The Age of Medicare

Last week I visited with my contact at the Social Security Administration. All very nice, as long as you follow the script. But, no sense of humor. The young woman I met with was very polite and intent on doing her job as defined in some obscure employee manual. She was most concerned that I understood that not telling her the truth was a federal crime. She explained that point to me three times: at the outset of the appointment, just prior to starting her set of standard questions and then again at the end of the interview. I hope I told the truth at all times. Being almost 65 makes my ability to remember all facts slightly suspect. I came armed with proof of my birth. (Certificate of Live Birth, being suspect these days, I was a little worried about that. Needlessly, as it turned out.) I also brought my marriage certificate, my Social Security Card and my latest statement from the SSA itself. But, all she really required was my drivers license! She did deign to review my birth certificate because I gave it to her in response to her questions about my place of birth. But as she reviewed that document, she still had to ask me what city I was born in as if to test my ability to read my own history.

The most amazing thing was the fact that the government knows more about me than I can remember: when I worked and did not work, my ex-husband’s retirement status, my own status, dates I married and divorced, and so forth. I was amazed. Whoever says their life is not an open book, has not sat down with a SSA agent recently!

I declined to “file a claim” for SSI as I am still working and do not have a retirement date in mind. I was interested in enrolling in Medicare however as my own health care provider is intent on moving over to the single payer provider it seems. That is so that they can get my high-risk aged self off their books and then offer me the “supplemental” health care where the government takes the major risk and they come along for the ride and collect their pound of flesh. Ah, well. I decided to enroll in Parts A and B. I then found out I have to find my own carrier for Part D as it is optional and is not managed by Medicare itself.

As luck would have it, when I returned home, the USPS had delivered a package from our health care broker (yes, everyone gets a little piece of that medical care premium you pay every month.) which weighed in at least 2 pounds! I have not yet found the courage or time to plow through that bundle page by page. However, I did see immediately, that for some obscure reason Blue Shield does not offer Medicare Part D in the region in which I reside! I will never understand all the mumbo-jumbo surrounding health care. I swear.

I will be contacting our agent for a more thorough explanation, of course. But it will not change the facts.

The thing is: how did I get so old as to qualify for single-payer health care in America?