The $94,000 "mistake"
Can you call it a mistake when you have made a choice that turned out to be the wrong one, but you had no way of knowing at the time? Medicare choices are just like that for many people. So much of the benefit of Medicare and the insurance options (Medigap, Prescription Drug, Advantage Plans) will be determined in the future without much choice in the matter.
UnitedHealthCare® in their consumer booklet Medicare Made Clear® : A simple guide to understanding Medicare (2019: SPRJ44410) provides an example of a long-term hospital stay – 185 days at $1,200 per day.
- Without Medicare, the cost for the hospitalization would $222,000 (p. 15)
- With Part A of Medicare, the cost comes down to $94,514 (p.15)
- With a generic Part C Advantage plan the cost is now $3,000 (p.21)
The same booklet provides the example of 15 days of hospital charges, 22 days in rehabilitation, and 2 doctor visits after discharge with a doctor that does not accept Medicare assignment (p. 31).
- With just Original Medicare, no Medigap policy, the cost is $1,761
- Add a Plan A Medigap policy, the cost comes to $1,729
- Or add a Plan C Medigap policy, the cost is now $24
- And if a Plan F Medigap policy had been in place, the cost would be $0
Of course, the Medigap policy has a premium, so that would have to be figured in.