Jump to content
Chapala.com Webboard
AllenHoffman

Medicare Part B

Recommended Posts

Do you still carry the cost of Part B or opted out of it. Seems expensive to carry it if you never return to the states. But then again the penalty to opt in after carries a hefty penalty. Decisions decisions 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We opted out of Part B but we bought private insurance here in Mexico when we moved here almost 14 years ago. My personal advice is that you have "adequate" medical insurance "somewhere". I have had well over $2 million pesos in medical expenses here in Mexico so my insurance has more than paid for itself. Cancer included several surgeries, radiation and several rounds of chemo. And then just when I was recovering from all that I had triple bypass surgery and a pacemaker. I am very lucky to be alive and feel better than I have in many years.

Even though medical care is cheaper in Mexico than in the U.S. really serious issues can run up the cost pretty quickly. My medical treatment and recovery were very difficult but at least I wasn't having to worry about the cost and could focus on getting better. In my experience people that plan to just pay out of pocket or consider themselves "self insured" often have some very ugly surprises.

All my medical treatments have been in Mexico and I couldn't be happier.

Just my experiences and observations. This is a very personal decision and everyone will see this differently.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well of course opting out of Part B would/is a no brainer if you never return to the US.  But I can’t count on both hands the number of friends who were ‘here for the duration’ who, for one reason or another, went back. As REC said, it’s a personal decision and no one can help you ‘guess’ your future.

Most folks I know Lakeside have private insurance with some amount of ‘deductible’ in order to afford the cost of premiums. That’s fine unless and until one finds themselves in one or two major, maybe chronic, situations and bumping up agains the 75-80 YO age where getting/keeping insurance in Mexico can be problematic. As REC said a 2M pesos medical hit, over a couple of years, is not unheard of. And certainly that coverage came in handy 😀  but I suspect the co-pays and deductibles were hefty.  If that same thing had occurred while living in the US, under some version of Medicare and having Part B and maybe a “gap policy”, the vast majority of those costs would have been covered without the annual costs of Private Insurance and copays. IMO,  IMSS or SP even as a last resort is skating on thin ice. 

So to me the “Part B or not” question is not just as easy as saying, ‘I’m never going back’.  I had a friend who said that but then she came down with ‘something’ and the med that could keep her alive was not available in Mexico BUT was covered by Medicare in the US. She/they went back and she lived for another 10 years.  Anecdotal, yes. Also reality. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know if it is possible to opt out of Part B online?  My 65th birthday is coming up and I read that 2 months before which will be August I MUST opt out in order for the $130 to not be deducted from my soc. sec.  I read that, in the past,  they send you a letter and you sign and return but ive heard that it can be done online now......so......if anyone knows, your response would be greatly appreciated !!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sputnik said:

Does anyone know if it is possible to opt out of Part B online?  My 65th birthday is coming up and I read that 2 months before which will be August I MUST opt out in order for the $130 to not be deducted from my soc. sec.  I read that, in the past,  they send you a letter and you sign and return but ive heard that it can be done online now......so......if anyone knows, your response would be greatly appreciated !!!!

Send an email to FBU.guadalajara@ssa.gov stating your intention and they will respond with what they need from you. I had absolutely NO problems taking care of it this way and it went into effect immediately. Other than the first withdrawal, no further withdrawals were made.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We considered dropping Part B but because of age we opted not to... One takes their chances by dropping Part B even if one is financially able to self insure here in Mexico... 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, rvanparys said:

We considered dropping Part B but because of age we opted not to... One takes their chances by dropping Part B even if one is financially able to self insure here in Mexico... 

The only chance one takes is whether you will decide to move back to the States at some point, since that's the only place where Part B can be used.  That's assuming that one is in good enough health and has the energy and the financial means to accomplish that.

😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My reason for maintaining Part B is that outside of an accident or immediate emergency, I would travel to the US, have the required major surgery and return. The determining factor to the above is what is my out of pocket cost... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, rvanparys said:

My reason for maintaining Part B is that outside of an accident or immediate emergency, I would travel to the US, have the required major surgery and return. The determining factor to the above is what is my out of pocket cost... 

I maintain Part B and other US insurance because of a pre-existing condition. I have IMSS here for other charges.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a very personal decision and your position may change as you age and as you develop medical diseases/conditions, and what your economic and family issues are.  Evaluate your personal situation every year after 65.

For now, I am keeping Medicare B (I've only been on it 1 year).  We own a property in the US and return a few times a year and that is where I get my routine medical care usually at zero cost.   Others use their children's home(s) as a base for US visits and their medical care, and maintain medical doctors/relationships in the US.

I have seen doctors and had tests here in MX over the years and have a pretty good comfort level with them, but it's mostly been strains, sprains and a few infections.  However, if I were to need major surgery or joint replacement or had cancer, I would go back to the US for surgery/treatment.   Yes, if I get hit by a cerveza truck I will have to pay-out-of-pocket here, but even heart, cancer, joint replacement surgery can wait for a trip back to the US.  Plus my Medigap covers me for emergencies in the first 60 days of travel outside the US and I can only keep that if I have Medicare B.

My Spanish vocabulary is decent and while many doctors here and in Guadalajara speak English, other expats have told me that hospital staff do not usually.  While I can deal with that at a restaurant or hardware store or during a traffic stop, describing critical medical symptoms can be tricky....and vital.  It's easy to say, tengo mucho dolor, but how do I relay precise medical descriptions, which are often idiomatic in English and can lead to a faster diagnosis.   

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, oregontochapala said:

Send an email to FBU.guadalajara@ssa.gov stating your intention and they will respond with what they need from you. I had absolutely NO problems taking care of it this way and it went into effect immediately. Other than the first withdrawal, no further withdrawals were made.

Thank you very much

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...