You Need to Care Before You’re There

I went to my general practioner this morning for my yearly check- up, and he and I discussed what would be happening with my healthcare in a couple of years when I turn sixty-five. He said I need to make some decisions next year and not wait until I’m already on Medicare to think about finding another physician, should that be the way I want to go. You see, there are two problems here: He does not accept Medicare, so I would have to pay out-of-pocket, and it’s nearly impossible to be accepted as a new patient once you’re on Medicare. Doctors are losing money on Medicare patients because the government keeps cutting the payments.

I’ve heard many people complain about Obama’s universal healthcare plan. Those who seem to criticize it the loudest are the people who have guaranteed-for-life plans, people like those who’ve been in government for awhile, people who have put their twenty years into working for a municipality or have served in the military. They like things just the way they are because, even when they are eligible for Medicare, their years of employment in those various professions give them a supplemental policy that allows them to keep their same doctors. I understand that, and I wouldn’t want to chance losing that benefit if universal healthcare changed the coverage.

But what about the rest of us? We who have worked just as hard for just as many years, some with dangerous jobs. We’ve paid into Medicare, too. We are no less deserving, yet we will not benefit equally. I have no problem with people wanting to abolish Obamacare. What I have a huge problem with is not having something else to put in its place. I’d rather have an imperfect plan than no plan at all, which is what we’ve had for decades. I’ll tell you what. Just give me the same health plan as those people, like our congressmen and senators, who continually vote down any measure that seeks to see that everyone in this country has adequate coverage and won’t have to lose their life savings if they become ill. I’d be happy with that, and I promise I’ll shut up.

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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22 Responses to You Need to Care Before You’re There

  1. Robin says:

    Right on, Sister.

  2. E.C. says:

    This is a very eye-opening experience. I wish they’d get the system set up better where we all could afford insurance and take better care of our health. You make many good points and I’m with you totally on everything.

  3. Margie says:

    As many people may know, here in Canada we have Universal Medicare. We pay for it through our taxes (which are generally higher than in the US), and in some provinces there is an additional premium. While it is far from being a perfect system, it does ensure that every person has access to similar treatment regardless of their ability to pay. For a number of reasons, our system is less costly than the medical system in the US (on a per person basis).

  4. pattisj says:

    You have a good point, and I’m thankful for your doctor who brought up the conversation.

    • Coming East says:

      I think a lot of people are going to be caught off guard, Patti. I know people who did not realize you need to make an appointment to talk to the Medicare people to make some choices before you turn 65, otherwise you are locked into some options you do not want.

  5. Leah says:

    Isn’t it scary that we’ve paid into things like Medicare and Social Security and it’s questionable how much of it will be available? I find that just so sad. I really hope the Obamacare will be beneficial and not a problem for most people.

  6. Amy says:

    I did not know that Medicare payments to doctors have been slashed drastically and continue to be cut. Our congressmen and senators have more than adequate coverage; their healthcare expenses are paid by tax money. Thank you for the information, Susan!

  7. Thank heavens for a national health service, we couldn’t afford to survive without it, is what I say! 🙂

  8. Marilyn says:

    Good thinking on your pyhsician’s part, many just tell you once you turn 65 that they no longer take Medicare. We also have tricare (reserves), but even that has been dropped by some carriers. Walgreens no longer takes it, so we are searching for another place to get meds and its hard and getting worse everyday.
    It’s time for all Americans to stand up for their rights and demand a shake up in Govt. or all of us Boomers (& there are lots of us) are going to be up a creek so to speak.

    • Coming East says:

      Absolutely, Marilyn. That’s why my husband will not be able to retire for many years. We need his insurance. I’m so lucky that I’m in good health and need very few medications, and the ones I do need are the cheap generic ones I get at Target for $4.00 a month. But the older I get, I don’t know what I will need, and it gets scary.

  9. Thank you for this post. We have some questions to ask…soon and on the double.

    • Coming East says:

      I don’t think a lot of people realize that many doctors do not accept Medicare payments. My doctor said he cuts his fees in half for patients who choose to stay with him once they are on Medicare. Since I am very healthy and only need to come in twice a year for my med checks, I could do that. But at my age, I don’t know when something serious could come up, plus, as my doctor said, once I’m on Medicare, it will be very hard to find another doctor who would take me on.

  10. Wanda says:

    IMHO things would be a lot better in this country if Congress imposed the same laws and regulations on themselves as they do on the rest of us. Or, as you suggest, authorize the same benefits they have for the rest of us. Your best bet, I’m afraid…win the lottery!

  11. Huffygirl says:

    I knew that providers can decline to take Medicaid, but I didn’t know they could decline to take Medicare.

    • Coming East says:

      Yes, HG, I was surprised, too. But my doctor told me that when I moved here three years ago and was looking for a doctor. He’s one of the top physicians in Hampton Roads, even was mentioned in the Hampton Roads Top Doc issue in 2009. But he deserves pro make a decent living for all the work he does, and Medicare payments to doctors have been slashed drastically and continue to be cut.

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