Tuesday, November 11, 2014
This post is going to be about my experience with Medicare so if you aren't interested I advise you to walk on by and read something more to your liking. I'm starting with a quote from my long time, recently retired, dermatologist Dr.Chapman. On my last visit to him he was concerned that I have no medical insurance or Medicare B and his comment was, "Eventually your warranty is going to run out." It seems that the universe just keeps popping out challenges until we finally get the message that it is time to act. After my recent experience in the emergency room, which ran up an unbelievable hospital bill of over $5,000, I got the message. Perhaps because I did get the message I was informed last night that the hospital has decided to write off that entire amount. Another unbelievable occurrence, which I am extremely grateful for. Yesterday I spent a couple of hours talking to a Medicare/Medicaid representative who convinced me that my best option for health insurance was to enroll in Medicare B in January 2015. Once I do that there is a Medicaid plan (SLIMB) that could pick up the monthly premium if my income doesn't go over $12,093. In my case Medicare will tack on a penalty for late enrollment of $125.88 per month in addition to the $104.90 premium that everyone pays so I would qualify for this plan. That's a total of $230.80, deducted from my meager Social Security check monthly. Unfortunately, in my case, nothing will wipe out the penalty. It will be there for the rest of my life. It could have fallen under special circumstances if during the 12 years since I became eligible for B I would have had insurance through an employer. All the jobs I had were part time and did not offer insurance. What all this boils down to is Dr. Chapman was right, it looks as if my warranty has run out and it is time to apply for Medicare B, as a gift to myself in January 2015. I surrender!! Note: This post was written simply to share my experience with Medicare so that it might help someone else. It is not a request for sympathy. What happened is due to a decision I made back in 2002 and I take full responsibility for the consequences.