The Spokesman-Review

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Supplements of little help

I must comment on W.F. Thompson’s letter to the editor in Saturday’s Spokesman titled “Medicare value limited.”

Medicare’s hospitalization benefit (Part A) has approximately a $1,000 deductible for 2009. That means that the entire Medicare-approved hospital charges would be that amount for the first 60 days of hospital confinement. If you have a Medicare supplement it would pick up only the $1,000 deductible and possibly a few incidental charges. And for that you’d have the luxury of paying at least $150 a month or more for the supplement.

To call Medicare “mini-care” is absurd. Medicare is without question the finest health insurance any American can get anywhere. Seniors or others who criticize Medicare have no idea what the health insurance offers in the way of coverage. As for purchasing a supplement, well, that’s a personal choice and one that should be looked at carefully. Most people are lured or sold by fear into purchasing one that usually pays very little in proportion to the premium cost. It’s the most profitable insurance sold by the insurance companies; that’s why it’s marketed so aggressively. Mr. (or perhaps Ms.) Thompson is way off base.

Stephen Berde


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