3. Medicare: Compare plans.
(Whether or not receiving benefits from HP
Advice and reference info from
(Updated Feb 23,
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Questions or comments to:
Depending on how you left and your
years-of-service, HP Retiree coverage may not be best for you.
Trap: Carefully compare plan details:
From our discussions on the
Benefits Forum, of the many factors involved in picking a retiree
health plan, there are six key issues:
- Whether the plan has an annual out-of-pocket maximum or a lifetime
cap. You could get wiped out financially by a major health issue.
- If you have pre-existing conditions.
- What medications you currently take. Can make a huge difference in
your cost via co-pays.
- Other co-pays. For example, the co-pay for hospital stays can vary
from zero to hundreds per day.
- Whether your current doctors -- and the hospitals and specialists they
use (such as anesthesiologists) -- accept each plan.
- Dependent coverage. (For
example, you may want to use an HP group Medicare plan because you have
a spouse or child who is not of Medicare age.)
Check the Medicare assistance
sites for your state.
- State Health Insurance
Assistance Programs. State-specific SHIP websites with
information about local, personalized counseling and
assistance to people with Medicare and their families. SHIPs
can help you with things like: Your Medicare questions,
including your benefits, coverage, premiums, deductibles, and
coinsurance. Complaints and appeals. Joining or leaving a
Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), any other Medicare
health plan, or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Highly
recommended by HPAA members. https://www.shiptacenter.org
- Medicare Savings Programs.
If you have limited income and resources, you can get help
from your state paying some or all of your Medicare
premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance.
- State Insurance Departments.
Information about Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans
sold in the state.
Links on the official Medicare site to other helpful contacts:
Health insurance agents. Many do not qualify for a
company health insurance plan -- or, even if they do, have low
years-of-service such that they should consider non-company
alternatives. An experienced independent insurance agent
licensed to sell health insurance in your state can help you
sort through the complexity -- and adds nothing to the cost of
the plan you purchase from them.
4. Medicare - HP
If receiving benefits from HP