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65-85+ Thread

Old 09-25-17, 02:58 PM
  #2301  
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Originally Posted by jppe
I just realized I'm now eligible to participate with the really wise crowd. I even now have a Medicare card. What have I missed?
You're too late. You missed everything.
Actually, we're glad you finally got here.
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Old 09-25-17, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by MidSouthBiker
My Medicare card arrived in the mail this week. So far, I have applied for only Part A, which goes into effect next month. I'm planning retirement the first of the year.
If you make a lot of money, Part B is a beeotch--e.g., can be > $300 /mo
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Old 09-25-17, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by McBTC
If you make a lot of money, Part B is a beeotch--e.g., can be > $300 /mo
I don't make enough for those premiums. In my State I'm looking at some Plan G's for just over $100.00/month. Also some Plan F's for just over $130.00/month.
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Old 09-27-17, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by MidSouthBiker
I don't make enough for those premiums. In my State I'm looking at some Plan G's for just over $100.00/month. Also some Plan F's for just over $130.00/month.
All those different plans just gave me a headache. I got an HMO supplement (Kaiser) and called it a day. It's worked out fine so far (monthly prescription thyroid meds and one kidney stone surgery and that's all I've needed in the past 4 years). The older I get the less time I want to spend deciphering Medicare pamphlets!
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Old 09-27-17, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl
All those different plans just gave me a headache. I got an HMO supplement (Kaiser) and called it a day. It's worked out fine so far (monthly prescription thyroid meds and one kidney stone surgery and that's all I've needed in the past 4 years). The older I get the less time I want to spend deciphering Medicare pamphlets!
I am new to all this Medicare stuff, and I cannot believe how difficult and complicated the government has made it.
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Old 09-27-17, 10:06 PM
  #2306  
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Originally Posted by MidSouthBiker
I am new to all this Medicare stuff, and I cannot believe how difficult and complicated the government has made it.
Yes. First you have to figure out what's available in your area, then you have to compare every little cost from plan to plan to determine what might be the best coverage for your projected needs, and then compare rates. Then you have to figure out what you need to fill in the holes in the coverage you already decided on, lol. I just went with the HMO I had when I was working - things cost more on Medicare than on an employee plan, but I know what I'm getting and how their system works. And I know my max out of pocket and co-pays. Interestingly, my out of pocket cap for 2018 has gone up $2000! Not entirely happy about that, but my max out of pocket is still just $6700 which is not all that awful if something major comes up. Copays have gone up on some things and down on others. But after needing surgery for a kidney stone, I'm glad I had that Advantage plan coverage. Without it, I would be out a small fortune.

Get a supplement plan or an Advantage plan of some kind - don't settle just for the Medicare only part. If something happens, you will be majorly hurt financially as well. good luck on your research.
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Old 09-28-17, 05:34 PM
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I cannot believe how difficult and complicated the government has made it.
Are you kidding? There are many fewer gotchas in the Medicare supplemental market than in the old personal insurance market. It's much easier to choose a supplement than to navigate the old non-Medicare health insurance market.

Toting up last year's expenses tells you which policy would have been best for last year. In some respects, the past is the best predictor for the future, but that's doesn't help with predicting big medical expenses. The real problem is that you can't predict the future, so you can't predict what your best financial bet is for the next year - and insurance is a bet.

Your state probably has a State Health Insurance Assistance Plan - for example, https://www.illinois.gov/aging/ship/Pages/default.aspx.

If you look at the various regular supplemental plans, you'll see differences between each level (e - f - g - k - l, etc.). You can see the differences in cost. You can see how much more each company charges for extras. You can make your choice.

If you look at the Medicare Advantage plans, you can look at the coverage and the restrictions and make your choice.

The trick is that some policies with less coverage cost more than policies with more coverage, and sometimes the extra coverage costs more than it will pay you if you need it. Also, some policies raise your rates every year; others every 5 years. but the insurance companies, not the government, make buyers take those risks.

I get my 2ndary insurance from my old employer, but I compare that coverage and cost to Medicare supplements. I know it's a pain in the ass, but if you can do spreadsheets, you can make a good decision. Lots of smart people can't do spreadsheets, though; if that's you, ask for help.
**************************************************

If you sign up for Medigap or Advantage within, IIRC, +/- 90 days of your 65th birthday, you can't be rejected. If you wait too long, an insurance company can refuse to cover you.

I know it's a difficult decision.
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Old 09-28-17, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by philbob57
Are you kidding? There are many fewer gotchas in the Medicare supplemental market than in the old personal insurance market. It's much easier to choose a supplement than to navigate the old non-Medicare health insurance market.

Toting up last year's expenses tells you which policy would have been best for last year. In some respects, the past is the best predictor for the future, but that's doesn't help with predicting big medical expenses. The real problem is that you can't predict the future, so you can't predict what your best financial bet is for the next year - and insurance is a bet.

Your state probably has a State Health Insurance Assistance Plan - for example, https://www.illinois.gov/aging/ship/Pages/default.aspx.

If you look at the various regular supplemental plans, you'll see differences between each level (e - f - g - k - l, etc.). You can see the differences in cost. You can see how much more each company charges for extras. You can make your choice.


If you look at the Medicare Advantage plans, you can look at the coverage and the restrictions and make your choice.

The trick is that some policies with less coverage cost more than policies with more coverage, and sometimes the extra coverage costs more than it will pay you if you need it. Also, some policies raise your rates every year; others every 5 years. but the insurance companies, not the government, make buyers take those risks.

I get my 2ndary insurance from my old employer, but I compare that coverage and cost to Medicare supplements. I know it's a pain in the ass, but if you can do spreadsheets, you can make a good decision. Lots of smart people can't do spreadsheets, though; if that's you, ask for help.
**************************************************

If you sign up for Medigap or Advantage within, IIRC, +/- 90 days of your 65th birthday, you can't be rejected. If you wait too long, an insurance company can refuse to cover you.

I know it's a difficult decision.
Keep in mind, though, when people are working they usually have only a couple options through their work, maybe even just one, so it makes the process pretty simple. And it's a complete package, it's not broken down into various divided parts. So, compared to what most folks have to decide when working, Medicare does appear more complicated. Lots of senior centers offer support programs to educate and help decide and, since they aren't affiliated with any of the insurance companies, the info is reliable and impartial. Also, we all have different tolerances and some folks like to geek out on spreadsheets and others would rather be out biking, lol. Great point on making the deadline - and if you end up hating what you choose you can change the following year.
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Old 09-29-17, 06:40 AM
  #2309  
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When I first went on Medicare, I went with an Advantage plan, but ended up not liking it due to having to go only to providers that are on the plan's list. This was not a problem as far as my general practitioner (primary care) doc was concerned, but I found the list of specialists to be very restrictive. The final straw was when I went to the only nearby dermatologist on the list and he turned out to be like in his 80s, thick glasses, and had to be led in by a nurse (only slight exaggeration here!). It was highly unsatisfactory and I was able the next year to switch to a Medigap policy instead (UnitedHealth via AARP). Including the Part D (prescription coverage) policy that I also got, it's definitely more costly, but I have a lot more freedom to go wherever I want.

In fact, on a recent vacation I found that I'd forgotten my meds and was able to go to a nearby "urgent care" center and get a 10-day supply prescribed (it was a weekend so I couldn't call my doctor's office). The total bill to me was $1.20 in prescription copays, and my other plans picked up 100% of the office visit. I'm not sure how the Advantage plans work when out of state.

I also think that if you're on Medigap, you can't just switch to an Advantage plan without having to be medically qualified for pre-existing conditions, etc.
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Old 09-29-17, 09:17 AM
  #2310  
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Medicare does appear more complicated.
Oh, absolutely! I don't mean that it's all that easy. Even very smart people can have difficulty figuring out the differences. It's just that the government hasn't made it difficult. Rather, the government has made it a whole lot easier than it would be without the government.

Before Medicare, the health insurance market appeared to be like the wild West - the disclosures were impossible for a layman to understand, and the differences in coverage, when you got to the details, were multitudinous.

Medicare advantage was created by ideologues who claim 'the free market' is a better solution for heath insurance. They paid insurance companies 25% more for their Advantage customers than they paid for regular Medicare customers. That's not how I thought the free market is supposed to work, but ... well, I'll shut up.) IIRC, the extra payments are no longer made anyway.
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Old 09-29-17, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by DougG
When I first went on Medicare, I went with an Advantage plan, but ended up not liking it due to having to go only to providers that are on the plan's list. This was not a problem as far as my general practitioner (primary care) doc was concerned, but I found the list of specialists to be very restrictive. The final straw was when I went to the only nearby dermatologist on the list and he turned out to be like in his 80s, thick glasses, and had to be led in by a nurse (only slight exaggeration here!). It was highly unsatisfactory and I was able the next year to switch to a Medigap policy instead (UnitedHealth via AARP). Including the Part D (prescription coverage) policy that I also got, it's definitely more costly, but I have a lot more freedom to go wherever I want.

In fact, on a recent vacation I found that I'd forgotten my meds and was able to go to a nearby "urgent care" center and get a 10-day supply prescribed (it was a weekend so I couldn't call my doctor's office). The total bill to me was $1.20 in prescription copays, and my other plans picked up 100% of the office visit. I'm not sure how the Advantage plans work when out of state.

I also think that if you're on Medigap, you can't just switch to an Advantage plan without having to be medically qualified for pre-existing conditions, etc.
There's no pre-existing condition qualifications since the ACA. Who knows how long that will last, though :-(. And, yes, as long as you switch within the correct time periods, it's no problem to go from one to the other. Not every option is available in every geographical area so that may be an issue for some folks. For example, my county does not offer Medicare via Blue Shield. My neighboring county (which is 3 city blocks away!) does offer it. And the rates for the same plan between the two counties is radically different. Three blocks....there is no difference economically in three blocks, lol. Oh well...
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Old 10-03-17, 07:03 AM
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I have a recently diagnosed progressive condition (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) - ultimately leading to death, the rate of progression unknown.


There are only two prescription drugs that slow the progression - and they both cost $8,000 per month.


My Medicare HMO just approved the medication for me, with my co-pay being $75 per month. Yes, I pay a lot for the HMO in addition to my Medicare Part A and Part B - but, wow! In addition, I have recently had two heart echocardiograms, a high resolution chest CT scan and numerous tests, with my co-pay being minimal for all.


None of this was expected by me (currently no symptoms) - all discovered by a chance encounter with an EKG - which started the process of finding the cause of the heart abnormality discovered by the EKG, leading to the IFP diagnosis.


Don't underrate Medicare. We find our HMO very satisfactory, much better than another nationally known Medicare HMO/Advantage plan which we left several years ago, with only in-house treatment at their facilities by "captured" docs.


Every single provider we have ever wanted to see has been on our HMO plan. NEVER a problem. Almost all docs, etc., in the area are enrolled. No referrals required - ever.


Approaching 80yo.

Last edited by gobicycling; 10-03-17 at 07:14 AM.
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Old 10-03-17, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by gobicycling
...


None of this was expected by me (currently no symptoms) - all discovered by a chance encounter with an EKG - which started the process of finding the cause of the heart abnormality discovered by the EKG, leading to the IFP diagnosis.
...
Sorry to hear of it. My wife's aunt got that... it's s a tough thing to face and difficult for the whole family. You're still active and riding a bike then? If so, that sounds very positive.
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Old 10-03-17, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by TCR Rider
...

only 3 days post op. I just got home and will meet my therapist tomorrow but I've been doing a bit of walking and ROM work. Got my meds so I'm ready to get at it.

I was at 115 this morning, going into first week of 3rd month (had some issues that slowed things down). So far it looks like biking with 165mm cranks and XL toe clips won't be a problem– only on a mag trainer now. I believe I probably do 170s with this amount of bend (at the PT) although riding in the wild with aerobars (which my shorter cranks allow) could be a useful trade-off.

Last edited by McBTC; 10-03-17 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 10-05-17, 09:30 AM
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My 66th has been a rough year so far with regard to my biking.
I had put in some miles thru March, and only 1 ride in April.
Then the woes started.
I pulled my right hamstring in late April, followed by a severely sprained left ankle, then a re-pull of the right hamstring.
Ugh.........
So, I rested up til early July. Rode 20 miles on the 4th, then 15 miles on the 6th.
The second ride was accompanies buy a bit of pain in my right knee................
Got so bad I could hardly walk......so..........
X-ray really didn't show anything but some Arthur Ritis.
6 weeks of PT.......helped a bit at first, then no improvement.
MRI showed the full gamut: torn maniscis, Baker cyst, bursitis at the ACL and ,good ol' Arthur.

1st "rooster comb" injection yesterday. 2 more to follow.

I climbed back aboard 'Dale this morning for an easy spin.
7.5 miles at 14avg.
Felt like my first ride ever...............
Knee sore a bit, but not too bad.

I did notice that my right heel was about 1" from the chainstay.
That is rotated out a bit. Time for a cleat adjustment.

We'll see how it goes...........
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Old 10-05-17, 06:06 PM
  #2316  
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Sorry to hear of your problems.

Originally Posted by Ronno6
I did notice that my right heel was about 1" from the chainstay.
That is rotated out a bit. Time for a cleat adjustment.
Your pedal/cleat system doesn't have any float? Or very little float?
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Old 10-05-17, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronno6
...............
Knee sore a bit, but not too bad.

I did notice that my right heel was about 1" from the chainstay.
That is rotated out a bit. Time for a cleat adjustment.

We'll see how it goes...........
For my 68th I've gone back to the classic pedals of old with toe clips and more of a mid-foot position.
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Old 10-05-17, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by RonH
Sorry to hear of your problems.


Your pedal/cleat system doesn't have any float? Or very little float?
I use the old (old)style Look Delta black c;eats/pedals.
I have never liked the "float" feeling of the red cleats.
I have adjusted the cleat and we'll see how it feels tomorrow.

I had been using the particular shoe/cleat setup for about 9 months or so.
Can't believe they are the problem, but my knee may have been telling me otherwise....

We gotta get ready for Nate............
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Old 10-10-17, 11:02 AM
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Weeks To 80

I always wondered what it would feel like at this age, now that I'm here, it's not that much different than 40 or 50 in my mind, but my body, well I still work out with weights, ride a Me-Mover which requires about 20% more effort to propel than a bicycle. Yesterday it was above 90, rode to the Y for some chest work, flys, pull downs, stretches, and of course the ride home on the Me-Mover, anaerobic and aerobic work outs.
I find that riding the Me-Mover in a standing position takes away some of the discomfort from my crotch area I've been experiencing for years, in addition to back problems, besides I don't have to do core exercises anymore to compensate for hours of bicycle riding.
I've been cross training for years because if I do the same exercise week after week, it stops being exercise, the body get's so used to it, it's not that much of a challenge. But over a year ago I started riding the stand up pedal machine, and it was some what of a challenge. I could feel it in my legs more than climbing a steep hill on my bicycle. The lactic acid built quickly as I rode around my apartment complex which surprised me after years on my bicycles. I was using different muscles, cross training.
The more I plateaued, the further I rode without discomfort until I did over 40 miles, not bad for this old guy, HIIT routines helped the acclimation. However a young lady in Europe did over 2,000 mile on the Me-Mover. I feel the difference in spinning when I ride my bicycle, feels easier.
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Old 10-10-17, 11:29 AM
  #2320  
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Wow, I had to Google Me-Mover. Interesting!
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Old 10-10-17, 03:20 PM
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Bicycle alternatives are considered niche market BPV, most information is available by Googling the name, if you don't know the name, it's difficult to find. When I'm on a bicycle trail riding the Me-Mover, I am often asked what is that? I guess I stand out because I'm not horizontal, or sitting, I'm verticle.
Standing does have it's advantages, most guy's know this, girl's as well. My back appreciates standing along with my core and I actually use different muscles, many of them, besides the propulsion method does increase your aerobic training.
I feel it in my core, the first time I rode it, I had to use use my core and back muscles to balance which took about 10 minutes to get the feel of the machine. It's different than a stair stepper, you not only have to step down, you must also lift your legs on the return, by doing this you get different gear ratios in the 2 transmissions based on the height of the pedals. By lifting your legs and alternately pressing down on the pedals you are propelling the machine, keep the pedals high for low gear to climb and start, mid range to cruise which you will feel the first time you ride the Me-Mover. Disc brakes bring you to a stop, speeds depends on your physical condition, since I started riding the Me-Mover at 79 years of age, I'm no speed demon, but many riders can attain high speeds associated with BPV's.
The Me-Mover can be used as an effective rehabilitation alternative to running since there is low impact, it helped me with a hip problem, and it's a hell of a lot of fun seeing more of what is ahead of me.
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Old 10-19-17, 11:10 AM
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Turned 65 in May ! Retired last month and they already hired me back as a consultant 2 days a week ! Got my 90’s Cannondale M 400 out and turned it into a bike path rider. Was all good till I climbed on a new Trek FX3 ! Made my Cannondale feel like a boat anchor ! So now I’m sitting here waiting for the bike shop to call and say my new FX3 is ready to pick up !
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Old 10-19-17, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by dls1
Turned 65 in May ! Retired last month and they already hired me back as a consultant 2 days a week ! Got my 90s Cannondale M 400 out and turned it into a bike path rider. Was all good till I climbed on a new Trek FX3 ! Made my Cannondale feel like a boat anchor ! So now Im sitting here waiting for the bike shop to call and say my new FX3 is ready to pick up !
And then, what will be your next bike? (n+1)
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Old 10-22-17, 04:00 PM
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Made it to 67 on Friday 20th October and don't know how that happened! Where do the years go and do they speed up as we get older?

I still work on a freelance basis and can get called in to the radio studios at very short notice. It's great fun but does mean that I do not have a routine. I can ride for a few days in a row and then not even see my bike for weeks. This means that when I take off for a ride it feels like I'm starting from scratch. I'm determined to spend more time on the bike but I have noticed that my younger and prettier half has just bought a tin of paint and the bathroom has been mentioned!
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Old 10-22-17, 05:50 PM
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And yet another riding season winds down... I'm sure today wasn't my last ride of the season, but I'm pretty sure it was my last ride on my road bike, wearing my full summer kit! Mid-70s at the end of October is pretty darn unusual here in Michigan, but nobody's been complaining. That will start this week when it gets colder and wetter for a while!

Anyway, at 71 I can definitely feel my strength and endurance diminishing a bit, but I've still got a long way to go before I hang 'em up for good. Thinking back a ways, I started out with a tricycle at about 3 years old, and once I graduated to a regular bicycle I've been on two wheels pretty much all my life. The only major gap was right after I turned 16 and got my driver's license, but even then I soon took up motorcycling. A bicycle was eventually added back into my stable at about age 30 and I've had at least one ever since then, outlasting the motorcycles over the last 15 years.

So a gap of about 14 years in continuous bicycle ownership but only a gap of about 5 years not having a two-wheeler around! How many others here are life-long cyclists or close to it?
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