Karolyn Alvarez: Retiree facing higher costs

11/06/2013 9:22 PM

11/06/2013 9:24 PM

I’m tired of hearing that my medical insurance policy is a “junk” policy. As a Merced County retiree, my medical/drug supplement to Medicare is actually a Cadillac policy and is gone as of Dec. 31. Simply put, the county can no longer afford the premium hikes and amounts given to retirees to help pay for our medical/drug coverage. The seniors presently pay $200 a month per employee, additional for spouses, and this is a group policy truly worth bragging about.

In its place will be an individual plan, the medical supplement pricing varies with coverage, with help given to the retiree for premium costs. However, the medical supplement does not cover drugs, and Medicare Part D is the only alternative, with premiums depending on type of coverage. Opting out is truly not an option.

The bad news: Any senior with one or more brand-name drug will likely go into the doughnut hole by mid year, meaning that $2,000 to $3,000 could easily be paid our of pocket each year.

I am certain this new policy was the best Merced County could do. I blame the passage of the Affordable Care Act for this.

KAROLYN ALVAREZ

Atwater

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