It’s Very Good To Have Insurance

It’s easy to kvetch about insurance. Over my nearly 50 working years insurance has become a shadow of its former self. Deductibles are so high it’s hardly worth using. So much is excluded.

As a Medicare recipient things are different for me. Medicare is like insurance from 1970. It pretty much covers everything especially since I chose to add a Medicare Advantage plan which was FREE here in California.

My Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plan is an HMO offered in just a few zip codes. It’s set up to provide a dependable stream of patients to Hoag Hospital and its affiliate physicians. Hoag is in the midst of becoming our local health empire–aggressively. Think giant squid.

I always avoided HMOs. What I realized was, once I went beyond my primary care physician I knew no one anyway! I might as well allow my docs to pick other docs they often work with. It seems to have worked well, except for some early delays. Delays with cancer treatment are a big deal.

I’m mentioning this because if you’re on Medicare you should take a look at adding an Advantage plan. They’re not free everywhere, but they are subsidized, inexpensive and a great deal.

We still have bills to come, but so far my treatment and drugs have run us around $400. Insurance covered everything else. I haven’t seen a fully itemized bill but it’s got to be a few hundred thousand. I’ve seen some Whipple patient bills run over $1,000,000!

4 thoughts on “It’s Very Good To Have Insurance”

  1. Geoff,hope you are feeling much better by now,only one question,how can you get medicare,you certainly are not 65 or over,if you are we would never gussed it ,you don’t look a day over 45,so how did you get medicare ????

    bless you Nancy & Richard

  2. My husband has regular Medicare and then my insurance is secondary. The only thing I ever pay for him is a couple bucks for medicine otherwise everything else is paid 100 % between Medicare and my insurance.

  3. I too am thrilled to have Medicare. I feel medically taken care of, safe, knowing it pays and my AARP supplement takes care of the rest. I’m so glad that’s one thing you and your family can financially relax. It truly is socialized medicine that works well. Good for you!

  4. What many people, even medical professionals, don’t understand is that not all people over 65 are eligible for Medicare. I was a public school teacher in CT, and my generation of teachers was not permitted to contribute toward Social Security, therefore no Medicare later in life unless through a spouse or outside employment. i think the same is still true in CA.I did work some summer jobs, but did not earn nearly enough Social Security quarters. The result is that I will always need to pay privately though my former school system, aided by a partial state subsidy from the state for which I am extremely grateful.My insurance is excellent, and I am happy to have it, but the cost has really taken a toll on my retirement. I’m with you, Geoff. It is such a relief to have good medical insurance coverage. With best wishes and appreciation for your spirit, candor, and zest for life.

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