Tom Schrette and Alan Cash

Tom Schrette and Alan Cash

Dear Tom and Alan:

I am age 82 and have been looking at my Medicare Supplement premium. It is certainly getting up there in price.

I have a couple of questions. My Medicare Supplement card says F. What is that? So do I have Medicare part F? Is there a better plan?

I would like to lower the cost of my Medicare Supplement plan, but would also like really good coverage.

My friend has a different plan than mine and a different insurance company. I am not sure what plan she has, but she says it works really well. I guess mine works well too, but, again, it sure is expensive. And, I need good coverage because I seem to have a new ailment every year. Goes with the territory, and not complaining either, LOL.

The other questions I have…guess I have more than just a couple…if I find a cheaper plan will my doctor still take it?

I have heard that some doctors don’t take certain Medicare Supplement plans, so I don’t want to run into that and would prefer to see anybody I want.

Sorry for the long question, but sometimes I think I don’t even know enough to ask the right questions. Any help would be appreciated.


Tom: OK, let’s go with the easy question first: you have a Medicare Supplement Plan F.

It’s intended to fill in the gaps of your coverage through what they call “original” Medicare.

On your Medicare card (not your Plan F card) you will see Part A and Part B. That is your basic Medicare coverage that pays about 80 percent for everything medical.

As far as a “better plan,” between your original Medicare plus your Plan F, you have essentially 100 percent medical coverage.

So, no, I don’t know of a better plan.

Al: You know how when you’re in the security line at the airport and someone from the TSA goes toward the crowd and starts saying stuff in a loud voice but you can’t hear it because you’re too far back?

Anyway, the TSA agent does it several times a day, but the people in line still can’t hear what they’re saying.

So the agent might get a little ticked off, but most of the people in line don’t focus on it until they’re near the front.

Tom: Ergo, Al is the TSA agent trying to tell people what they need to know as they near Medicare age.

Al: Righto. Here goes: Medicare Part A (hospital) and Part B (doctors) are what you need to get on a supplement; Part C is for Advantage plans (like Kaiser) that take the place of Medicare; and, finally, Part D is Drugs.

Tom: Very few doctors have any preference over which Medicare Supplement a patient has. They all work pretty much the same. The key thing to know is does the doctor take Medicare with all its rules and regulations.

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Submit questions to schrette@gmail.com or alancash@gmail.com.