We must have a supplemental plan

Thanks to Linda Hay for echoing my sentiments about the state retirement board's Aug. 2 announcement that teachers will be automatically switched from original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan effective January 1.

It is a bad development for all the reasons Hay mentions. But Hay suggests that all we need, if we opt out of Advantage, is Plan D for prescription drugs and Medicare B (which costs us $158 monthly and typically comes out of our Social Security checks).

We must have a supplemental plan to cover the 20 percent that Medicare doesn't cover. Currently, Medigap F with no deductibles and no copays, offered by BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont, is the best supplemental coverage at $185 a month.

Premiums: $158, Medicare; $185, Medigap; $51, prescription drugs (my plan). That's nearly $400 a month. Awfully expensive, but no retiree should be without all three.

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