Medicare and Supplemental Plan

Those of you on Medicare have you gone with straight medicare and supplemental plan or a medicare advantage program? I am being urged by the transplant center to do straight medicare and supplemental plan F with an extra RX plan. Somehow when first discussing this with adviser they suggested a medicare advantage plan, but the transplant center said the other would be better for me, so am going with their recommendation. I am almost 16 years out from my kidney transplant, now have a damaged transplanted kidney at Stage 3 most of the time, with stage 4 popping up if my tacrolimus level goes to high, so will most likely have to go on dialysis again. I also have MDS cancer, so my medical bills are great. It makes sense money wise to go straight medicare with extra plans.  I become eligible in March, so not a lot of time for me to finalize everything.  I would love to hear all your experiences with both. Thanks.

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  • Hi Carol, I'm 10.5 years post kidney transplant. When I first received my transplant I had my own insurance and medicare as secondary. Now I have a medicare advantage plan only, and all is well; I have had a back, hernia surgery, and no problems. Take care.

    • Which insurance company is your advantage plan with? and what Rx plan do you have?

  • To those on Medicare with a straight supplement and a separate prescription plan; what is your monthly cost for your immunosuppressive medications; specifically Tacrolimus and Mycophenolic Acid?

    • Medicare pays for mine.  The only one I pay for,  for a part of the year, is fluconozole, which I take because we have a virus called valley fever in the Southwest. On another note, the one time I looked into what it would take to switch to another Plan F, one of the first questions was did I have ESRD -which technically I still do, if transplant fails- and that eliminated any other plan.

      • I am the same - Medicare Part A supplies both Tacrolimus and Mycophenolic Acid at no extra charge to me.

        When I was researching "what if" I found that the Partd D precription plans would either have a reasonable cost for Tacrolimus OR Mycophenolic Acid, but never BOTH in the same plan. The Mycophenolic Acid in particular was quite expensive "retail".

        I am the same as another poster here - I generally check Part D prescription plans every year as the coverages change.

    • Both of my meds went up in mid year, but still only $42 per month.  This is the first year since 2015 when I went on Medicare that they have been this low.


      • Thanks for your reply Joe, what plan do you have for prescription drug coverage?

        • I have Cigna this year, but almost every year in the past I have changed plans to get a better deal.


    • I have Aetna supplement, Premium Plus ($33 month) in WA but Taco is a high Tier.or no Tier.  Seems amazing what is covered or not sometimes - we have NO choice but to take the meds.

      I currently use Blink Health online pharmacy (after using another site for a while).  I take Tacro 2 MG BID.For 120 capsules it is $41.70.  Usually a little over a dollar a pill so happy with that.  My last pharmacy was inconsistent with stock and was about $60 a month.  Once on file I do not do anything but get a notice my meds shipped.  Once I got a notice it may be backordered but that only lasted a day so my experience has been great.

      I do not take any other Immuno meds but some others that are covered at reasonable copay.

      Good luck.

      • "Seems amazing what is covered or not sometimes"

         Yup - yet it is not as amazing as it is planned. The USA pays for the world's drug development costs.

         I needed a transplant because I had Hepatitus C for many years which resulted in Liver Cancer. I had to first have the Hepatitus cured witha drug made by Giliad Pharamaceutical called Solvaldi.  This cost $1000 PER PILL! I needed to take 1/day for 16 weeks which cost over $100,000!

        I was seeing a Pulmonay doctor from Sri Lanka who told me that people with no insurance went to India because there the SAME drug made by the SAME company cost $1000 for a 12 WEEK SUPPLY!

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