Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Medicare Advice

As a retired federal employee, my Blue Cross Blue Shield payment is a mandatory deduction from my pension each month in the amount of $432.00 per month. Now that I am 65, the Medicare question is complicated by the overly high payment I have to make to Blue Cross/Blue Shield. What is the best way to proceed with Medicare in this situation?

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By Peter

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December 8, 20110 found this helpful

When my husband retired, his insurance payment was also around $400.00. We told them we didn't want this insurance, but they also said it was mandatory, so we found an insurance advocate in our state (PA) who wrote a letter to my husbands employer. They immediately dropped our insurance policy, but at the same time they also dropped his life insurance policy of $37,000.00. To us it was worth it just to get out from under those high monthly payments. Now we get our Part D insurance through AARP Medicare Complete and our monthly premiums are zero.

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December 8, 20110 found this helpful

Call Blue Cross Blue Shield directly and explain you are now on medicare and see how that changes your insurance. My individual policy premium with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield is $135 per month.

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December 8, 20110 found this helpful

You don't have to pay that! Drop it and sign up with AARP supplemental insurance for about $125 a month for a policy that covers everything medicare does not.

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Sheesh, the way they try to cheat you.

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December 8, 20110 found this helpful

I have a medgap policy from a private insurer. I have never found AARP to be cheaper on anything. Not only health insurance but auto and home as well. Find yourself a good insurance agent; they are worth your weight in gold. That $125 quote mentioned by one person more than likely has a lot of restrictions. I'm 71 and pay $122. per month, can go to any MD or hospital I choose. No copays and the only think I pay is the Part B yearly deductible which I think is still $166. per year.

Also, you may already know but just in case; the same policy and same coverage with different insurers can range greatly in the amount they charge.

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December 8, 20110 found this helpful

I would definitely check with an insurance agent. The first year you're getting a supplement, no one can turn you down. After that, one has to go through underwriting and companies do have the option to not insure someone.

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AARP's underwriting is not as strict as other companies. My mom had to go with AARP because of her medical history. My husband and I are with two other supplemental insurance companies.

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December 8, 20110 found this helpful

Never, never, never get rid of your Fed Emp health benefit plan. Is this a family plan? During open season you can switch to a cheaper premium plan since medicare becomes your primary insurance.

My hubby and I were both fed employees so we each qualified for the single rate which is about $105 per month (for blue cross/blue shield basic) for each of us - combined with the medicare B premium of 99.00 (eff 2012) comes to $200 for each of us for a no co-pay, no deductible, no hassle health insurance coverage.

Obviously you and your spouse and both healthy and not using doctors right now, but in the future when a large bill comes due for surgery, heart attacks, strokes, cancer - whatever, you will be glad you still have your Fed employee plan. That is the gold standard of health insurance plans.

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