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chiang mai

Questions About Medicare

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I have recently found out that I am eligible for a US SSc pension following the fifteen years that I lived and worked in America - it has come as a pleasant surprise because I hadn't factored that income into my retirement planning. This also means that I am eligible for Medicare and this would also seem to be a useful thing to have.

Whilst I do not live in the US any longer and nor do I plan to do so in the future, the fact that I will be enrolled in Medicare seems useful in principle, if/when I develop medical problems requiring treatment in the future. For example, I had non-emergency angioplasty last year and I wonder if that is something that could have been provided under Medicare. My other questions are: how useful and beneficial is Medicare, does the system provide good quality health care or is it viewed as a second tier behind private insurance, and, is it worth being enrolled?

Thanks in advance for any pointers on this, a subject about which I know very little.

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It is not second class care (same docs and hospitals that everyone uses) but it is often hard to find a doc to accept new medicare patients as they are paid less. However, medicare does not cover nearly everything, so people buy supplement medicare insurance. Also, you cannot use penny one of the care outside US borders (I guess you know that, but just in case). I would think its use for an expat would be limited.

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It is not second class care (same docs and hospitals that everyone uses) but it is often hard to find a doc to accept new medicare patients as they are paid less. However, medicare does not cover nearly everything, so people buy supplement medicare insurance. Also, you cannot use penny one of the care outside US borders (I guess you know that, but just in case). I would think its use for an expat would be limited.

Thanks for that, I suppose it will be a case of weighing the cost alternatives at the time the care is needed. Before having angioplasty last year I looked at the cost/quality issues of the available options. To have it done for free under the UK's National Health system was the least attractive route simply because of the apparently poor condition of UK hospitals and the high rate of C-Diff infections there. Private care in the UK at Bupa/Spire would have cost £15,000 plus plus whilst Bumrungrad eventually charged me THB 140,000 (circa £2,200 at the time). It would be interesting to know what the costs might have been under Medicare in the US.

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I have recently found out that I am eligible for a US SSc pension following the fifteen years that I lived and worked in America - it has come as a pleasant surprise because I hadn't factored that income into my retirement planning. This also means that I am eligible for Medicare and this would also seem to be a useful thing to have.

Since the whole SS thing came as a "pleasant surprise", I'd go for the Medicare. You never know. As you said you "handn't factored" it in, so if you sign up for it, you're only paying money that came as a "pleasant surprise".

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Americans can draw non-disability early retirement pensions from the SSA at age 62, reduced. They can start drawing Medicare health benefits at age 65, by paying $100 premiums monthly, for care that is not available overseas. Most of us do not enroll in Medicare because we do not live in the States. You can later enroll at a penalty of 10% for each year you delayed, but only during an enrollment period, not the day you have a heart attack, etc.

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Americans can draw non-disability early retirement pensions from the SSA at age 62, reduced. They can start drawing Medicare health benefits at age 65, by paying $100 premiums monthly, for care that is not available overseas. Most of us do not enroll in Medicare because we do not live in the States. You can later enroll at a penalty of 10% for each year you delayed, but only during an enrollment period, not the day you have a heart attack, etc.

Need to do some browsing around this www site: http://www.medicare.gov/

I'm in MediCare A, which is free, and as mentioned already, is useless overseas.

I have not signed up for MediCare B, which provides additional coverage, cost something like that $100, or a bit less a month, and is also useless overseas.

There's another MediCare option, CRS on which letter it is, perhaps "D" (?), which costs more and is also useless overseas.

So, I'd say yes, sign up for MediCare A, why not, got an extra ID card to carry in your wallet so show around the Singha table, and who knows, might just be handy one day if you happed to be in the U.S. when you get a hangnail.

Mac

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Lots of good pointers here, thanks to all for the information you've provided.

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There has been talk on and off about Medicare starting to reimburse for care outside the US. Hasn't happened yet but it well may, although would of course be limited to hospitals that Medicare has approved and which have a negotiated agreement with Medicare.

So both against that eventuality and in case soemthing happens during a visit to the US, yes, enriol in medicare A, but for now Medicare B (whioch requires pyament) does not seem worthwhile.

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There has been talk on and off about Medicare starting to reimburse for care outside the US.

I know of some talk about covering some hospitals in MEXICO only as Mexico has the most retired expat Americans by far. However, it is just talk and given that the US is now in a severe economic crisis, I would bet you this is NOT going to happen. If it does, it will likely be Mexico only. The reason Mexico is important is because it is a border country so sick Americans often repatriate for medical care. It is also very common for retired Americans in Mexico to simply commute to US border areas for periodic medicare care. It would save the government to pay for the care at the cheaper Mexican levels. Most sick Americans who are really far seek treatment where they are, which costs the government nothing.

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I read many months ago that Blue Cross/Blue Shield had subcontracted with Bumrungrad for some levels of care, presumably on the basis of cost - the NHS in the UK apparently does similar things with European hospitals. It would therefore make sense for hospitals outside the US to be used by Medicare on the same basis - apologies that I have no pointers to the article I refer to here but references can surely be found if anyone is interested.

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I agree with Jingthing that an expansion of Medicare coverage overseas is extremely unlikely, especially now, and since Medicare is already expected to run out of funds in another several years.

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The only relationship between US Blue Shield/Blue Cross to any Thai hospital that I am aware of is that they 'may' be able to arrange post billing for customers at about a half dozen hospitals here - but only for inpatient care. Many international insurance companies have such an arrangement. As it delays payment to hospital they seem to prefer you do not use it.

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The only relationship between US Blue Shield/Blue Cross to any Thai hospital that I am aware of is that they 'may' be able to arrange post billing for customers at about a half dozen hospitals here - but only for inpatient care. Many international insurance companies have such an arrangement. As it delays payment to hospital they seem to prefer you do not use it.

http://www.bumrungrad.com/overseas-medical...arch_2008).aspx

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I will be turning 65 in July and recently I received the booklet, "Medicare & You, from Dept of Health & Human services. I would think that they would be sending you a copy of this book too or you can probably request a copy from the following:

US Dept. of Health & Human Services

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

7500 Security Blvd.

Baltimore, MD 21244-1850

U.S.A.

As others have posted it isn't of any value if you're not in the US. The current minimum monthly charge is $96.40 and if you do not take it when you turn 65 then you must wait for the enrollment period which is in Jan/Feb/March, then the coverage starts in July. As another poster mentioned their is also a 10% penalty.

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BANGKOK 25 July 2017 01:54
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