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One topic might be the nexis of Medicare and private health insurance. Before one retires many have employer health nsurance. After retirement and once one commences on S.S., even if one has "employer granted retiree insurance," Medicare becomes "first-pay" and the employer-retiree health insurance second pay. I would be interested in knowing how this changes the health care for such an individual. Are doctors and hospitals likely to provide equal to or lesser quality of care because of the spector of Medicare first pay. For instance, my brother was advised to get a pacemaker BEFORE he retired because the model "approved" by Medicare (available to a "retired" person") was the lesser quality model. What about actual stories of the medigap insurance doing what its supposed to do? Also, for those folks with US Govt-sponsored (Federal Health Benefits)retiree insurance or private company-sponsored retiree health insurance, is this really a "good" deal?
I will fit into the USG retiree category and I am frightened that there still will be big beneficiary gaps and/or that the medical profession (doctors or hospitals) will consider the person on Medicare as a second class patient. Thx.
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Telone, yes there are problems with what Medicare approves and doesn't approve. Yes, it limits one's choices. You however, if you are a Federal retiree, will not have to take Medicare. Your FEHP will continue after retirement and you will have your choice every open season (usually Nov) each year of one of about 14 plans. As of right now you will not have the restrictions that the Medicare Beneficiaries have. IF YOU HAVE THE FEDERAL RETIREE PLAN, YOU NEED NO ADDITIONAL COVERAGE!

Those retiring from public companies will have to assess their benefits individually. There have been a lot of changes in recent years and the great retirement health packages are scarce as hens teeth these days. EVERY STATE HAS A MEDICARE COUNSELING PROGRAM THAT OFFERS FREE ADVICE. CHECK IN THE BACK OF THE MEDICARE HANDBOOK FOR THE NUMBER FOR YOUR STATE. Please get the information you need BEFORE you retire and/or make decisions. 1-800-MEDICARE
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