Working in sales for a Philadelphia-based company, Rich Hancock says he's happy with the health coverage he receives from his employer and more than satisfied with the quality of care his family gets in Greater Cincinnati.
Rich Hancock likes his coverage, but he sees his parents spending more and more, and doubts Medicare will be around for him.
(Meggan Booker photo)
Type of insurance coverage: employer-offered PPO
Health coverage premium: $77 every two weeks
Family health bills: Expecting a second child
Hancock recalls a recent illness suffered by his 5-year-old daughter: "We even got a 7:30 p.m. doctor appointment on the day after Thanksgiving."
Still, Hancock watches and worries as his parents spend more of their income for drug bills and the rising costs of Medicare supplemental coverage. He assumes the current system won't be around for him.
"The costs just keep getting bigger. Who knows what it will be like when I retire?" Hancock says. "I think benefits will be totally different."
Some type of major change to Medicare will happen. Recent reports out of Washington indicate that the trust fund established to help pay for massive costs of retiring baby boomers will run out of money in 2019 instead of 2026, said Tommy Thomspon, federal health and human services secretary, on a recent Cincinnati visit.
Reforms could include a higher retirement age, cuts in benefits, increased fees charged to seniors or any combination of things, Thompson said.
Hancock says he has little confidence in the ability of the federal government to make effective reforms. Too many special interests have too much influence, he says.
"I don't think the drug companies want to see things changed very much," he adds.