Stayin’ alive

A kidney dialysis/transplant diary

Headaches

I spent a great part of Sunday on the internet tracking down information on Medicare, Medicare supplement insurance and Medicare drug plan insurance. It’s a great way to give yourself a headache. I quit late afternoon when an insurance site I was looking at served a popup box saying if I was under the age of 64 (the online form had asked for my birthday), I needed to call an 800 number to get more information on what the monthly premium would be.

Of course, the 800 number wasn’t manned on Sundays. I called Monday and the representative I talked with said the premium for December for a plan c policy would be $419. That, I’m sure, was because I had to answer some health questions which included whether or not I am on dialysis. The representative told me that he could greatly reduce the premium the first of the year because of open enrollment (Nov. 15 to Dec.31). You don’t have to answer any health questions during open enrollment.

The cost would be $172 a month. The supplemental does not include a prescription plan. That will be another $30 a month plus the cost of prescriptions. Then, of course, the “doughnut hole” goes along with the prescription plans. As I understand it, I will fall in the doughnut hole when my out-of-pocket and the insurance company’s costs for drugs reaches $2950. After that I am obligated to pay 100% until the costs total $4350 then the catastrophic rates apply ($2.40 per generic or 5% of the cost, whichever is greater).

One of the kickers is that you’re still expected to pay the premiums when the insurance kicks out. Why do I suspicion that the doughnut hole legislation was proposed by a Republican Congress?

What I have to try to remember is that there is Medicare to help with the enormous costs of dialysis. Kind of like I have to remind myself that even though dialysis is a bitch and screws with my life, at least I have a life because of dialysis.

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December 3, 2008 - Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, fistula, health, kidney, renal diet, renal recipes, transplant, weight loss

4 Comments »

  1. Sounds like a bit of good news — your laptop is configured for Web access, yes?

    I’ll talk to you soon.

    Comment by Richard Pratt | December 3, 2008 | Reply

  2. Yes it is, but I’m going to have to get Mediacom or DSL in the apartment.

    Comment by iowakitkat | December 4, 2008 | Reply

  3. I’ve been missing you… and my sleep … and my family. Big 12-page flood anniversary edition on Sunday is the reason! David M-K and Erin are doing a beautiful job on the presentation. Words are OK, too!
    Then we had a big T-Giving dinner … MY dressing, however, was a disaster. Lesson: Do not try new recipes on T-Giving. Just make the same ol’ thing you’ve always made.
    If I had $100,000, Kathy, it would be yours in a heartbeat.
    Love, Mary

    Comment by Mary Sharp | December 4, 2008 | Reply

  4. Hello Kathy,

    I’ve been on Dialysis for the last four and a half years and it can be a beast of burden.

    It’s bad enough you feel awful, your energy is sapped and your skin is dry as the desert, but then Medicare wants to ruin the rest of your day.

    Take care and God speed.

    Comment by Stacy Without An E | December 6, 2008 | Reply


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