Medicare and Living in the Philippines?
This is a question that comes in pretty regularly here at PhilFAQS.com, where I try to provide the answers to the frequently asked questions (FAQS) about living in the Philippines.
I always tend to write too long … so here’s the answer. No.
More extensive answers to the question of using Medicare and Living in the Philippines can be found at the official site, Federal Benefits and Federal Agency Services for American Citizens Abroad as well as here, and here, and here as just a few examples.
So for those of you who are Americans and already 65 and above, like me, and those planning to live that long, the issue of not having Medicare available in the Philippines seems like a big negative factor about living here.
And, of course, it is.
Loss of Medicare and Living in the Philippines a Show-stopper?
Well, for years I thought it was a really big factor. In my personal case, I have TRICARE medical benefits available through my military retirement, and I have commercial health insurance available through my federal employee retirement program that I can bring into play as well .. so, while Medicare is not a big issue for me, it likely is a huge issue to many other Americans. However, comma …
Medicare and Living in the Philippines May Become No Factor
Not a factor? You mean the US is going to open up Medicare to citizens living overseas?
No, not quite anything like that. Actually, the news here is pretty bleak (and please don’t fill up the comments with political rantings, my own view is this bill could have been introduced by almost any congress-critter, Republican or Democrat. Although the budget is being introduced ny a key Republican, notice that it’s modeled directly on a proposal from former President Clinton’s budget director. So, suspend, if you will, for a few minutes, your own particular “those blankety-blank Reds or Blues or whomever you blame for our country’s ills and pay attention to what is being proposed. This is scary, folks.
Washington (CNN) — House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, will unveil a highly anticipated 2012 Republican budget next week that proposes dramatic changes to political lightning rods: entitlements.
The plan, to be released Tuesday, calls for a controversial overhaul of Medicare, the health care program for seniors, and imposes deep cuts in Medicaid, which provides health benefits to low-income Americans, according to House Republican sources with knowledge of the proposal.
Starting 10 years from now, in 2021, Americans would no longer enroll in the Medicare program, but instead receive vouchers for private insurance, according to the GOP sources, who stressed anyone 55 or older now would not be affected by the change.
The plan is modeled after one Ryan proposed last year with Alice Rivlin, budget director under President Bill Clinton.
Details of how Ryan’s Medicare voucher program would work are still unclear, but the Ryan-Rivlin plan said the amount of the voucher — a lump sum payment from the government — would be calculated in part by taking the average federal cost per Medicare enrollee…
… On Medicaid, Ryan’s plan calls for deep cuts, as much as $1 trillion. The program would also fundamentally change — the federal share of the Medicaid system would become block grants to the states.
— said Ryan’s proposal promises to roll back spending to 2006 levels … (my emphasis)
I’m not sure exactly what you, my reader feels this proposal means, but I can tell y0u this.
- There won’t be any need to worry about finding a doctor who accepts medicare. Your trick will be finding a doctor who will perform whatever procedures you need for a fee that equals your voucher plus however much more the doc can extract from your wallet.
- Did you see the ‘block grant’ feature? This means the federal government will give your state the amount of money they feel should be spent in your state, and when it’s gone ..or when your governor has spent the money on some other program, that’s it … there won’t be any money left.
- How much were you making in 2006, and how much have your medical expense risen since then. Forgive me for prying, but would it be safe to say those costs have gone up more than your income? The plan is supposed to take effect within the next 10 years … so what is really being said here is, in 2020/2021 when you’ll be how old?, we will be talking about reimbursing you are 15-year-old levels. Wow.
Only those of us already over 55 are even partially safe from this disaster. And don’t think this will be cured by the outcome of the 2012 general election either … this is already as much of a liberal plan as you are likely to see … if the country elects a strong Tea party conservative president in 2012, I’d look for even larger cuts.
So why did I write this? Not to elicit political comment, again, I’d appreciate it if you could refrain from partisan debate. More than anything to perhaps explain to you why I chose to live here in the Philippines even without the benefit of medicare coverage. And why having or not having Medicare coverage really isn’t going to be much of an issue as the years slip by.
I’m already living on less than what my annuities paid me in 2008 … 2008 was probably the high point of my government benefits … it’s all down hill from here … so Medicare and Living in the Philippines just doesn’t matter that much to me.