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  #76  
Old November 15th, 2009, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Medicare

Quote:
Originally Posted by matapule View Post
Tutu, I'm not sure what this means. I think it means that Walgreen's does not participate in any Medicare drug programs by giving you the prescription at no charge and then Walgreens will seek reimbursement from Medicare. I am sure if you want to join Walgreens private pay discount club, and you pay for your drugs directly to them, they would be happy to have you as a member.
I did talk to Walgreen's about it last August. When I learned that none of my drugs is covered by Medicare I asked to join Walgreen's discount drug program (not knowing at the time that my drugs weren't on that list, either!) and was told I couldn't because I was on Medicare. One of your previous replies in this thread doubted that scenario. The web site confirms what I was told by the pharmacist. For once I wasn't confused! I guess there's always the possibility that the pharmacist on duty that day was confused and the web site means something other than the way I understand it. However, my drugs aren't covered by Medicare or Walgreen's discount plan so, for me, it's now a moot point.
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Originally Posted by matapule View Post
Go to this site http://www.medicare.gov/MPPF/Include...lQuestions.asp and all the plans in your zip code are compared. Kaiser comes out number one, SH number two (along with others) and it says that Humana is too new to rate. Consequently, I would be very careful with Humana! Buyer beware.
Yes, I've been to medicare.gov...which is how I found out about Humana. And, yes, I am aware that Humana is new which is why I'm researching it instead of haphazardly changing over. But, each plan was new at some point in time so newness isn't an automatic deal breaker for me. I recently received the "Medicare & You" booklet in the mail which also compares the plans. It's basically a Reader's Digest version of Medicare. That booklet is geared to where one lives. The one Hawaii residents receive shows plans for Alaska, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. The latter 3 have no health plans available in those areas, btw; only original Medicare. It also lists prescription drugs plans by areas.
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Originally Posted by matapule View Post
EXCELLENT! The best medical care is preventive care, even if it had cost $3000 it would have been worth it.[...]
I whole heartedly agree that preventive care is the best way to go. However, even tho' it worth spending that money, there are just one heckuva lot of people who don't have $3000. to pay for the test should 1) their insurance company not approve it or 2) they have no insurance.

Great news from you, Honoruru.
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  #77  
Old November 15th, 2009, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: Medicare

Quote:
Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
I did talk to Walgreen's about it last August. When I learned that none of my drugs is covered by Medicare I asked to join Walgreen's discount drug program (not knowing at the time that my drugs weren't on that list, either!) and was told I couldn't because I was on Medicare.
I'm going to talk to Walgreens, matapule style, the next time I'm in California. Matapule wants to get to the bottom of this.

Quote:
However, even tho' it worth spending that money, there are just one heckuva lot of people who don't have $3000. to pay for the test should 1) their insurance company not approve it or 2) they have no insurance.
BINGO! Can you say "Public Option" for health insurance reform?
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  #78  
Old December 3rd, 2009, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Medicare

I have been following closely the debate in the Senate on Health Care reform. Today's headline reads, Senate votes to keep Medicare cuts in health bill. However, do not be misled! If you read the entire article it says,
Quote:
Democrats said seniors will not lose any guaranteed benefits. The cuts amounting to a 2 percent slowdown in spending will help keep Medicare solvent by making it more efficient, they contended. And they pointed out that the health care overhaul bill improves preventive care and prescription coverage.......AARP, the seniors' lobby, threw its weight behind the Democrats.
Saying that Medicare will be cut is a red herring! Stay informed. The "cuts" are cuts in currently required procedures that will now become elective by the doctor and the patient. This is a way to make Medicare more responsive to the patients needs and to cut 2% of the "fat" out of the program.

AARP, the most powerful lobby in Washington, is supportive of these cuts.

Stay informed, be aware, and don't fall for the scare tactics.

So far, so good.
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  #79  
Old January 1st, 2010, 11:25 AM
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Default Re: Medicare

Congratulaions to the newest member of Medicare! Matapule's uaifi qualifies for Medicare today, January 1! Yippee! She has signed up for Kaiser's Senior Advantage program. She gets a complete physical next Monday (cost is $15 co-pay).

But here is a new twist! Matapule pays a little over $96 per month for his Medicare coverage. Uaifi is going to pay a little over $110 per month for her coverage. I called Medicare to see what gives.

As of today, January 1, 2010, all NEW Medicare enrollees will pay $110 for coverage. Those of us who already had Medicare coverage will be
"grandfathered" in at the $96 rate because there was no increase in Social Security for 2010. I suspect that when there is the next COLA increase in SocSec., that all of our Medicare rates will go up to $110. It is still a bargain at $110.

Blessed be, uaifi, and good health in 2010.
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  #80  
Old January 1st, 2010, 11:44 AM
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Default Re: Medicare

Quote:
Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
I did talk to Walgreen's about it last August. When I learned that none of my drugs is covered by Medicare I asked to join Walgreen's discount drug program (not knowing at the time that my drugs weren't on that list, either!) and was told I couldn't because I was on Medicare.
Quote:
Originally Posted by matapule View Post
I'm going to talk to Walgreens, matapule style, the next time I'm in California. Matapule wants to get to the bottom of this.
While in California, matapule has checked this out. Tutu is correct, you cannot be a member of Walgreen's discount drug plan if you belong to Medicare. Matapule asked Medicare how come. Medicare says that the Walgreen discount drug plan is a government subsidized program for those who have no health insurance or who have private insurance with high cost prescription drug plans. Medicare says they will not let Medicare recipients be "double dippers" in the Walgreen plan so to speak.

But wait.....there's more! Being the curious type, matapule decided to do a little price shopping. He wanted to see what the realtive costs were of the various drug options. Matapule selected a very common drug that is taken by many Medicare recipients. That would be Simvastatin, 20mg, 60 day supply. Simastatin is a generic drug that regulates blood cholestorol. Here is what he found.

Walgreen retail price: $129.98
Walgreen discount drug plan price: $39.98
KP Senior Advantage price at participating pharmacy: $15.00
Costco retail price: $7.21

Of course, other drug prices will vary, prices at other pharmacies will vary, and quantity pricing will vary. But this gives a "snapshot picture" of how one drug works.

It pays to shop around!
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  #81  
Old January 1st, 2010, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: Medicare

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Originally Posted by matapule View Post
[...]
It pays to shop around!
Exactly! I'm keeping a spreadsheet. Shopping around is also why I've had to go out of the country for one med. Meds is the biggest change for me with Medicare. While with HMSA there was no shopping around needed. The doc would ask which pharmacy to call the rx to and I'd tell him...usually Safeway because I could multi-task and get my grocery shopping done at the same time! Now, I ask for a written rx then go home and start making phone calls!
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  #82  
Old January 12th, 2010, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: Medicare

Uaifi just had her first Medicare experience through Kaiser Senior Advantage. She called for an appointment and was given one in two days. She had a physical (no charge for annual physical) where she was poked and proded in every orifice. She had a pap smear (no charge), mamogram (no charge), blood workup ($20), and the doctor sent her to a dermatologist specialist for a suspicious skin lesion (turned out to be a benign freckle, cost $15). It took four days to get an appointment with the dermotologist.


Everything was a positive experience. Dermatologist recomends we both wear SPF 50 sunscreen even though we are both darker complexion than many. Doctor recommends taking a Vitamin D supplement with calcium (available at Costco at low cost) for old people like ourselves.

I would like everyone in the US to have a health insurance option like this available to them.
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Last edited by matapule; January 12th, 2010 at 09:25 AM.
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