Monday, August 12, 2019

A (Double) Tragedy, and a Question

This sad story out of The Evergreen State raises a few questions:

"A Washington state man allegedly killed himself after killing his wife, and left a note for authorities saying that he was driven to do so because they could not afford to pay for medical care for her serious health conditions."

Apparently both he and his 76 year oild wife had been dealing a with some severe and expensive, health issues, and as a result facing an uncertain financial future.

But: they were both in their 70's, which seems to me to mean that they were on Medicare. Most folks on Medicare have either a supplement or a Medicare Advantage plan, both of which are supposed to mitigate the likelihood of just this result.

So I reached out to both co-blogger Bob V and FoIB Scott M, both of whom are active in the over-65 market, for their thoughts.

Bob offered this take:

"Hard to say

Original Medicare + supplement = minimal OOP except Rx. No cap on Rx.

Advantage = a lot of OOP . . . usually capped at $6700 for in network health care. No cap on Rx.

Darryl Dragon was supposedly bankrupt or near that when he died.

Tennille filed for divorce in 2014. At the time, her filing referenced health insurance coverage and previously, in 2010, she’d written that Dragon was living with a Parkinsonian neurological condition that caused harsh tremors.

That article made casual reference to health insurance but I recall seeing something a few years ago about health related money issues

Scott added that:

"Unless they had expensive medications, it’s hard to fathom not being able to afford their care.  Granted, with a Medicare Advantage plan they could have had max out of pocket limits as high as $6,700 each.  But still."

He also noted:

"I found this line to be quite disturbing:

Jones allegedly shot his wife once, and himself three times

How does one shot themselves 3 times?

Indeed, but that's another post.

I did reach out to the Fox News reporter on whose article this post is based, seeing if she could shed any light n the matter. She responded that she did not, in fact, have that information, but did suggest that we reach out to family members once things have settled down.

That's a good suggestion, and may be worth following up. Regardless, we appreciate her prompt reply.

Meantime, may the couple's memory be for a blessing.
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