I am starting Medicare next month. already the $135 seems like a lot. Advantage or traditional plans? Friends have commented from California, but now I see the Oregon, where I am located, seems different. I am decent health and weight, parents lived to 90's, and only one generic med. Border line diabetic, working on that. thanks all
The subtext of what you have written is that you're thinking of declining Part B (good health, parents to 90s, B's kinda pricey, etc.) Listen to me, get Part B.
Here's Medicare in a nutshell. There are five parts, A,B,C,D and LBJ. We start with LBJ and thank him mightily else there woul be no Medicare at all.
Part A everybody gets automatically for free when they turn 60 something. It covers hospitalization and catastrophic stuff.
Part B (your quibble) is what you really need Medicare for. Routine or not-so-routine doctor visits. Buy it. $135 A month you say, okay, worth it. (If you're on Social Security it's taken out prior to the SS bank deposit.)
Part D is prescription drug coverage. Thank GWB. It costs extra.
But it's part C you're interested in. Called Medicare Advantage. It's A and B together; but, oddly, managed and delivered thru private companies. You shop around for this. With all Part C Advantage plans you still have to pony up the monthly Part B $135. So what's the advantage?
With Medicare, you pay 20% of the bill, the government picks up the rest. Here's an examlple (from my 77 year-old brother). Three days of high fever, nausea, etc. Doctor's away, he hauls himself to the ER. Three hours later they spit him out all well. Cost? Just shy of $5,000. Medicare talks it down (approves) to $3,000, pays 80%, so brother pays $600. l have Part C Advantage where the max I would have paid for the ER is $80 (a regular doctor visit $40). That's the advantage. Despite what SG67 above says, Advantage plans can be different. Different doctor networks, different locations, different services, (tho they all hit the CMS baseline), different prices. The company I'm with charges a $40 monthly premium in the next county over; in my county I pay zero.
Medicare Advantage is up to you. Taking Part B really isn't because there is a penalty if you don't take it when first eligible. 10% increase for each year you opt out and the penalty lasts until you die. Stay well. Though that's not entirely up to you. Gawd, I hate these long posts.