Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: W. Sacramento Region, aka, Nut Tree
Bikes: Giant OCR T, Trek SC
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Medicare should be under $150/spouse.
If you don't sign up for Part A, hospital, within eligibility window, you will pay a percentage penalty for life.
Part B, dr visits and proceedures, will cover a lot, but you'll still have copays, etc.
Part C, indendent coverage to fill gaps, varies according to the plan.
Part D, drug plan, may be better coveredby businesses like Walgreens Drug plan.
If you go to the medicare site, you should be able to find the exact costs for you.
What GOP and Tea Party people call "Obamacare" will have a dramatic effect on medical care.
Here are the key items you need to know:
-- called "Obamacare" because forced assumption of medical coverage by Federal Govt without input on alternative better approaches to quality of medical care and cost controls.
-- Plan requires conversion to electronic medical data so federal staff can decide what proceedures are allowable for XYZ condition.
-- Plan does not really kick in til 2014, so will be past the next Obama campaign.
-- Jan 2012, Part C plans will be End-of-lifed. They will be restricted to 95-115% of medicare payments, so it is extremely unlike insurance companies will mess with them. Hard to sell insurance when maximum benefit is 15% before deducting cost of premiums.
-- A sleeper tax kicks in on Jan 1, 2012 : 3.8% tax on income from interest,dividends, annuities, and rental incomes. Note carefully: this is NOT inflation indexed. So if you live to be 80, you will probably be hit by this.
-- Jan 1, 2013, a new federal sales tax of 2.3% kicks in for any medical devices you may need, such as knee replacement parts.
-- Cuts to medicare begin Jan 1, 2014, 132 Billion+ over next 10 years. Don't have accurate data because the budget office only looks at 10 years from time of bill presentation so the higher cost 4 years are nicely "out of scope".
-- Jan 1, 2014, medical expense deduction hurdle raised to 10% of income
-- Jan 1, 2014; home health care benefits reduced by 40 billion
-- Jan 1, 2014, medicare payments for long term care, etc, begin decreasing
-- Jan 1, 2014, IRS begins sharing tax data with health service provider
-- Jan 1, 2017, additional 5% cut in medicaid payments begins
-- Jan 1, 2018, additional 6% cut in medicaid payments begins
-- non specificied start date: health entities are not liable for providing euthansia
More general items to know:
If Obamacare is begun, then expect
-- massive exodus of medical providers. Haven't looked recently, but last numbers I saw were in the range of 30-60%. Already see individual doctors begining to start working for a health emplorer, rather than running their own business.
-- the Obamacare is only about the assumption of individual plans into a federal government plan.
--Funding has NOT been provided. Best guess is that funding is planned for sometime after 2014 with a big push for VAT, value added taxes. Basically a federal sales tax at each point of the manufactoring process WITHOUT a statement to the consumer, you paid XXX tax on this item.
-- Obamacare will require at least 70% of current plans to change their coverage.
So what does Obamacare solve?
-- more universal coverage
-- leveling out of medical treatment, so high results and low results are removed
-- large medical conglomerates have a guaranteed income stream and don't have to
market their benefits and reasonable costs to medical consumers
What are the unknowns?
-- cost. Costs have not been calulated completely, but will definitely be much much higher than present.
-- who will provide coverage. With exodus of medical providers, will we be moving towards
-- options. Will we be able to "choose provider" or will one be selected for us based on medical history?
What does Obamacare not solve?
-- medical consumers will lose their ability to shop for the most appropriate care for their particular condition. Ideal would have medical providers work like auto dealers, and the consumer could pick and choose the model/care which best fits their needs.
-- medical consumers will not know the personal costs of care and will lose the ability to decide whether to incur the cost, or not, because the benefit is so much lower than the costs.
-- privacy of medical condition history with local care provider
Way way more than you wanted to know, correct? Will Obamacare solve a lot of problems? You decide. To me it sounds like changing spouses or moving to England or Canada. It's way different.
In terms of medicare, I would be most interested to hear from others about:
1- availablity of medical providers. How often do you run into a closed door where no longer accepting new patients?
2- what is your experience with the care provided? Is it at least Kaiser level, or subpar?
3- what is your experience with the funding of this care. How is this different with Part A versus Part B?
4- what do you do about dental coverage, just go self funded?
5- what is the greatest wisdom you can pass on about the medicare health program?