Dr. Fife,

I read your article about the problem with physician payments from Medicare. I agree that Medicare should pay physicians more. But right now, I am struggling with the rate increases on all my insurance plans! I am a disabled person who pretty much lives in an electric wheelchair.

Medicare supplement plans (which people get to cover the 20% that the traditional Medicare Fee for Service plans don’t cover) sound great initially when you start them but some of my friends in the F Plan are paying $275 monthly and it goes up every year until the day you die. Not that I can give anyone advice, but I chose plan G even though I am eligible for Plan F because it is a mixture of young and old beneficiaries. Plan F is spending more money because old people cost more.

Separately, my drug insurance Premium is up from $60 a month to $90. Originally, I didn’t have a deductible, but now I have a $200 deductible. People should look over Medicare drug plans carefully. I found one in which all generic drugs are free. The only drug I pay for in my plan is Ozempic.

All the prices for insurance went up this year. My home owners’ insurance doubled from last year, even though the only claim I have had in the past 38 years was damage from the 2020 freeze that hit the south so hard. Car Insurance is steadily going up. For me it’s now $878 for 6 months even though I haven’t had an accident in 25 years. Flood insurance is also up. Long-term care insurance for me started at $400 a quarter and now it’s $1200 per quarter.

I need all those different insurance policies, but Social Security is not going up enough to cover the rising prices of these policies. Inflation is killing me as a disabled, retired person. And that’s not counting the cost of food and gasoline. I wish doctors got paid more by Medicare to help care for people like me. Doctors should be really angry about the Medicare fraud you’ve talked about. It’s probably one of the reasons that the honest doctors don’t get paid enough to see Medicare patients. But right now, it’s touch and go whether I can afford to drive to the doctor…

Yours sincerely,
[name withheld]