Thursday, October 17, 2019

Arghh!! It’s open enrollment time again!

White Rock RV Park, White Rock, NM, 10-17-19

I am very proud of EJ today. It’s only been 2 days since open enrollment started (for us old folks on Medicare open enrollment ends December 7). She declared that we were gonna get this done and out of the way so we don’t have to worry about it any more. We are excellent procrastinators and waiting until the very end to accomplish something is not uncommon.


One of the reasons for leading with the “Arghh” in the title is the mandate that we must carry Medicare Part D insurance for drugs or risk being monetarily penalized for the rest of our lives. Fortunately, EJ and I only have one prescription drug each that we require. And we can buy those drugs from Walmart with out using any insurance for far less than the price of the required policy.

And not only that, Humana sent us an email stating that if we wanted to keep our equivalent drug plan for 2020 it would cost each of us over an extra $30 a month. We prefer to stick with Humana because they are partnered with Walmart. And almost any where you go there is a Walmart nearby. Plus, it is so easy to transfer a prescription from one Walmart to another which is great for full time RVers.

So we started crunching numbers to try and understand which drug plan would be best and cheapest for us. Humanas’ price for a 2020 plan equivalent to what we have in 2019 is $58 per month. That’s $696 a year for each of us!! We can walk down to Walmart and buy four 90 day supplies for our prescriptions (with out insurance) for $40 per year each. That means we are throwing $656 down the drain.

Obviously we have to make a change. We can’t change the law and we don’t want to be penalized by opting out of the drug insurance plan all together. We continue digging and find that Humana has a “Walmart Value Rx plan for only $13.20 per month each. So instead of paying $696 for drugs that only cost us $40, we will pay $158.40 for those $40 worth of drugs, or a savings of $537.60 per year. It’s sad that we have to pay 4 times what the drugs actually cost, but in the end I guess we are subsidizing those in less fortunate circumstances.

For those interested, Walmart has a list of drugs and their prices for a 30 day and a 90 day supply is located HERE. Compare this to the price of your drug insurance, you might be surprised.

Next we tackled our supplemental health insurance. Since Medicare only covers 80% of your medical bill, we needed something to cover the other 20%.  We’ve been with Florida Blue since I turned 65 and they have worked out well for us as we travel. This year I have had more medical attention than I like, and no matter where we were, Florida Blue has handled it. So even though they raised their prices by about $15 a month we decided to stick with them for another year. We use their Plan F.

This all took the better part of the day. But it’s over with now for another year and kudos to my dear wife for making sure we did this instead of procrastinating.

Obligatory cat picture follows:


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