1:15 am, April 19, 2015

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  • Health insurance  (Flagged as Abuse)
    josephatkins36
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  • Elephant in the Room
    Tea Partier
    Forget the 800 pound gorilla in the room. The real problem is the elephant that nobody wants to talk about; the future bankruptcy of Medicare. Did you catch the small throwaway line in the piece: Medicare Part A is free? Nothing is free. I seem to recall that when Medicare, and Social Security, for that matter, were first passed by Congress, they were to be a supplement to your primary insurance, or retirement plan. Somewhere along the way, politicians changed the rules and made Medicare the primary insurance for those over 65. With people living much longer these days, and birth rates declining (fewer paying into the system), any statistician worth their salt will tell you that Medicare Part A is unsustainable without major reforms. Unfortunately, politicians who try sounding the alarm are demonized as wanting to throw granny over a cliff in her wheelchair.
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  • to Tea partier
    Moderate
    First, I believe that by the time retire we have paid for medicare part A. I believe this is the 2.9% medicare tax we and our employer pay on our salaries. Experts, please correct me if I am wrong on this statement as I am not an expert in this area.----- Second, I believe that when one takes out a medicare part B policy, the premium one pays covers a small percentage of the total premium. The government is supposed to kick in the rest. Has it done so? I do not know the answer to that question, but if it has not done so, then that would be the reason for the medicare problems.------(continued)
    worker
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  • to tea partier part 2
    Moderate
    Social Security is not set up to be a primary source of retirement income. it is a supplement unless you want to bring your lifestyule down pretty far. it was never set up to be actuarily sound. During the Great Depression, it was set up so workers paid into the system and retirees collected that money. This was because of the economic climate and to get older workers out of the system so younger workers could get jobs. Along the way there have been some reforms, but they did not place social security on a sound system. The reforms you are writing about are not good reforms as they depend on the stock market which is not secure. it is necessary to raise social security taxes to make the system temporarily sound.
    worker
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  • Back when
    Linda
    When Social Security was set up, you got it at age 60. Average life expectantcy was 52. Now you can get it at 62 and average life expectantcy is 78. No wonder Social Security is running out of money. Social Security was supposed to be a suppliment to your retirment, not your only retirement. When it started there were a lot of pension plans. Well those went the way side with Social Security (why should a company pay for their employees retirement when the government will?) and also the 80's when those pensions were raided for the excess cash. Medicare came along, and insurance policies through retirement went away. My father-in-law is the only one I know with insurance from his retirement. Premiums are paid in full by the company, he has a supplimental, Medicare and also Tri-Care as a retired military. (Can we say $0 out of pocket!)But, the supplimental Medicare drove out company paid plans. Again why would a company pay for the insurance when the government will? And the company is alo paying for part of the financing of the Social Security and Medicare plans in their matches. Social Security retirement age should have been automatically raised as the average life expectantcy rose. But, it didn't. Now the Congress doesn't want to vote that way as it is too unpopular. They should have let an auto matic decision be made on those types of hard choices. Once people are used to it, they don't complain.
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  • Back when?
    Moderate
    I am not very knowledgeable about this, so please correct me if I am wrong. You wrote this about social security. "When it started there were a lot of pension plans" Social security started during the depths of the Great Depression. Were good pension plans plentiful then? also, defined benefit plans were plentiful during the 60's and 70's. Someone came up with the defined contribution plans in the 70's or 80's. Defined benefit plans started to go then. Also involved was a cash something plan. However, social security did not cause the death of the defined benefit plan. Also, mediocare did not kill retiree medical. The economy and corporate greed did.
    worker
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  • Medicare for free
    deployed decoy
    My thoughts (and don’t tell congress this) is we put the border fence up across the northern front. We then open the borders everyplace else, such as folks from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh can enter the USA. These folks really will work for food, paying them $300 a month for 80 hours of labor a week will stop all illegal migration north into the USA. The sealed borders with that Socialist state up north will save the entire US Economy. Big Phrma will reap huge profits selling life saving and pain controlling drugs at prices they set. Markets will surge. The people that cant afford this for whatever reason die young, quick, painful deaths. Thus saving Social Security and Medicare. You might lose your job as a result of the influx of cheap labor. The upside will be that 1% will be able to legally have a nanny who they feed once a day and beat whenever the baby cries. Or we pull out of the ME and tax gas at $11 a gallon, then subsidize this with the BILLIONS we save everyday on war costs (subsidized currently by your future grand kids tax money). Something like 100 gallons a month per household at $2.00.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Back to Medicare
    contrarian
    This column didn't help me, I still don't know what to do. I don't need all the extra coverage right now, but someday if I do, can I add it? Or is it a one time choice you have to live with forever?
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • to contrarian
    Moderate
    I can give you the non expert options. You make the decision. If you retire by age 65, you can pay $1200 per year and have the better coverage. That would involve covering your $300 deductible and your 15% co pay up to your catastrophic coverage of, I believe $2500. So by not taking the coverage, you risk $2800 and save $1200. However, when you elect coverage, you will pay a 10% penalty per year of non coverage for the rest of your life.-----if you do not retire, then you do not incur the 10% penalty. I do not intend to retire at age 65, so I will avoid the penalty. Please contact your experts to find out if the FEHB coverage is reduced when you are medicare eligible. I do not know the answer to that question.
    worker
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  • Do B or Not to B
    Linda
    Just remember 50% of all medical expenses occur in the last 6 months of life. My aunt and uncle didn't sign up for Medicare Part D (Rx) because they only had a couple of inexpensive perscriptions and didn't feel they needed it. They thought they couldn't afford it and had some coverage. Well a few years later my uncle has early on set of Alzhiemers and the drug to help him is $200 a month after coverage. Medicare would have helped cover a lot of that, but no coverage. My aunt has since been in an out of the hospital, and my uncle died in hospice. If they hadn't had Medicare Part B and a supplimental insurance they would be in bankruptcy. You have to make your decision based on what can happen, not what your health is now.
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  • Medicare B
    Moderate
    We have FEHB carried for life. The supplemental plan will not be as good. Therefore, medicare is needed in your cited case. My question is, if your aunt and uncle had an FEHB plan how much extra would they have paid by not having medicare Bvs having medicare B. Then how much had they paid into medicare B. Answer those questions and you will have an (not the) answer. Those questions are not loaded as I do not know the answer to them.
    worker
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  • Medicare Part B Rip Off
    MYSAL
    To Contrarian: In answer to your question about if a person takes Part B will their FEHB premiums be reduced...answer: No. So, if you have already have a good FEHB plan why purchase another plan since neither plan will pay fully. Unless you are having large medical expenses, there is no reason to just throw money at Part B. I have a good (I think) FEHB family plan that costs me approx. $450 a month. Medicare contacted me and told me that Part B will be approx. $350 a month...and I would still be paying the $450 a month through payroll deductions. But, I do have an issue with good old Uncle Sam and his Medicare system. My husband, age 82, had worked all of his employment years and paid into the soc sec system. Now, he is having to pay a large monthly Part B premium because I am working. His policy is not a family policy...so why does he get penalized in his premiums because I am still employed? This never did and still does not pass the sanity test with me. He worked for it and his payments should be based on the stipents that he receives from soc. sec.....not calculated on my salary. As I said, this is not a family policy and my income is used as a form of bribery to charge more to an individual without providing any servicable benefit. Should we get divorced or if I die, he would still be entitled to Part B...but just at a lower cost...no change in what is covered, just in the cost. This is clear situational spousal prejudice and the reason why so many seniors end up living together rather than getting married...lose of soc. sec. income and benefits. Bottom line: If your current coverage handles your health needs (yes, situations change as we grow older...but that is the same for everyone, even those without FEHB) then it is not worth the monthly fee to save a few doctor co-pays. You will have saved hundreds, if not thousands, by not joining.
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