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Topic: Medicare part B  (Read 493 times)

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Medicare part B
« on: February 04, 2018, 04:40:38 PM »
Ok, just on the chance that I may have to go back to the States some day to live, it seems prudent to sign up for Part B when it's time. I realize that I can use neither Part A nor Part B while overseas, this is just to keep me from having to pay the stiff penalties that would be added to Part B if I had to return.

So, I know enrolling in Part A is no biggie. Part B is driving me nuts. Apparently when the time comes I'm to use a contractor engaged by my former employer to deal with Medicare for retirees. Said contractor's website insists I use a zip code to get quotes for cover. I've emailed and asked if they can explain my options while living overseas, and the costs, and that no, I didn't want to spend the cash to phone them internationally and be left on hold for 20 minutes at a pop (as the last time I phoned to ask them something).  Their response? Please phone.

SO, eventually I may do that, but will probably first try to write them a postal letter. In the meantime, can someone who has got Part B explain to me how it works? I think I've read where the premium ($134) is deducted directly from your SS checks every month. Is that correct? Or does that happen only in certain circumstances, say if you don't buy a specific policy through a middleman?


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Re: Medicare part B
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2018, 07:32:28 PM »
We elected NOT to enroll in part B because we never intend to return to the US, and even if that changes, the savings over time for us would likely more than offset the penalty.

AFAIK, the premium is deducted from the monthly check. If you area really sure you want to enroll, I would go to the SS website and see what your options are before wasting time phoning the 'contractor'.
Married December 1992 (my 'old flame' whom I first met in the mid-70s)
1st move to UK - 1993 (Letter of Consent granted at British Embassy in Washington DC)
ILR - 1994 (1 year later - no fee way back then!)
Back to US in 2000
Returned to UK July 2011 (Spousal Visa/KOL endorsement)
ILR - September 2011
Application for naturalization submitted July 2014
Approval received 15-10-14; ceremony scheduled for 10 November!
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Re: Medicare part B
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2018, 09:08:38 PM »
Yeah, it appears that I would have to do the traditional "old" Part A and Part B, as none of the "Medicare Advantage" etc policies will work - you have to be in their coverage area. Sent one last email to the contractor, will follow-up with a letter. I assume I submit receipts and they'll reimburse for the Part B cover.

If I was sure I'd never have to go back, I'd not worry about it and the 10% increase in premiums/penalty per year.


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Re: Medicare part B
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2018, 08:31:54 AM »
I truly cannot imagine going back to the US to live, so it was an easier decision for me. DH became a US citizen in 2010, but he is 77 now, and there's no way he would/could live in the US again - way too many health issues.

Hope you get t all worked out.
Married December 1992 (my 'old flame' whom I first met in the mid-70s)
1st move to UK - 1993 (Letter of Consent granted at British Embassy in Washington DC)
ILR - 1994 (1 year later - no fee way back then!)
Back to US in 2000
Returned to UK July 2011 (Spousal Visa/KOL endorsement)
ILR - September 2011
Application for naturalization submitted July 2014
Approval received 15-10-14; ceremony scheduled for 10 November!
Passport arrived 25 November 2014. Finally done!


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Re: Medicare part B
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2018, 06:54:26 PM »
Yeah, I really can't either. But my income is in dollars, so if the dollar-to-pound exchange goes badly enough at some point in the future, I may not have a choice. Then again, there's always the EU....  :)

Finally pinned someone at my old work down. Turns out that they give retirees a $3,000 HSA, funded through the clearinghouse company they contracted to. The retirees have to buy a medicare policy through the company. If there's money left over, they can use it for other medical expenses, or roll it to the next year.  Spent 30 minutes this evening, most of it on hold, trying to get out of the company how they will handle retirees who are abroad permanently. They refuse to discuss until 90 days before I would be enrolling.

So, I contacted someone at the Uni's retiree center. Who has just informed me that because I am out of the country, the Uni will NOT be giving me the $3,000 HSA - since they don't require me to have Part B unless I'm in the country. They definitely will require it if I ever come back, to keep my medical coverage with them.  So, I can either pay for Part B ($134 a month thrown away) out of pocket when the time comes, or I can deal with the penalty for getting Part B late, if I ever have to go back.

Kinda stinks, as I could have used the roll-over of funds to build up enough to pay for other needed medical care, down the line. Then again, the clearinghouse wouldn't even tell me what the typical premium through their organization cost. Entirely possible the $3,000 a year wouldn't cover it, the way medical insurance goes, in the USA.

Guess I'll have fingers crossed and go without part B.


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