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Four Medicare Misconceptions
wsj ^ | FEBRUARY 20, 2011. | Kristen Gerencher

Posted on 02/20/2011 3:50:27 PM PST by george76

The federal Medicare program is popular among older Americans, but that doesn't mean it's easy to navigate.

Medicare is a complex web of health benefits serving more than 46 million seniors and disabled people.

It's easy to get confused, says Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center in New York. For instance, because the age to collect full Social Security benefits "is moving up to age 67, a lot of folks think Medicare eligibility has changed as well, but it hasn't," he says. "It's still at 65."

Here are four common Medicare misconceptions:

1. Medicare works like private health insurance.

2. Medicare provides free or cheap health care.

3. Medicare covers everything.

4. You can sign up for Medicare at any time.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: medicare
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1 posted on 02/20/2011 3:50:30 PM PST by george76
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To: george76

Medicare covers “miss-conceptions”???

Who knew???


2 posted on 02/20/2011 3:54:53 PM PST by Uncle Ike (Rope is cheap, and there are lots of trees...)
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To: george76

Anyone under the misconception that any government agency provides “free” anything is stupid.

“Free” stuff from the government just means the government charges a fee to rob one’s neighbors.


3 posted on 02/20/2011 3:58:24 PM PST by FourPeas
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To: george76

Yes, Medicare and Medicaid is a real problem but only caused by a small percentage of the population.

1. If most of those eligible only went to a Doctor when actually needed, the costs would be much smaller.

2. Forget all those advertisements and pushes toward preventive-medicine. They cost much more than only seeing a doctor when needed.

3. Costs are absorbed by all of the younger tax payers - please don’t go to Doctors without a good reason.

4. If the elder actually would take some responsibility for their medical care, things would not be in such a mess.

There are those that need chronic care and that is understandable, but most need no such care - minimal is the ideal. Can’t understand why the elderly would continue to soak their grandchildren for their benefits. I think it is time for us - the older generation to either start paying our own way (as possible) or quit complaining...


4 posted on 02/20/2011 4:01:20 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: george76

Time for all you elderly who think that you’ve paid for Medicare and Social Security to speak up and declare that you deserve your benefits!

Come on folks, don’t you think that you deserve your protections regardless of the condition of the country?

Awaiting your reasonable responses.


5 posted on 02/20/2011 4:16:00 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: Deagle
Some of us are covered by a special provision in the Postal Reorganization Act that states that we will never be denied "benefits" of less value than full benefits provided to other federal employees.

Now roughly what that means is that in exchange for riding out the period of dislocation from the Post Office Department to the USPS I've got FEHB forever.

What happens to most all federales when they retire is that as soon as they get to be 65 the FEHB stuffs them over into Medicare (for all practical purposes). You even get a medical care card that denotes your Medicare status.

What happens to those of us covered by that special provision is that we continue to get the same sort of insured coverage that regular federal employees get ~ not just the watered down stuff they'll get from Medicare later on.

I know, it sounds unfair ~ but a contract is a contract, and the law is the law.

6 posted on 02/20/2011 4:37:57 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

Yes, it is unfair - proposed and verified by our wonderful politicians that needed your votes. Do you see any problems here? Doubt it, you have yours and hell with the poor people that have to sustain you and your pension.

Yes, I do believe in the contract law...but by god we can change the future... These kind of benefits can NOT continue and actually, you would probably agree. You’ve got your gold, but this can not be sustained.


7 posted on 02/20/2011 4:45:01 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: Deagle

Medicare is insurance: i.e. seniors pay monthly premiums, deductibles & co-pays for Parts B & D (physicians & drugs) and high deductibles for Part A (hospital in-patient).

Working seniors are saving Medicare $$billions by having primary group health insurance.

There are chronically ill persons under 65 who are filing claims for, and receiving Medicare benefits far in excess of healthy seniors.

http://ssa.custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/400/~/how-to-qualify-for-medicare

Yes - I have worked for 40+ years, paid income taxes, SS taxes, gasoline taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, medical premiums, raised children, sent one to Iraq and never asked the Government for rent, food or medicine. Now my children are doing the same on my behalf.


8 posted on 02/20/2011 4:46:13 PM PST by sodpoodle (Despair; man's surrender. Laughter; God 's redemption.)
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To: Deagle

Hey it’s only underfunded to the tune of $72 trillion or so.

Won’t the huge tax $$ influx resulting from the Baraqqi Boom of 2011 / Recover Summer #2 pay for this several times over?


9 posted on 02/20/2011 4:50:07 PM PST by nascarnation
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To: sodpoodle

Well, all I can say is that not only do you fail to see the problem, you are a major part of it!

Yes, we did pay for Medicare and Social Security... but as you well know, it was way less than what it takes to get by today. Call it way you may, but it was and does not provide the benefits that we take.

Chronically ill should have help if needed - not a problem. It is the rest of us that use benefits that cost the government millions that I despise.

Yes, you are the ideal candidate that thinks that your grand children should take care of you in your old age. You sir, are a selfish bastard (speaking carefully). Yes, I have sent my child to Iraq (Marine) with pride and do NOT think that I deserve anything extra for that.

It’s no wonder we are in such a dastardly shape with people that think like you do... We and the future are doomed.

I have no hope for my son, much less for my grandchildren.

PS: Your attitude disgusts me!


10 posted on 02/20/2011 4:54:49 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: Deagle
Actually, what the government did was make a bet ~ to wit, that I would die before I could collect the indemnity due for sticking with their risky scheme.

They could have simply paid me off, and I could have walked away with the money and invested it. My heirs would have been most happy.

Well, as it turns out the government LOST THE BET. It's time to pay.

Sometimes that happens when you cheat people with nickel and dime deals and then they don't die. It's not that I'm stealing anything from you ~ a deal is a deal ~ your representative sought to deprive me of rights and income ~ and he knew what he was doing.

You'll notice that in Wisconsin Governor Walker is NOT proposing to take away any "earned" benefits. The credit for retirement already earned stays right there. The proposal is to have the employees pay a pittance for their future retirement benefits.

Over the years I found Congress doing that to me regularly. Sometimes they'd want 7%, and other times 7.25% and even 7.8% ~ then it went back to 7.15% ~ notice though, they always wanted something. NOBODY in the federal government ever got the deal the people in Wisconsin got!

11 posted on 02/20/2011 4:57:47 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Deagle

That is a reasonable response.


12 posted on 02/20/2011 4:58:54 PM PST by sodpoodle (Despair; man's surrender. Laughter; God 's redemption.)
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To: muawiyah

No the government did NOT make a bet... It played the pyramid game and succeeded with the populace - hey vote for me and I will raise your benefits. You know that politics was the motivating factor.

All of this was and is a scam from day one - we have just finally figured it out. At no time did any offering of benefits actually come with your taxes. You were happy to claim your extra benefits without looking to the future, as most did...


13 posted on 02/20/2011 5:06:15 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: sodpoodle

Surprisingly reasonable response...

I hope you actually understand what I said and vote accordingly. Time is short and our future is dim.


14 posted on 02/20/2011 5:08:27 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: Deagle
Not quite sure what you're talking about. My medical insurance is paid for out of postage ~ not taxes.

Most postal workers at thetime protested being added to Medicare coverage. For us it amounted to a TAX on current pay with actually no future benefit.

Turns out it was an additional tax with no benefit.

I think you missed the part about the transfer of personnel from Post Office Department to USPS ~ we have our own law that specifies what our benefit package is to be equal to and that carries through retirement. Medicare is not an acceptable substitute ~ we already had 'better" and we still have "better" and all that happened was we paid money to the government to take care of you.

15 posted on 02/20/2011 5:17:14 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

Paid for out of postage - ie., paid for by your customers.

Do you really think that the rest of society is not paying for your coverage? You don’t seem to have any idea about just who actually pays for your benefits. You do know that the government does not actually have any money - don’t you?

All is eventually paid for by taxing the rest of the people that do NOT work for government. Yes your better coverage is actually paid for by the people that you deliver the mail to... Weird isn’t it...

Nothing that the Post Office does provides enough money to provide either the wages or the benefits that are provided. After all of that is only provided by taxes.

Welcome to the real world!


16 posted on 02/20/2011 5:24:22 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: Deagle

Oh, and give me the year that the Post Office has been self sustaining? No government subsidies now...


17 posted on 02/20/2011 5:27:10 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: Deagle
I am 65, self employed. I pay approximately 3% of my income for Medicare and $391.oo monthly for Medicare so yes I am paying for my benefits I receive.
18 posted on 02/20/2011 5:37:30 PM PST by small business owner
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To: Deagle
Your argument is that MONEY IS FUNGIBLE. That's hardly news.

Now that you've brought that up, empty your pockets into a bag. That means empty your wallet too.

Good. Now, put that bag in a mailing box ~ one of those postal "one price" deals.

Put my address on there. Seal it up.

Send it to me ~ I might well have a piece of my money in your pockets and I WANT IT BACK, K?

19 posted on 02/20/2011 5:42:50 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Deagle

1974. They needed an extra billion the first year due to some financial miscalculations by OMB when the government turned over POD assets and accounts to USPS.


20 posted on 02/20/2011 5:44:09 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: small business owner

No, you are probably NOT paying anywhere the premiums that you would have to pay without Medicare. So, are you getting extra benefits without paying the premium or are you getting benefits from the government?

If you actually check on the rates for medical insurance at your age, I would suspect that it would be over 600.00 a month. Not fair, but the going price for old age medical insurance. No, you are NOT paying anywhere near the required amount for your insurance! Heck, it was over 600 a month when I was 55 - many years ago...

So, No, you are skating with that kind of low payment. In reality, you are getting about 300 or more a month guaranteed by the government. That is not a bad thing, it is just a fact of life right now. The younger generation is paying for that though...

So, you also are relying on government to pay most of your premiums. That is understandable since they did make a pact with you regarding taxes etc. That does NOT mean that it is right or that you aren’t depriving your children of their monies - either taxes or other hidden taxes.

Yes, you and I continue to be the problem with the younger generation... Not a nice thought, but it is true...


21 posted on 02/20/2011 5:51:21 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: muawiyah

You sir are refusing to acknowledge the problem - common among the unions but not among the voters...


22 posted on 02/20/2011 5:52:54 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: muawiyah

When you become a private company surviving on profits, get back to me...


23 posted on 02/20/2011 5:58:05 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: small business owner

Do you have medicare advantage?


24 posted on 02/20/2011 5:59:31 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. D.E. +12 ....( History is a process, not an event ))
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To: Deagle
I happen to have a privatization plan available.

BTW, not my fault. Congress passed a bill that Richard Nixon signed that said USPS cannot be operated at a profit.

You don't like Nixon, fine, take it up with him next time you see him (which I'm sure you will, heh,heh, heh).

25 posted on 02/20/2011 6:08:02 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Deagle
Yes, I have sent my child to Iraq (Marine) with pride

That's odd. Usually they only take adults who are responsible for their own actions. How old was he/she when you sent them?

You should lighten up on folks who have paid into the system. We are all going to end up making sacrifices due the idiots we have elected.
26 posted on 02/20/2011 6:13:14 PM PST by MV=PY
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To: Deagle
Some of you people are never satisfied. I know your kind from handling complaints off and on over the years.

First off, you don't want any competition. Then you want a government subsidy. Then you want us to go beat up on someone else you think might be getting better service than you ~ none of which you pay for.

The Post Office in this country is financed through USER FEES, the very essence of the sort of thing Ronaldus Magnus proposed. And it's time for you to get cracking emptying your pockets ~ I want my money, and make it snappy.

27 posted on 02/20/2011 6:13:34 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

I have no problem with the Post Office except when people that work there say that their benefits and salary are not due to the government. They do perform a service, it is just a shame that they can’t do it at a profit.

I blame much of that on the unions. Without them, they just might make a viable enterprise (as it really should be). The unions demand way too much in both pay and restrictions to the working environment. That has to change in the future or the Post Office can and should go extinct.

As to the current environment, haven’t used the post office in years thanks to UPS and FedEX and the Internet. If it were my choice, I would eliminate them entirely and same many billions.


28 posted on 02/20/2011 6:18:55 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: MV=PY

You sir, should not respond without thinking...


29 posted on 02/20/2011 6:20:42 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: Deagle
Time for all you elderly who think that you’ve paid for Medicare and Social Security to speak up and declare that you deserve your benefits!

They did pay for them. The government spent it as fast as it came in or Medicare and SS would not only be solvent but have a major surplus.

If they had invested it then they could pay all current claims off the income without touching the principle.

However... they didn't.

Is this the retiree's fault? Partly. After all they were the ones who elected the crooks that drained the account.

However it can be argued that the government must pay back everything they borrowed before it would be just to ask the retirees to give up any part of their claim.

30 posted on 02/20/2011 6:31:45 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (When all you have is bolt cutters & vodka everything looks like the lock on Wolf Blitzer's boathouse)
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To: Deagle

Oh, I’m thinking. I’m thinking that you are coming down too hard on folks that paid into the system with expectations to get something in return.

I don’t believe that the government can meet those expectations and those folks will be cheated. So there are tough times ahead. Unions won’t be able to meet their promises either.

Many folks gave up their fates to others and will lose.

I’m an entrepreneur, and kept my fate in my own hands. Tough road. I’m a very lucky man, but I also worked very hard for my luck.

BTW, hats off your son, who is serving to protect us. My deepest thanks to you and yours. I meant no disrespect.


31 posted on 02/20/2011 6:35:10 PM PST by MV=PY
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear

Yes, it is partly the fault of the beneficiaries... come on now, do you really think that the benefits promised live up to anything that you could get privately with much more money?

No, we all played stupid and took everything that the politicians offered without questioning the future. It was way too easy....

Now, we are meeting the rock in the road and it is us and our benefits. Do we stonewall like the Wisconsin Democrats or do we realize that we’ve been had and things have to change?

That is really the question and it does dictate the answer. It is and will not be pretty, we have lived high on the hog for way too long...

All have to finally agree that things have to change and it will hurt many of us...


32 posted on 02/20/2011 6:37:54 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: Deagle
Hmm ~ I doubt you could save billions.

Remember, the United States alone has half the mail in the world. That's because we have the world's most efficient and least costly mail system.

It doesn't get better than that even where private companies move the mail.

33 posted on 02/20/2011 6:50:26 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
Social Security continues to have a surplus.

What it no longer has is a super surplus where the government's obligation to repay is growing. It's now shrinking but it still exists.

34 posted on 02/20/2011 6:54:07 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

You’re past the times... Read up on the latest results.


35 posted on 02/20/2011 6:58:11 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: Deagle
come on now, do you really think that the benefits promised live up to anything that you could get privately with much more money?

Actually I know the benefits promised are puny compared to what people would have if they had kept that money and invested it very conservatively. The vast majority would retire as millionaires. They could draw $4,000 a month and never touch the principle.

I have run the numbers and I am not the only one who has. The government ran a huge scam and they are running a even bigger one when they whine that "people didn't pay enough in to the account to cover their future benefits".

BTW a major drain on SS is SSDI or "crazy checks". Cut that out and I would bet that the fund would suddenly be solvent again for a bit.

36 posted on 02/20/2011 6:58:20 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (When all you have is bolt cutters & vodka everything looks like the lock on Wolf Blitzer's boathouse)
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To: muawiyah

Not really sure about the amount, but surely it would be in the billions since that is constantly the amount given to the Post Office to continue operating.

Really just a guess..so I give you any question about amounts. Are you defending the idea that the Post Office moves lots of mail and loses money? And you are stating that a private company would lose more?


37 posted on 02/20/2011 7:01:28 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: Deagle
Just because current accounts aren't providing funds for current expenses doesn't mean the reserve (obligation to pay) doesn't continue to exist.
38 posted on 02/20/2011 7:02:13 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Deagle

Bump for later...
(I think I heard little Billy sniff, and so I have to get him to a doctor.)


39 posted on 02/20/2011 7:03:52 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Deagle

The USPS is not given billions in tax dollars to keep the doors open.


40 posted on 02/20/2011 7:03:57 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Deagle

You joined late, eat it up!


41 posted on 02/20/2011 7:04:55 PM PST by dalereed
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To: dalereed

Haha...got you beat...!


42 posted on 02/20/2011 7:37:31 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: muawiyah

No, they are guaranteed billions to keep the service going. How can they lose money when they are propped up by the Federal Government?


43 posted on 02/20/2011 7:39:59 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: Deagle

Doubt that, i’ll be 74 shortly.


44 posted on 02/20/2011 8:06:54 PM PST by dalereed
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To: dalereed

No doubt you have me on age...just not on joining date! (heh). I will bow to your advanced knowledge gained through experience with pleasure!


45 posted on 02/20/2011 8:15:08 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: Deagle

Amen! Great comment.


46 posted on 02/20/2011 10:20:19 PM PST by Pining_4_TX
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To: Deagle

I commend you for giving up all your Veteran benefits.


47 posted on 02/22/2011 2:27:53 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Gondring

Haven’t used them and don’t intend to...


48 posted on 02/22/2011 8:19:47 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: sodpoodle

You are the kind of Gimme Generation azzhat that I despise. < spit>

Nobody OWES you anything, and what you paid in comes nowhere close to what you will suck out of the system.


49 posted on 02/23/2011 1:49:33 AM PST by clee1 (We use 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile, and 2 to pull a trigger. I'm lazy and I'm tired of smiling.)
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To: clee1

Forgive me Lord - for I have sinned.


50 posted on 02/23/2011 4:23:03 AM PST by sodpoodle (Despair; man's surrender. Laughter; God 's redemption.)
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