A bit of a humorous look:
do do do
do do do do
Funny, Editor, www.seniorark.com
I wrote this article a few years ago,
and perhaps the publication "Medicare and You" has since
improved. But Medicare's ins and outs are still very
confusing, and this fun article still has a lot to say.
I made a frightening
discovery this morning. It will be
easier to understand IRS regulations for filing my taxes this
year, than it is to understand the publication:
and You, 2007. (PDF) You know, that red, white, and blue book
you have, or will receive
soon from Medicare.
A third of the way through page three (first main page) I was tempted to go back to the
introduction to see if there might be a forward by Rod Serling
saying something like. “You have not really lost your mind.
You have just entered the Medicare twilight zone.”
three sounds something like this: You have Part A (Hospital),
and Part B (Medical), because this is provided by Medicare,
but you may have to pay something anyway (unspecified). But at
least we know it may cost more than if you have one of the”
Medicare Advantage Plans” which combines part A and Part B in
a managed health plan. We also know that this is called Part
C. So under this arrangement we are led to believe that A + B
= C. There’s that damned algebra again. So how much does Part
C cost? (Unspecified, because there are a bunch of companies
out there clawing for us to sign up, and they all charge
different fees for different services.) This is beginning to
sound a lot like Part D, which I am told I might not need if I
sign up for Part C, which is also called “Medicare Advantage
Plans”. But you may still need Part D even if you have Part C
if all of your drugs are not covered by the private company
you select for Part C. Why? (unspecified)
not even halfway through the first main page. And there are one hundred
and fifteen more. In this article we should at least finish
page one, don’t you think? OK, let’s go for it!
you have the traditional Part A and Part B incantations, you
will love Part D, and Medicare thinks you should “buy it”. OK,
if it covers my prescriptions, I’ll consider it. How much?
(Unspecified, because you should read the plans of up to 60 or
so insurance companies offering this in your state. Make
sure your drugs are included, and figure out which plan’s cost
is “right for you”. You know, like you did when you asked your
doctor if Viagra was “right for you.”) Oh, and be sure to eat
the donut, but avoid that hole.
have a headache, and need to apply something directly to my
forehead, or to something on somebody. I’d like to take this
booklet and apply it directly to the “bleeeeeeeeeeep” of
whoever wrote it. Or the congress who created this convoluted
wait! We haven’t finished the first main page. There’s MediGap. MEDIGAP?
If you have the traditional Part A and Part B, and have
figured out whether, and which Part D plan you need, and have
decided against Part C, then you should consider a “Medigap
(Medicare Supplement Insurance) Policy. You know, just in case
A, B, and D missed something. OK. How much? (unspecified,
because you need to shop for a plan that is “right for you”)
So the new algebraic formula is A + B + D – C + Medigap =
_____________. Who wrote this thing? The insurance companies?
my headache has become an ulcer, my blood pressure and heart
rate are soaring, and I am shaking all over. (Time to ask my
doctor if a stiff dose of valium is “right for me”).
one hundred and fifteen pages to go, in this red white and
blue twilight zone (And I think I’m beginning to see a little
purplish magenta here and there.).
least I have now figured out the real purpose of this
confusing maze. If we die trying to understand the basics of
page one, Medicare will become much more solvent for those who
refuse to read instructions. Those crafty government people!