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Myth or Fact . . . I’m Losing My Retiree Insurance

Hello Toni,
I am a TRS retiree and you are aware that my TRS Aetna Retiree plan was cancelled. I am concerned that my husband and I are not going to be taken care of medically since we are forced to change to the new TRS Medicare Advantage plan.
I have heard from friends that many doctors are not accepting Medicare and that if you are over 75 and need care for cancer, that it will be denied. Is this true?
Also, I heard that these changes are because of Obamacare. Do you think this is the reason TRS decided to change the retiree plan because Obamacare may have made changes to Medicare? Please tell me what is true and what is a rumor?
from Georgetown, Texas
Hello Anne,
Never have I seen the Medicare community as concerned about Medicare or their healthcare as they are now. TRS is not the only employer to make changes to their retiree benefits. AT&T, Baker Hughes, CITGO, IBM, and many other companies have changed their retiree Medicare plans and more employers may change retiree benefits in the future.
One thing the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare is affecting is how your Medicare dollars are being spent.
In chapter 7 ‘Rules Not Common to Medicare’ of my new book, “Medicare Survival Guide® Advanced Edition,” I discuss various rules, facts and myths involved with Medicare that many on Medicare or those beginning to explore the maze of Medicare are asking about.
Below are some of the myths and facts that are circling around the internet by bogus emails or rumors that people are concerned with:
Fact: Many doctors will not be accepting Medicare because of healthcare reform? This is a fact and a tricky one. Many smaller family clinics that do not specialize in the 65 or older community may not accept Medicare assignment and may not process Medicare claims. But there are still many primary care physicians or PCPs that do accept Medicare patients. Larger clinics are generally still accepting Medicare as well as Medicare Advantage plans.
For those turning 65, make sure to establish a relationship with a primary care physician as well as a specialist prior to turning 65. Do not wait until the last minute to start going to the doctor because it may be hard to find one that is accepting “new” Medicare patients. Many doctors are accepting current patients for Medicare with no problem, but have what is called a “closed panel” for new patients.
Fact: The Part D “Donut Hole” is going away? This is a fact. Medicare Part D is slowly closing the “Donut Hole” between now and the year 2020. Don’t know why it is taking so long! I have noticed that costs of drugs are escalating, causing many to go in the donut hole faster. I advise everyone to do prescription drug planning to avoid the donut hole. Call the Toni Says® Medicare Call Center for personalized Medicare Part D planning at 1/844-250-8664.
Myth: If you are over 75 and on Medicare, you will be denied cancer treatment! This is a myth. Medicare does not distinguish what age you are as to what treatment you will receive. If it is “medically necessary” then Medicare will pay for it. Medicare does not ration care because of age. Terrible rumor that is being circulated to scare those on Medicare.
Many retirees are losing retiree benefits and the companies are using Medicare Advantage plans as an option such as TRS has done. Always check with your doctor when this happens.
Email Toni at for your specific situation or call 832-519-8664 for a Toni Says® Medicare consultation. Toni King’s new Medicare Survival Guide® Advanced edition is on sale at