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Medicare Advice

I am still working at 67 and covered by BCBS (Blue Cross Blue Shield) 80/20. I recently was required to have a lumpectomy; so I am getting some extraordinary bills with lots more to come due to radiation treatments.


If I quickly get Medicare B as my secondary, will they pick up the slack? I surely could use the help.

By Grace from Charlotte, NC

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April 4, 20100 found this helpful

I'm not sure on this, but I would think in order for Part B to pick up the slack, you would have to be on it before hand. Everybody that I know is on A and B plus having supplemental insurance besides.

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April 5, 20100 found this helpful

I would call social security and ask. Medicaid will go back 3 months if you have financial problems so maybe medicare has a similar provision.

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April 6, 20100 found this helpful

Just call them and ask.

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April 6, 20100 found this helpful

You need to check with SS or Medicare as there are rules about "first time users" and effective dates.

I do not believe they will go back but should cover everything after it is effective.

You may have been better off to have enrolled as soon as you were elligible as you may pay more per month now.

Be sure you compare all supplements closely as there are differences in Medicare Part B and all the other plans.

Most other plans do not have good coverage for re-hab care and you never know when that will be necessary.

You can change later but only once a year time frame.

Good luck and I would not put it off too long.

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April 7, 20100 found this helpful

I have Blue Cross Federal Employee (retired; live in Louisiana). Blue Cross would be your secondary; Medicare primary... that's what I was told when I turned 65. The Blue Cross people told me that my premium would not go down even when I have Medicare as primary. This actually doesn't apply to your question but thought it would be good to know.

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April 7, 20100 found this helpful


According to my last call to Medicare, and visit to the SS office, Medicare Part B DOES process secondary claims when you are a holder of Part A and you are working full time and covered by a group insurance plan. (Earlier call to Social Security apparently gave me the wrong information.) What's more, it can become active the first day of the month you submit your request.


It is best to go to the SS local office to submit the form in order to get it processed in front of your eyes. I think I am set! With those bills coming in, I am greatly relieved. My monthly payments will be $110.50. Grace

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April 8, 20100 found this helpful

As a former customer service rep for BCBS IL, let me try to explain how this will work.

BCBS will be your primary until such time as you are no longer working, once you retire then medicare will be your primary. Both your BCBS plan & medicare Part B are 80/20 plans, both plans have a non duplication of benefits clause. What that means is that when the 2nd insurance processes the claim, they will process as if they are the only insurance involved. Once they determine how much they would normally pay on the claim they then take a look at how much the primary paid. If what the primary (BCBS) has pd is greater than what the 2nd (Part B) would pay if only insurance involved then no payment will be made. If the payment from primary is less than what the 2nd would normally pay then the 2nd will pay the difference between the two.


At this point in time it would seem like you would be spending money unnecessarily for Part B. I would suggest you call the customer service number on the back of the card for BCBS & verify with them what your out of pocket maximum is. Once that max is met then your BCBS policy will start to pay 100%. I am sure you are aware that by using innetwork providers you are getting the better discounts than non network providers. As far as having to pay more for Part B because you did not take it as soon as you were eligible, this will not apply to you as you were still working & covered by a group policy. Same for medicare Part D for the drugs.

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April 9, 20100 found this helpful

You better get medicare part B. Most primary ins. require it to provide their portion of the coverage. if you do not get it your BCBS may(WILL) decline paying their portion of the bill. I'm sorry for sounding so forceful BUT I know someone who was forced to pay entire surgurical bill due to neglecting to take Med Part B.

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May 15, 20100 found this helpful

I'm still working, on my company plan. I turn 65 in September. I'm told I need to apply for Medicare in July. I know nothing about all this, basically. What do I need to do?

I keep getting all this junk mail from supplement companies. My impression is that I really don't need to purchase a supplement until I actually retire.


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July 14, 20100 found this helpful

If you still have questions I would be happy to answer all that I can.

Thank you


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April 4, 20100 found this helpful

Do you prefer the original Medicare plan, and also adding a supplement (referred to as Medi-gap) and a prescription plan (plan D), or do you prefer a type of plan called Medicare Advantage plan that incorporates all three in one (the Medicare, the supplement, and prescriptions all in the same plan).

P.J. from DE


Medicare Advice

When I was selecting my mom's coverage last year, I had that same question. I studied the booklets put out, but still had questions even after calling the various agencies. I went to my local pharmacy, and took her information to them and let them look at her prescriptions and they helped me decide which coverage would save mother the most money on her drugs and the difference in the coverage itself.

My mom has state insurance, which she pays out of her pocket from my dad's retirement, Medicare and Community Care RX for part D. I am very pleased with the Community Care RX. My pharmacy said they help people all the time to decide which program is best for the person, because it is confusing to most of us. Hope this helps you. (11/28/2006)

By Jean in GA

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