Aid & Attendance · Caregiver · Medicare · Medicare pt. D

Aid & Attendance, part 3, and Medicare Part D / November 17, 2006

Just an update on my Aid & Attendance application: I mailed it–certified mail with a signature receipt–about 3 weeks ago. Within a week of mailing I received a letter from the regional VA Office here in Providence telling me that the VA does NOT accept applications based on Power of Attorney. They claim that POA is too broad, even though my particular POA document specifically states that I am given the authority to apply for benefits and pensions.

So I had my mother sign the application and re-sent it to them. I had explained to her earlier that I was applying for a benefit based on my father’s WWII service, but I had decided to sign it in the end, since I had initiated and completed the application. I thought that would be the most forthright way of applying, given that I had already been assigned her Power of Attorney. I reviewed the application with her in a very broad way before asking her to sign it, knowing that she trusts me.

Now I’m revisiting Medicare pt. D. I spent several months last year trying to figure out the new prescription insurance, before selecting what I thought would be “The Plan.” But that was the optimistic first year–the pieces are now falling into place, forcing many of us to recalculate.

I had selected Humana’s top plan for my mother because her monthly prescription costs average $600. The monthly premium was relatively high–$55–but that plan had no deductible and covered the “doughnut hole”, and I was willing to pay a higher premium and copays in order to avoid having to pay 100% of her prescription costs after we had reached the $2400 ceiling, which would have occurred sometime during April.

My mother’s monthly premium will increase to $87 next year and the plan will cover only generic drugs during the gap period. There are no plans in my area that will cover brand-name medicines through the gap period in 2007, so I’ve chosen a plan with a much lower premium. Basically, we’ll be paying 12 months of premiums for about 6 months of coverage, including the catastrophic coverage.

A good overview is here.

So I’m counting on the newly Democratic Congress to make good on their promise to work toward negotiating lower prices with the pharmaceutical companies.

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