicare pays nothing for long-term care.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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I read somewhere that if the medical costs for the first and last year or two of our lives as a whole were eliminated overall costs would drop some huge amount.

The UK's National Health Service has apparently come to the same conclusion and is attacking the problem by thinning the herd:

Put 1 in 100 patients on death list, GPs told: Frailest to be asked to choose 'end-of-life' care

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2218790/Put-1-100-...

GPs have been asked to select one in every 100 of their patients to go on a list of those likely to die over the next 12 months. The patients will be singled out for 'end-of-life care', potentially saving the NHS more than £1 billion a year.

The listed patients may be asked to say where they would prefer to die and should be told they can draw up a 'living will' by which they can instruct doctors to withdraw life-saving treatment if they become incapacitated in hospital.

Information for GPs on what happens to such patients said they would be 'less likely to be subject to treatments of limited clinical value'.

Over the past week, some families have told the Daily Mail that they believe their loved ones were wrongly put on the LCP by hospitals when they were not in fact dying.
______________________

In theory this may not be a bad idea. But theory does not take into account human error.

My 91-year-old mother went into the hospital for atrial fibrillation and rapidly developed cascading organ failure, passing peacefully in her sleep about 10 days later. One of the docs on the case wanted to do more tests and try more treatment, in spite of her instructions not to employ heroic measures and at who-knows-what cost, just to give her a few more days of "life" in a hospital bed. If they can eliminate that sort of thing, I'm all for it. If they pick the wrong people, not so much.

--fleg
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Brooklyn me thinks you need some information and less "facts" from people with political agendas

I see Brooklyn's statment as political:

My biggest concern is that Obama plans to gut Medicare by rationing and exclusion for certain high cost medical procedures, but there is little I can do about that in the event it happens.

The polictal door was opened, thus my reply was in response to it.
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My biggest concern is that Obama plans to gut Medicare by rationing and exclusion for certain high cost medical procedures

The mechanism is certainly in place for doing so, starting in 2014. It's called the the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel of unelected bureaucrats that will have dictatorial powers over what gets reimbursed and what doesn't.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-f-will-romneys...

Beginning in 2014, IPAB would consist of 15 unelected technocrats whose recommendations for reducing Medicare costs must be enacted by Congress by Aug. 15 of each year. If Congress does not enact them, or other measures achieving the same level of cost containment, IPAB's proposals automatically are transformed from recommendations into law. Without being approved by Congress. Without being signed by the president.

These facts refute Obama's assurance that IPAB "can't make decisions about what treatments are given." It can and will by controlling payments to doctors and hospitals. Hence the emptiness of Obamacare's language that IPAB's proposals "shall not include any recommendation to ration health care."

By Obamacare's terms, Congress can repeal IPAB only during a seven-month window in 2017, and then only by three-fifths majorities in both chambers. After that, the law precludes Congress from ever altering IPAB proposals. Because IPAB effectively makes law, thereby traducing the separation of powers, and entrenches IPAB in a manner that derogates the powers of future Congresses, it has been well described as "the most anti-constitutional measure ever to pass Congress."
_____________________

It would behoove all of us to have foreign medical facilities lined up as a precautionary measure for when the IPAB says nyet. When it decides, for example, that it's too expensive to provide us with hip replacements because we're over 72 and that we should just learn to live with the pain and disability, it would be good to have someplace else to go get one that will cost less than paying US prices out of pocket.

--fleg
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fleg:"It would behoove all of us to have foreign medical facilities lined up as a precautionary measure for when the IPAB says nyet. When it decides, for example, that it's too expensive to provide us with hip replacements because we're over 72 and that we should just learn to live with the pain and disability, it would be good to have someplace else to go get one that will cost less than paying US prices out of pocket."

In the UK and Canada, if the NHS denies you, you can't get the operation there no matter what. Doctors are prohibited and so are hospitals. If they say no, you won't get it in the country. The system won't allow it.

For Canada, you can come to the USA if you got the cash - when you are denied, or put on a never ending 2 year waiting list that never gets shorter.

For England, you are usually screwed unless you got money to fly to India for care there...or maybe Thailand. And money for the operation to save your life.



t.
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My biggest concern is that Obama plans to gut Medicare by rationing and exclusion for certain high cost medical procedures, but there is little I can do about that in the event it happens.


The above statement was not made by me!
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...The UK's National Health Service ... is attacking the problem by thinning the herd:

Put 1 in 100 patients on death list, GPs told: Frailest to be asked to choose 'end-of-life' care

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2218790/Put-1-100-......

GPs have been asked to select one in every 100 of their patients to go on a list of those likely to die over the next 12 months. The patients will be singled out for 'end-of-life care', potentially saving the NHS more than £1 billion a year...


Good reason to practice preventative medicine, i.e. proper weight (BMI ~ 20), exercise, no smoking, limited alcohol, salt, and highly processed foods, etc.

TB
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It's called the the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel of unelected bureaucrats that will have dictatorial powers over what gets reimbursed and what doesn't.

Every insurance corporation has such a panel. I've been rejected by my insurance company for care recommended by doctors because their panel decided they won't pay. For example, I had cardiologist-recommended cardiovascular tests rejected by my insurer and had to pay out of pocket. Other tests would only be covered after the fact if it turned out that I had the problem being tested for! Their "death panel" decided my symptoms didn't warrant the tests recommended by my cardiologist.

President Obama's advisory board is mainly charged with winnowing out less effective treatments, which waste a lot of money. Insurers try to do this as well.
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It's called the the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel of unelected bureaucrats....

Whenever I hear someone use the term "bureaucrat" in connection with Obamacare I assume the person has never had to deal with a claim problem in today's system. Just like banks, health insurance "market solvers" leave the government behind when it comes to bureaucracy. I have a claim that's been going back and forth between the provider and BCBS since May. The last time I saw my primary care doctor they gave me a survey slip saying they are considering dropping BCBS because of claim processing problems and asking whether I'd have to find a new doctor if they did. (I would have to find a new doctor or a new insuror if they did.)

Like all businesses the insurance companies' goal is to make money. That means more coming in than going out. From what I've read, evidently there's something already in effect that says if the insuror gets too greedy it has to refund "excess" (however that's defined) premiums to its customers.

IMO if we're going to rein in health care costs a big step we have to take is to accept that we die. As both my parents approached death (at 89 and 90) I had to keep saying "no" to suggested trips to the ER, tests that would lead nowhere, etc. It wasn't fun to decline treatments that would have kept them alive longer, but it was easy because we'd had a number of difficult conversations about their wishes.

We all need to name health care proxies, and we all need to have those conversations so they can speak for us if we can't speak for ourselves.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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It's called the the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel of unelected bureaucrats that will have dictatorial powers over what gets reimbursed and what doesn't.

Doesn't matter that much what it's called. (Sometimes those sorts of panels can be given cheery names -- this shouldn't fool anyone.) It's the sort of thing that any profit-seeking enterprise has in place, in order to promote the profit they are seeking. Some people think that government should be run more like a business, where this sort of thing seems to find its natural home. Of course, the government is not a business, but there is still a need to keep an eye on cash flowing in and cash flowing out.

culcha
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Of course, the government is not a business,...

I agree the government is not a business, but Willard insists he can run it like a business like he did at Baine.
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I have a claim that's been going back and forth between the provider and BCBS since May.



my last year of COBRA that happened to me on *Every* claim (there were lots) Luckily my Doctors' staff were patient and one of them quickly figured out The Trick

also BCBS


and ,FWIW, my primary care doc recently told me BCBS now pays actually less than Medicare.
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Medicare will pay for a short time in a nursing home/rehabilitation center.

Unless things have gotten much more liberal than when I cared (I doubt it), this is only for rehab after a hospital admission, and only until semi-weekly evaluations indicate enough progress that you don't need it or not enough progress to benefit from it, at which point they boot you. Medicare pays nothing for long-term care.




maybe not even that.

i was in hospital last year, they said i would have to leave but need rehab,
BUT that since Medicare wouldn't pay, i should try to get admitted to VA


()'maybe', because maybe 'they' were wrong, maybe i misremember,
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I agree the government is not a business, but Willard insists he can run it like a business like he did at Baine.

I think that means he will dismantle the US Postal Service and sell parts of the business for $1 to his "business associates" (I have friends who own postal services!). Ditto the Dept of Education (I have friends who own for-profit schools!). The Dept of Energy (I have friends who own energy companies!). Dept of HHW (I have friends who own tenements and for-profit hospitals, and who make the 47% sing for their supper!). The FDA (I have friends who own drug companies!). The EPA (I have friends who pollute, with my permission of course!).

PS--Bain. Of our existence :-/
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I think that means he will dismantle the US Postal Service and sell parts of the business for $1 to his "business associates" (I have friends who own postal services!). Ditto the Dept of Education (I have friends who own for-profit schools!). The Dept of Energy (I have friends who own energy companies!). Dept of HHW (I have friends who own tenements and for-profit hospitals, and who make the 47% sing for their supper!). The FDA (I have friends who own drug companies!). The EPA (I have friends who pollute, with my permission of course!).

Well, that's certainly the MSNBC version, swallowed by folks who know nothing about the way economies and businesses operate. Here's a more rational look:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405297020455590457716...

"When large-scale hostile takeovers appeared in the 1980s," Messrs. Holmstrom [MIT economist] and Kaplan [U of Chicago economist] write, "many voiced the opinion that they were driven by investor greed; the robber barons of Wall Street had returned to raid innocent corporations. Today, it is widely accepted that the takeovers of the 1980s had a beneficial effect on the corporate sector and that efficiency gains, rather than redistributions from stakeholders to shareholders, explain why they appeared."

In the 1980s, the resilient U.S. economy saved itself from becoming Europe. Bain was part of the rescue.

Arguably, the primary force that set off the 1980s upheaval in U.S. corporate restructuring was the deregulation begun by Jimmy Carter and continued by Ronald Reagan. Airlines, ground transportation, cable and broadcasting, oil and gas, banking and financial services all experienced regulatory rollback. Meanwhile, a competitive, globalized marketplace was rising. Management at some of America's biggest companies, confused by these rapid changes, found themselves sitting on huge piles of unused or poorly deployed cash and assets.

Thousands of Mitt Romneys allied with huge pension funds representing colleges, unions and the like, plus a rising cadre of institutional money managers, to force corporate America to reboot. In the 1980s almost half of major U.S. corporations got takeover offers.

Singling out this or that Bain case study amid the jostling and bumping is pointless. This was a historic and necessary cleansing of the Augean stables of the American economy. It caused a positive revolution in U.S. management, financial analysis, incentives, governance and market-based discipline. It led directly to the 1990s boom years. And it gave the U.S. two decades of breathing room while Europe, with some exceptions, choked.
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Romney cleaned up the Olympics and turned a big deficit into a big surplus. Can you see Obama having done anything but doubling the deficit and maybe cancelling wrestling because it's unfair to women?

Here's a little more you won't want to hear, from the founder of Staples:

http://foxnewsinsider.com/2012/08/30/transcript-read-staples...

Who would make a better president: Someone who knows how to save a dollar on pens and paper or someone who knows how to waste $535 million on Solyndra? The truth is Mitt was not a typical investor. He was a true partner. Where some saw an unproven new business, he saw a store that could save people money. He recognized that efficiency creates consumer value. He never looked at Staples as merely a financial investment. He saw the engine of prosperity it could become.

Today Staples employs nearly 90,000 people. It has over 2,000 stores. Over 50 distribution centers. It is part of a competitive industry that helps entrepreneurs and small businesses get started on their own. For me, as a founder, it was the realization of a dream.

...Bright Horizons Day Care, a company that has transformed corporate day care. Most people didn’t give the business a chance. It went for five straight years without making a profit – but Mitt and Bain Capital stood by them. Mitt and Bain Capital believed in the vision. They understood how important it was for women to join the workforce and have on-site care for their children. It was an overdue revolution in the American workplace. Today the company employs over 19,000 people.

Where were they [Obama's people] when Bain Capital helped start Steel Dynamics, when most people had given up on the American steel industry? Eighteen years later that company employs 6,000 people.
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Etc.

--fleg
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I would like to add that my Medigap Coverage is Plan F (not the high-deductible one) which has no co-pay and no deductible. Therefore, for every visit to the doctor, lab, etc. I pay nothing. My premium for this plan is $123.00 per month. In addition, my Plan F covers up to $50K for out-of-the-country emergencies.

Donna, does your plan at $123.00 per month also cover the Medicare Part B fee? Or is the $123 on top of the Part B fee?

Thanks,

Birgit
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Birgit, forget me for not remembering but was it knees or hips you had replaced and how is it?

MichaelR
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Birgit, forget me for not remembering but was it knees or hips you had replaced and how is it?


Michael, I had my knee replaced. No regrets...it is wonderful! I can bend well enough to kneel on the floor!

Be glad to answer any questions you might have about knee replacement - if I know the answers;)

Birgit
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