Saturday, May 02, 2009

First, I offer no apologies -- for my own Medicare Part D exprience with AARP; Second - watch the premiums go up

First, I offer no apologies for my “Andy Warhol” style art in my photos. Sometimes with one of these postings, to explain a concept (particularly having to do with retirement, finances, taxes, real estate assessments, etc) the simplest way is to photograph the applicable government or corporate form with a simple background from a household furnishing. So, yes, I get a picture that looks comparable to Andy Warhol’s soup cans, water bottles or fake inedible hamburgers (particularly in Pittsburgh).

AARP Medicare Plans and United Health Care have been sending me an EOMB (“Explanation of Benefits”) on my Medicare Part D, prescription drug benefit. They show “true out-of-pocket amount”m “what the plan and others paid”, and then some fixed items: (1) annual deductible (2) initial coverage (3) coverage gap (or doughnut hole) (4) catastrophic coverage. I did get in for a very reasonable premium at age 65, and all but $30 of a $600 British topical drug for a facial skin lesion (actinic keratoses) was covered.

You will get an EOMB even for a very trivial prescription. Believe it or not, some prescription drugs are cheap – when there are four or five manufacturers competing. The conservatives are right about some things.

But the premiums will surely go up. I already got an increase on Supplementary Part B from UHC for the first half of 2009, and another one for the second half.

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