What a difference a year makes.
You are one of the millions of Americans, who don’t have company health insurance. Damned with a pre-existing condition, you carry so-called Obamacare (www.healthcare.gov).
Next year, you turn 65 and must enroll in Medicare.
There’s no good news, just bad news for you. Obamacare is a far better plan than Medicare and costs at least $1,800 less a year.
Worst of all, there’s no limit on how much you might spend on healthcare and then face bankruptcy.
You plan to retire on Social Security next year and receive the average $18,000 annual benefit. A part-time job will push your total income to $24,000, just about the same as you currently earn full time.
Presently, under Obamacare at age 64, you qualify for a government subsidy of $1,366 a month, based on your income and age. You are enrolled in Independence Blue Cross Keystone HMO Silver Proactive, which offers you:
- $0 deductible
- $0 premium
- Hospital stay, $100 per day in network
- Out-of-Pocket annual maximum, $2,450
Commonly-prescribed drugs you require add enough expense to reach the maximum $2,450 annual out-of-pocket total.
Now, let’s examine next year’s mandated Medicare plan (high earners pay the higher rates):
- $1,668 to $6,408 Medicare B premium annually
- $1,600 co-pay for your commonly-prescribed drugs
- $400 to $1,296 Medicare D annual premium
- $405 Medicare D deductible
- $183 Medicare B deductible
- No out-of-pocket maximum
The Medicare base total is $4,256 to $9,892, some $1,800 to $7,400 more each year than your Obamacare maximum cost.
There are additional Medicare costs if you are admitted to a hospital or visit your doctor:
- Every hospital inpatient admission (after 60 days release) requires a $1,340 deductible – no $ limit.
- Days 61-90 cost $335 a day – no $ limit.
- Days 91 to 150 are $670 a day, assuming you use your 60 lifetime “reserve” days – no $ limit.
- Days 91 and above – you pay entire hospital daily charge if “reserve” days used – no $ limit.
- 20% co-pay for most doctor services while you’re a hospital inpatient, outpatient, as well as office visits and therapy – no $ limit
All this makes far-less-than-perfect Obamacare a real bargain, compared to Medicare.
The rude awakening is that you can’t stay on Obamacare once you reach 65. By law, you are not allowed to keep your current health plan or buy any other plan. At 65 you must switch to some or all Medicare options A, B, C, D – retired or not.
Upset? Want to take action on behalf of 44 million older Americans, who get so little for their lifetime of Medicare payroll taxes?
Oddly, the answer to this unfair treatment may be offering support to Senator Bernie Sanders’ plan to enact “Medicare for All.”
Once in force, Bernie’s minions and the rest of America will whine, scream, picket and maybe riot enough to force the long-awaited reforms of Medicare.