health insurance

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  #1  
Old 09-11-15, 11:13 AM
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health insurance

Hello
I have health insurance from teaching -it is [state] teachers retirement system.
I always though you needed social security quarters to use Medicare but found out one has nothing to do with the other. I cannot find out how I would be better off. Should I use only my teachers health insurance or both including Medicare?
It sounds easy to find out like calling SS but it is really hard to reach them and one I talked to did not know. How does one figure this out?
TY
 
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  #2  
Old 09-11-15, 01:11 PM
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I don't know the answer to your question but if they decide that your insurance isn't as good as medicare then you have to pay an increased premium when you do switch to medicare. Is there someone connected to your teaching job/insurance that you can talk to?
 
  #3  
Old 09-11-15, 02:49 PM
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As far as I've learned, they have people in the doctors offices and hospitals that can normally help you with these kind of questions.

I'm getting close to the point where I need to find how Medicare will work with my military health coverage and trying to do it online is just crazy.

You need to find a local seniors advocate that can help you.

As far as I know, any private insurance is primary and Medicare is secondary.
 
  #4  
Old 09-11-15, 03:21 PM
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Have you been paying into Social Security and Medicare or have you been exempt because of the Maryland Teachers Retirement Plan ?
 
  #5  
Old 09-11-15, 03:55 PM
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I worked in Mass for decades. I learned that SS qtrs. and Medicare are separate entities but used to think I needed x qtrs. to get Medicare.
I would need the qtrs. to collect.
I agree my next effort is to find a counselor so I will contact my association to find one.
Thank you and good luck all.
 
  #6  
Old 09-11-15, 05:37 PM
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Most people use Medicare as the primary health care service & their retirement plan as the secondary. In rare cases, some people do it the other way around.

I happen to know an 87 year old cheap millionaire who somehow has medicare forward the $106 that they take from his social security, to Liberty Health Insurance. He uses them to cover a wide variety of things that the everyday person wouldn't consider. For example, they allow him $36 per month, to buy various drug store items that the average person would pay for out of his pocket. I mentioned something about band aids & he gave be about 5 large boxes of band aids that had 4 smaller boxes, in them.

When I see him again, I'll get more details. I still have another year before I'm eligible for medicare but I'll do the same thing.
 
  #7  
Old 09-12-15, 05:20 AM
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health insurance

Hello
I look forward to your next note after you have talked with your friend. I am 75 and can use all the advice I can get. As I said I will look into seeing the counselor for retired teacher's for a referral in this area.
TY
 
  #8  
Old 09-12-15, 05:57 AM
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I turned 65 in 2012, and had been paying my Self-Employment Taxes for decades (which pays for both Social Security and Medicare).

For about 10 years prior to 2012, I'd been receiving an annual "Social Security Statement" detailing my "contributions" and what my benefits might be at various points in time, depending upon when I elected to enter the Social Security system. My age for full eligibility was 66 because of the agreement between Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neil back in the 80's. Today full retirement age is 67.

In contrast, the eligibility for Medicare remained at 65, and to avoid being penalized later, people MUST apply for coverage within 90 days of their 65th birthday. It's a fairly complicated procedure (more complex than necessary), and worth investigating well in advance. This I did, and I became covered for Medicare Part A (Hospitalization). I also began paying for Medicare Part B (Medical Coverage) and Part D (Pharmaceuticals). This ran me about $125 a month.

Then over the summer of 2012, friends of mine asked why I was paying these Medicare Premiums when I should be eligible for VA Coverage, having spent a good deal of time in South East Asia when it was a Combat Zone in the 1960s ?

So I looked into it and discovered that, sure enough, even though I had no wounds or service related disabilities (maybe a little Agent Orange) or PTSD, having merely spent serious time in Viet Nam made me eligible for VA Coverage as an acceptable substitute for Medicare Part B and Part D. So that's what I did.

Medicare would not stop billing me for my monthly premiums for several months after I demonstrated this replacement coverage, but it finally stopped . . . saving me over $1500 per year . . . . and I'm more than satisfied with the services I've received from the VA - Physicals, Inoculations and similar Out-Patient items, nothing serious. The availability of this alternative for Combat Veterans isn't well disseminated, and I'm sure that most of them just pay the Medicare Premiums for Part B and Part D.

Just my 2

Now my Wife has a different story. When she first applied for Medicare, they informed her that she had been on their books as a Male for the past 45 years, ever since she changed her name when we were married . . . . so they made her go into a local Social Security Office to somehow prove that she was Female, and we did that. Can't fight the system !
 
  #9  
Old 09-12-15, 06:41 AM
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Thanks for that input. I am not eligible for vets benes b/c I did my basic at Parris Island in 1958 then went to Camp Lejeune and Camp Geiger for advanced training. The duration of my obligation was reserves. One needs 181 days and I have 180. Actually I exceeded that but as I was hospitalized for 6 weeks while at PI but when I contested it they said the records were burned in a fire in MO.
I have earned 11 of my 44 quarters for SS.
In Mass there is a teachers retirement system you donate to while working so that when you retire you collet depending upon age, years, in etc.
My dept. was cut when I was 53(typical) so my pension is meager. Then I had bouts with cancer and lost a kidney a lung and am now treated for bladder cancer.
I cannot work as I have RSD(Google it) and need opiates for pain I live with daily, a slipped disc and a calcified foot which requires surgery with no guarantees.
So I am trying to squeeze the sponges by looking into Medicare besides my teachers health insurance. I have BC PPO and it is ok but I pay about half of the premium, and there are deductibles and copays. I thought maybe Medicare would help but there is a monthly premium and I think I would only get part A which my teachers pension covers -hospital.
It is hard for everyone to figure out their own situation.
My physician is applying for me to be accepted in a program for the chronically ill and elderly and I am waiting to see if that helps, although I don't think it helps financially.
That's it.
One day at a time, thank your maker for each day and keep working on a good attitude.
Keep busy with whatever you can muster up.
Have a good one
 
  #10  
Old 09-13-15, 07:13 AM
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Medicare participation is still predicated on Social Security eligibility, and you need to have paid in for 10 full years (40 Quarters). But they do have a procedure for people who accumulated some; but less than 40 Quarters, to become "Voluntary Participants" in Medicare . . . . but they must pay the entire Part A themselves, which is $407 per month in 2015. That might be an option for you. Like others who paid in, you'd still have to pay for Part B and Part D; but they're far less expensive than the normally free Part A.

Regarding the Medical Services at the VA, you shouldn't feel that you missed eligibility by just one day. On Medical Services, the VA makes a sharp distinction between Veterans and Ex-Servicemen. To be eligible for these services, your DD-214 has to demonstrate that you actually served in a Combat Zone or were subject to Hostile Fire . . . . making them real Veterans.

It's like the distinction between the VFW and the American Legion. Anyone who ever wore our uniform can join the American Legion. VFW Members must have participated in a Foreign Conflict.
 
  #11  
Old 09-13-15, 07:22 AM
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but when I contested it they said the records were burned in a fire in MO.
I have earned 11 of my 44 quarters for SS.
I worked with a black guy from the south who wanted to retire, He said that he couldn't because some records were burned, in a fire. We were working in NYC. I asked him if there were a congressman or senator whom he could call. He said, "Hell, I can knock on his door." A short time after that, he disappeared from the job.

It's not your fault that they lost records. I suggest that you do the same thing. Get one of those 'incompetent politicians' who Trump mentions from time to time, to do something for a citizen. You're the citizen.
 
  #12  
Old 09-13-15, 09:45 AM
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SS + Vets

Your information helped me to decide a course of action.
Thank you fro taking the time.
 
  #13  
Old 09-13-15, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Pulpo
". . . It's not your fault that they lost records . . ."
But if those records only demonstrate what peter told us . . . . that he served as a Reservist during peace time, and never entered a War Zone, then it won't really matter much if some Congressman takes an interest . . . . he was never in Combat.
 
  #14  
Old 09-13-15, 05:10 PM
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Good luck with whatever you decided.

Vermont, I thought that he was saying that he was denied something due to the missing records. Maybe I misunderstood.
 
  #15  
Old 09-14-15, 08:15 AM
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decisions

Mine is a rather complex tale for those interested in reading it.
This now just a discussion for interest as I have decided on my course of action.
Military - I joined the corps in 59 as we were at war with Asia. I spent my active duty 0f 6 months, plus, due to illness but they did not count that time - 6 weeks in Beaufort Hospital with pneumonia and blood poisoning.
You need 180 plus 1 days to be considered a vet for benes.
With burned records it is hard to prove my time before reserves was 180 plus the hospital time while active. However, I can accept that.
As a reservist, I got my papers to ship out in 1960 to Hawaii to join a skeleton division going to Vietnam. A week later I was deployed to Rhode Island to move from 0-300 pebble pusher/radioman to artillery. I finished my obligation as a reservist and was honorably discharged. I never got there but I am please that I tried to help.

I worked for only 11 of my 40 quarters for Social Security. The rest of my career I taught + contributed to the State's retirement fund. I was granted a n emotionally related disability at age 53 by seeing 3 psychiatrists at a board hearing. So my income is rather meager and I cannot earn money. I thank the gentleman who explained the cost per month if I were to join Medicare - I cannot afford that.

I will continue with the state's health insurance as long as they offer it due to financial constraint's but now at least I know about SS.

I became further disabled at age 59 when I lost my kidney and lung to cancer and am being treated for bladder cancer. As a result of the surgeries I had my intercostal nerve crushed and found that I have a nerve disorder to the point where, when cut I suffer allodynia and crps; both are debilitating diseases.

Doctors at Johns Hopkins and other places have concluded that there is something awry with my nervous system but medicine in 2015 cannot understand it.

I am happily married after 46 years with nice children and grand children Unfortunately my son inherited my neurology and although practiced medicine as an internist, psychiatrist then director of a sleep disorder clinic, had to leave medicine due to neurological issues.

Some good some bad but that's life. One makes lemonade one day at a time. Anyone care to share a story of any significance?
 
  #16  
Old 09-14-15, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by peterr
". . . I joined the corps in 59 as we were at war with Asia . . ."
You might be thinking of the Korean Police Action (which is still ongoing); but the VA recognized the Viet Nam Conflict as occupying the period between January 9th, 1962 through May 7th, 1975.

I had to prove that I was actually on the ground in the Republic of Viet Nam for 2 years between 1965 and 1967 slogging around in Quang Tri Province . . . . 24 continuous months of my active Marine Corps service between 1964 and 1968; I was lucky, I knew how to duck. Those that died don't have to face this problem.

For the VA, just having donned a Uniform for so many days didn't quite satisfy that requirement . . . . you'd actually have had to have been in a theater of Combat Operations and subjected yourself to enemy fire.

The 180 days or 181 days might be pertinent for obtaining some rights towards a VA Home Loan or a GI Bill Education; but it isn't the criteria for enrolling in VA Medical Services.

Some of my records were also burned (I was told); but they exist elsewhere in the Marine Corps, in addition to what I have in my own possession . . . . and the best records are vivid in my own mind.
 
  #17  
Old 09-14-15, 12:31 PM
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Service

I guess I did not know much as a kid some 56 years ago.
Thanx for your service and really glad you made it through.
 
  #18  
Old 09-15-15, 07:19 AM
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I thought Obama's Affordable Care Act was supposed to cover people who have pre-existing conditions and no other coverage ?
 
  #19  
Old 09-15-15, 08:23 AM
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I didn't mention before, but you may want to check with something like the DAV or other veterans groups if you haven't already. You'll need to talk with one of their Reps, not just a staff person.

That's what I did when I got out and it was pretty painless. You'll need any documentation you may have or at least everything written down.
 
  #20  
Old 09-15-15, 09:13 AM
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Well worth looking into -TY
 
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