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Dec 2, 2021 - 4:41:28 PM
12835 posts since 1/15/2005

Just got a letter from Aetna ...... my supplemental payment has gone to $208 per month. This time last year it was $118. Did I miss that health care costs doubled in the past year?

Dec 2, 2021 - 6:57:29 PM

2662 posts since 5/2/2012

I have BC/BS and my payment is going up over $300, from $270. But then I've had 2 hip replacement surgeries and treatment for prostate cancer in the past 4 y ears, with not much in the way of out-of-pocket expenses. So I really can't complain. Back in the day, was never too suprised when the premium went up 20 - 25% a year.

Dec 2, 2021 - 9:13:35 PM

12835 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by thisoldman

I have BC/BS and my payment is going up over $300, from $270. But then I've had 2 hip replacement surgeries and treatment for prostate cancer in the past 4 y ears, with not much in the way of out-of-pocket expenses. So I really can't complain. Back in the day, was never too suprised when the premium went up 20 - 25% a year.


Yes, I expect it to go up a little.  Mine went up again last January and my agent told me that he thought he could get it back down from $188 to $118 which was what I had been paying this time last year, but for some reason was not able to do it.  I didn't mind paying the $70 more but figured it would stabilize for a little while ........ guess I was wrong.  I'll give him a call tomorrow.

Edited by - BanjoLink on 12/02/2021 21:13:56

Dec 3, 2021 - 12:32:03 AM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

25504 posts since 6/25/2005
Online Now

Mine’s been in the low 200s (now 230) for some years. It rises with my age as well as inflation. It’s the no-longer-available high-end Plan J, so I have no problems with the cost.

Dec 3, 2021 - 4:33:43 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

14246 posts since 5/24/2005

We are with Medicare with a premium bc/bs supplemental with a Part D from United? for meds.
We have not reviewed and compared our Part D since taking it out 4 years ago, because we were on one cheap generic med each. Now our med regimen has increased, but still ordinary cheap generic stuff. Wife spent all day reviewing our meds and a variety of Part D writers. We are changing, and will save 600.00 per year. Not a lot, but no since leaving it on the table.
Wife will review Part D every year now, to play the game. Brad

Dec 3, 2021 - 4:55:47 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

26685 posts since 8/3/2003

You might do some checking with other companies to see if you could get a less expensive plan.

Last year my supplement price went way up, so I called another company and they found another plan, same benefits for quite a bit less. Might be worth the effort to make a few phone calls.

I've found that if you change companies every year or so that you can usually keep the costs down.

Dec 3, 2021 - 9:17:13 AM

12835 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo

You might do some checking with other companies to see if you could get a less expensive plan.

Last year my supplement price went way up, so I called another company and they found another plan, same benefits for quite a bit less. Might be worth the effort to make a few phone calls.

I've found that if you change companies every year or so that you can usually keep the costs down.


Sherry, my agent represents just about all of the plans and reviews both my supplemental and Pard D every year.  This year he got my Part D from $22.90 to $13.90.  I was surprised because he had told me he thought he could get my supplemental down for the $188.  I'll call today and find out what happened.  I'm not worried about the cost really, but why it would have almost doubled in a year.  It is creeping up way faster than inflation or from what I understand the increase in medical expenses.  The whole medical and insurance kubuki dance still puzzles me.  I understand write-offs, but still they make zero sense to me and have never been explained to my satisfaction.

Dec 3, 2021 - 11:19:15 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

26685 posts since 8/3/2003

quote:
Originally posted by BanjoLink
quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo

You might do some checking with other companies to see if you could get a less expensive plan.

Last year my supplement price went way up, so I called another company and they found another plan, same benefits for quite a bit less. Might be worth the effort to make a few phone calls.

I've found that if you change companies every year or so that you can usually keep the costs down.


Sherry, my agent represents just about all of the plans and reviews both my supplemental and Pard D every year.  This year he got my Part D from $22.90 to $13.90.  I was surprised because he had told me he thought he could get my supplemental down for the $188.  I'll call today and find out what happened.  I'm not worried about the cost really, but why it would have almost doubled in a year.  It is creeping up way faster than inflation or from what I understand the increase in medical expenses.  The whole medical and insurance kubuki dance still puzzles me.  I understand write-offs, but still they make zero sense to me and have never been explained to my satisfaction.


Maybe you should try another agent or company and see if they could offer you a better deal.  

Years ago when Dave's supplement kept going up every 6 months, I finally got tired of it and started checking different companies to see what they had to offer.  Every time I did, the supplement went down considerably.     I've had the same thing happen to my supplements.  It's worth a try.

Dec 3, 2021 - 11:22:34 AM

YellowSkyBlueSun

Virgin Islands (U.S.)

612 posts since 5/11/2021

What you're witnessing is the devaluation of your dollar bills. You say the premiums have gone up faster than inflation, but that's because the official inflation numbers are written by people that have a vested interest in the numbers being as low as possible. If you think it's bad this year, just wait. It's going to get a lot worse.

Dec 3, 2021 - 2:43:49 PM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

14246 posts since 5/24/2005

quote:
Originally posted by YellowSkyBlueSun

What you're witnessing is the devaluation of your dollar bills. You say the premiums have gone up faster than inflation, but that's because the official inflation numbers are written by people that have a vested interest in the numbers being as low as possible. If you think it's bad this year, just wait. It's going to get a lot worse.


I agree. The gov reported figures are manipulated, by the items they choose to include.  The real feels like or reality of inflation is higher and likely to soon shock the younger folks on how this can happen.  I feel it, but been there, done that. 

Dec 3, 2021 - 3:10:22 PM

Owen

Canada

10054 posts since 6/5/2011

Sherry: "I've found that if you change companies every year or so that you can usually keep the costs down."

My comment/observation doesn't concern US Medicare, and I could be wrong, but I think insurance companies up here generally would have us believe that there's a positive correlation between the risk they're covering and the frequency of changing companies.

Edited by - Owen on 12/03/2021 15:11:12

Dec 3, 2021 - 4:11:58 PM

7370 posts since 9/5/2006

ok ya'll ,, you making it where i don't look forward to this at all next year.......

Dec 3, 2021 - 6:36:28 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

25504 posts since 6/25/2005
Online Now

Because I get mine through te teachers’ union (NEA) I get the best deal they can find. There is a legal duty to members to do that. Doesn’t mean it’s the cheapest though.

Dec 3, 2021 - 7:34:46 PM

12835 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo
quote:
Originally posted by BanjoLink
quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo

You might do some checking with other companies to see if you could get a less expensive plan.

Last year my supplement price went way up, so I called another company and they found another plan, same benefits for quite a bit less. Might be worth the effort to make a few phone calls.

I've found that if you change companies every year or so that you can usually keep the costs down.


Sherry, my agent represents just about all of the plans and reviews both my supplemental and Pard D every year.  This year he got my Part D from $22.90 to $13.90.  I was surprised because he had told me he thought he could get my supplemental down for the $188.  I'll call today and find out what happened.  I'm not worried about the cost really, but why it would have almost doubled in a year.  It is creeping up way faster than inflation or from what I understand the increase in medical expenses.  The whole medical and insurance kubuki dance still puzzles me.  I understand write-offs, but still they make zero sense to me and have never been explained to my satisfaction.


Maybe you should try another agent or company and see if they could offer you a better deal.  

Years ago when Dave's supplement kept going up every 6 months, I finally got tired of it and started checking different companies to see what they had to offer.  Every time I did, the supplement went down considerably.     I've had the same thing happen to my supplements.  It's worth a try.


Sherry ..... it is not my agent, it is the insurance companies.  He gets me as good a rate as any other agent.  That is why he reviews my policy every December for the next year to find the best deal for the year.  My Part D carrier has changed almost every year.  I talked to him today and he said my folder is in his review stack to see if he can get a better deal with another company. I'll report back with the results ..... hopefully next week.

Dec 4, 2021 - 7:02:13 AM

2662 posts since 5/2/2012

One of the trends I've noticed is the small medical clinics that pop up in the larger communities around us. These are outposts of larger hospitals. The biggest town (pop 20,000 or so) near us has had 3 or more of these built in the past 5 years or so. All of these outposts come with the cost of mortgage, utilities, staffing, etc., which drive up the cost to the hospitals, which is passed on to consumers. There is one clinic that serves the low income/fixed income group, which I think is a great idea.

Dec 4, 2021 - 7:50:04 AM

12835 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by thisoldman

One of the trends I've noticed is the small medical clinics that pop up in the larger communities around us. These are outposts of larger hospitals. The biggest town (pop 20,000 or so) near us has had 3 or more of these built in the past 5 years or so. All of these outposts come with the cost of mortgage, utilities, staffing, etc., which drive up the cost to the hospitals, which is passed on to consumers. There is one clinic that serves the low income/fixed income group, which I think is a great idea.


I'm not sure that these small clinics have anything to do with raising the cost to hospitals.  As a matter of fact many of them are now owned by the hospitals.  One of my good friends is an emergency room doctor who ran the ER at a large hospital in my hometown for more than 20 years.  After his contract with the hospital ran out he opened two clinic and ran then for a number of years until he sold both of them to a major hospital system,  Many people, including a few friends, use these clinics as their regular doctor.

Dec 5, 2021 - 10:07:10 AM

7370 posts since 9/5/2006

i know i hear my wife and her mom about going into the doughnut hole every november or early december ... i guess it means her policy pays none or less after a certain dollar amount.

Dec 5, 2021 - 11:25:32 AM

616 posts since 1/28/2011

Most of the hospitals around here are jammed up with more patients than they can handle. Emergency rooms have people on gurneys in the halls waiting for treatment. The hospitals are opening up those clinics because it is cheaper to maintain a clinic than to expand the hospital, which many can't do anyway because of space limitations.

Dec 5, 2021 - 12:44:35 PM

12835 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by latigo1

Most of the hospitals around here are jammed up with more patients than they can handle. Emergency rooms have people on gurneys in the halls waiting for treatment. The hospitals are opening up those clinics because it is cheaper to maintain a clinic than to expand the hospital, which many can't do anyway because of space limitations.


Dave, you bring up another very important point.  In recent years, we have heard many horror stories about patients not being able to get rooms, especially in ICUs.  I always wonder if people ever consider how it does not make sense to build and design hospitals for "worst case" scenarios where large amounts of space and beds go unoccupied for years waiting on a disaster or pandemic.  I am not shocked when I hear that hospital capacities are at a limit.  I would expect them to be.  Temporary facilities should not shock us.

Edited by - BanjoLink on 12/05/2021 12:44:51

Dec 6, 2021 - 11:12:06 PM

Paul R

Canada

15370 posts since 1/28/2010

quote:
Originally posted by BanjoLink
quote:
Originally posted by latigo1

Most of the hospitals around here are jammed up with more patients than they can handle. Emergency rooms have people on gurneys in the halls waiting for treatment. The hospitals are opening up those clinics because it is cheaper to maintain a clinic than to expand the hospital, which many can't do anyway because of space limitations.


Dave, you bring up another very important point.  In recent years, we have heard many horror stories about patients not being able to get rooms, especially in ICUs.  I always wonder if people ever consider how it does not make sense to build and design hospitals for "worst case" scenarios where large amounts of space and beds go unoccupied for years waiting on a disaster or pandemic.  I am not shocked when I hear that hospital capacities are at a limit.  I would expect them to be.  Temporary facilities should not shock us.


Agreed. You build hospitals for reasonable expectations, not massive emergencies.

What they've done here is transfer patients to other hospitals. Since our hospitals (and health care) are public, there's no conflict. I had a procedure last week in Napanee, down the road from Kingston. During the pandemic they outsourced some medical procedures and consultations. No cost, as usual.

We have insurance through the Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan to cover things like vision and dental - and coverage for trips to the U.S. Your system is a major reason I'm reluctant to cross the border. My nephew was charged $140,000 down there.

Dec 7, 2021 - 3:36:55 PM

RayD

USA

477 posts since 3/14/2006

An article I read last week about the Medicare premiums increase ascribed it to the FDA's decision to approve the questionable Alzheimer's disease treatment drug Aduhelm. The AP article itself actually came out on 13 Nov 2021. Here're two quotes:

"The new Part B premium will be $170.10 a month for 2022, officials said. The jump of $21.60 is the biggest increase ever in dollar terms, although not percentage-wise. As recently as August, the Medicare Trustees’ report had projected a smaller increase of $10 from the current $148.50.

About half of the increased premium is due to Medicare planning for an onslaught of use of the new $56,000-a-year medication Aduhelm, which was approved by the FDA in June despite objections from staff that there’s not enough evidence to show it works. It will add to the cost of outpatient coverage because it’s given to patients intravenously in a doctor’s office and paid for by Part B."

To quote an old commercial "Gotta love it!"

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