I wrote this in 2010; it’s worth re-reading and I have more to add.
1. I recently heard of a pain management center that is refusing ACA (Obamacare) insurance plans. Reason: they pay so little as to be not worth dealing with.
2. More and more Medicare patients are simply paying cash to see their doctor. My FIL is one of those. He pays over $200 every time he goes to see his pulmonologist, AND the staff also bill his Medicare plans.
3. Medications are becoming ever more expensive and out of reach: the cost for Advair and Spiriva, a combination of drugs that keep the advance of COPD under control, approaches $450 per month. One must be solidly middle class with a hefty savings account to continue to afford medications in one’s retirement.
Several months ago I linked to an article in one of my state’s newspapers which outlined the difficulty retirees and people on Medicare are having getting doctors to accept Medicare assignments; patients are traveling as many as 100 miles to go to the doctor down in Phoenix because they can’t get seen by a doctor locally.
Well, there’s of course more to that story. Realistically, none of those doctors has violated any law; they have simply begun telling patients that they will be happy to continue to see them — if they pay up front and deal with getting reimbursed from Medicare themselves. Which of course patients are NOT willing to do. I really think most people think Medicare is free for them and that somehow mentally translates into meaning that the care is given for free. Which of course is not true; health care is one of the biggest…
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