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I truly and sincerely appreciate your faithful e-mails to Cat retirees.  Your timely information has allowed me to attend recent memorial services, communicate timely to those in time of loss and monitor different topics of interest.


And, thank you so much for adding to the subject the specific topic(s) to be shared.  It really helps, especially in locating later, since I file all your e-mails under "Cat Retirees Group".


I have a request to make of you, which could be viewed as wise or lazy, perhaps both.


If the Lord is willing, I turn 65 on February 13 of 2018.  Also, if the Lord is willing, my wife also turns 65 on November 21 of 2018.   She is also under the Caterpillar insurance plan for 43 years, as my spouse.


Frankly, I have been avoiding the issue of signing up for Medicare (all parts) and the issue of the nine month gap between myself and my wife, until now.  It seems to be a very confusing and time consuming exercise that results in regular questioning as to whether the best decisions were made, after the fact.


Would you be willing and able to join me for breakfast or lunch, as my guest, to provide me knowledge, wisdom and understanding on this issue and the process?  Alternatively, would you be willing to discuss in telephone conversations?


Please do not feel under any pressure to agree to this.  I would understand a negative reply.


Thank you in advance for your timely reply.


Thank you sooooo much for your timely and valued reply.


Both my wife and I are NOT currently receiving social security.  Are current plans are to wait as long as age 70 before beginning to receive SS benefits, if our health forecasts remain the same.



In a message dated 10/18/2017 12:23:14 PM Central Standard Time, kendallcounty@gmail.com writes:


Not an issue at all! I probably helped a dozen this year try to get through this. It really isn't that difficult but most worry more than necessary. As for 2nd guessing - probably will do that every time a friend, etc tells you they are getting a better deal!! Are you already collecting SS benefits? If so, Medicare comes in automatically and you will start seeing things from them about Nov or Dec. One word of advice is to NOT discuss Medicare over the phone or in the mailings. They will hound you to death until they realize they aren't getting your business. You will get info from OneExchange about 1 month before you enter Medicare too. You have to buy at least one policy through OE the first year. After that you can go anywhere. Actually the first year you will have enough in your account to cover almost anything you want. As you get older the cost keep rising and that's when you may want to look outside OE. Anyway, let me know if the two of you are already on SSA. That will make things much simpler.


Mark


Good Friday Afternoon Mark,


Thank you for the process or journey of taking from "ground zero" to successful implementation of Medicare and related.


I will definitely follow your provided instructions below.


In 2017, a flexible spending account (FSA) with Health Equity was evidently setup by Caterpillar Inc. with $1,000 deposited into it.  During 2017, I have successfully managed it to exchange monies within the account for 2017 tax purposes.


Within the instructions of Health Equity, I was warned that no new monies can be added after age 65.  And, I need to remember to remove all leftover funds in a timely manner, which I just did.  That seemed to signal to me that FSAs are not applicable under Medicare?


Within your Medicare related e-mails and also in the e-mail below, One Exchange (OE) is referenced.  In reading your information below and reviewing at a general level OE's information, it appears:

Caterpillar Inc. opens an account in OE for me at age 65 and deposits $3,000 annually for both myself and my wife (prorated first year).

And, OE seems bills itself as a "one stop shop" for all related Medicare issues, including all parts.

You warned me NOT to start talking to private Medicare providers, as I would be innundated with communications from such companies.

Should I open an account with OE, or does Caterpillar do that?

Is OE the only provider I should be working with?

What are the sources you would recommend within Cat to contact for assistance?

I am in the process of figuring out whether to open annual policies for vision and dental.  I am remembering the earlier e-mails stating that, in many cases, one might be better off NOT paying premiums for vision and dental care, since the actual return from the premiums may not be favorable.


Again, thank you and thank you in advance.



As my wife and I are attempting to maneuver or manage this Medicare journey, we are mindful that, if the Lord is willing, I will turn age 65 in February of 2018 and my wife will turn age 65 in November of 2018.


Again, referring to past e-mails on this "gap" topic that you have forwarded, there seems to be uncertainty and "gray areas" for coverage.


As my wife and I are in the process of completed all "elective" and accumulated medical issues prior to turning age 65, e.g., dental issues that need to be addressed sometime in the future, we are uncertain of Susan's coverage under Caterpillar's plans between February and November of next year?


For example and to be completely safe, do we have to be in a "hurry up offense" of completing all dental issues for my wife prior to February?


Again, thank you.



Thank you for your reply.


One clarifying yes or no question:


Between my 65th birthday in February of 2018 and my wife's birthday in November of 2018, is it 100% for sure that my wife continues to have her medical expenses paid by Caterpillar health insurance coverage?


Thank you in advance.



In a message dated 10/21/2017 7:52:29 AM Central Standard Time, kendallcounty@gmail.com writes:


Simple answer is "yes" - spouse is covered until they go on Medicare. Get all dental done while on Cat ins since after is very limited and Medicare does nothing on dental or eyeglasses.


Another item is that Medicare doesn't cover hearing aids at all. I went in 6 months before 65 and got my hearing aids even though I wasn't sure I was ready for them or not. I figured I could put them on the shelf until I felt like using them. I actually have been using them all the time and love them. Cat covered nearly $7000 for them! So, if you have your hearing tested and need them, get them before 65.


Also be aware of 2 separate Pneumonia shots and a Shingles shot. Cat insurance pays for these and they recommend getting them at 65. Medicare doesn't pay for these.


A series of Q&A on Medicare that might be of interest to those approaching Medicare