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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  • 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!

        • Well, drug costs are also high in the US because other countries negotiate for their health care systems, which people have been urging that our government do, at least for Medicare.  

          • Yes - that is the MAIN reason they are high.  Medical costs in the US are driven by what Medicare will pay for any particular procedure or drug yet Medicare otself does NOT negotiate drug prices. Why? The lobby money driven Congress is why.

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