Moving... to Medicare
The telephone calls I get these days are bizarre – it seems the pirates have found a way to disguise their caller ID to appear to be a local number. Lately, I’ve even had calls that show up as if I am calling myself. I answer those calls thinking someone might need me, often only to find it is another solicitation. We get political calls, mobility devices, insurance offers, and much more pushed to our telephone line without us wanting them.
Calls offering me Medicare services
Recently, I have had a run of calls offering me Medicare services. Just this morning, in a moment of irritation at the interruptions, I told the caller to take me off their list, that I wasn’t in the market yet. It was only after I hung up that it occurred to me that I was wrong.
I felt as if I had been struck by a bolt of lightning with the realization that yes, they are talking to me because I turn 65 this year. My first thought was ‘when did this happen?’ to be followed by ‘why didn’t I think of this sooner?’ Although my plans are to not begin collecting Social Security until I turn 66, it is not too soon to be thinking about my medical coverage because Medicare begins at 65.
Shopping for new medical coverage
It’s not as if I haven’t been through this already with my husband; he became an official card-carrying member of Medicare a few years ago. Shopping for his new medical coverage was daunting, and it was so traumatic because of the overwhelming fear we would pick the wrong plan. If you’ve been through this yourself or helped a family member navigate the system, you understand completely what I mean about trauma. Perhaps I’m just mentally blocking out that I will soon be faced with the same decisions.
My husband has his own set of pre-existing conditions, but they are controlled by reasonable drug costs and fairly routine visits to his doctors. His medical costs are nothing like the costs I see associated with having MS. If I end up on the wrong drug coverage plan, I might be faced with impossible treatment costs.
I’m not the first person with a chronic condition to face this change and I won’t be the last, but it still feels like a very isolated experience. It is frightening and intimidating and the added stress of unsolicited phone calls doesn’t help. I even had a Medicare sales agent person show up at my front door – my husband answered the doorbell ring and had the sense to tell them I was still in bed, even though it was 1:00 PM.
Fortunately, there are Medicare brokers, those businesses that specialize in taking the multitude of available plans and helping you to select the right one for your own situation. They understand the difference between Part A and B, and the supplement plans named after the alphabet, C, F, G, K, L and N. Cleverly, Part D is reserved for the Drug plans but the other letters make little sense.
Transitioning from private insurance
As I transition from private insurance to Medicare and all those supplements, I can only hope that the choices are the right ones for me and the unwanted phone calls will stop.
Wishing you well,
Do you celebrate your MS Anniversary?