Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Descent of the Locusts

I am 64 and a half, almost exactly.  And I have a target on my back.  If you’ve already 65 and been through this, feel free to chuckle, reminisce, grab a beverage and go to the next item on your list.  But you youngsters (64 and under)…pay attention.

The target I speak of is actually a bit lower than that – say, about wallet-height.  Because in just three short months, I will be able to sign up for Medicare, which means that I will be “eligible” to spend a shitload of money on “supplemental insurance” to cover the gaps in the “insurance” that I supposedly have already paid for with payroll deductions over the course of the last 53 years (I started work at age 11).

I am a hot commodity, for sure.  So far, since the golden date (exactly 6 months before my birthday), I have averaged 5.2 calls per day, and 3 mailers.  It’s only gonna get worse from here.

Now, no one is trying to sell me anything.  They all say that.  Seriously.  I know the tell-tale sign of a predictive dialer – that empty sound when you answer the phone and say, “Hello?” and hear nothing for about seven seconds and then the unmistakable sound of a phone-bank in the background while “Sharon from XXX” comes on and mangles your name.  You tell them “Sorry, no solicitors,” and they ALWAYS say, “Mr. Eckenjer we’re not selling anything we just want to be sure you have all the information you need to make an informed choice regarding your Medicare options including Part D and Medigap coverage and did you know Mr. Essenkar that millions of Americans will not have enough to pay for even the simplest medical care that Medicare doesn’t provide for and with…”

Except what it sounds like is

Not selling anything.  Riiiiiiiiight.

They are persistent.  On the first day, we let messages go to the answering machine (as we were involved in the kitchen.  Making lunch…I’m 64, remember?).  One company called NINE times.  They are unflappable.  I told one guy he was the 19th caller in the last four days, and he said, “Well, let me hang up and call you right back so I can be caller number twenty.”  They are…a pain in the ass.

And when you tell them, “I’ve already taken care of this, thanks for calling,” they act like the Energizer bunny and keep…on…going.  Until you hang up, and even then, I’m not certain.

I am also pissed at the whole scheme of things, having to sign up for Part D insurance now even though I only have one very low-priced prescription. I am pissed because
(a)  Drug prices may rise (May?  Who the hell are we kidding?).
(b)  I might not only have one prescription in the future.  Mona has three, and she’s YOUNGER than I am and in better health overall.  Well, except for the drugs.
(c)  If I don’t sign up now, and decide to pick a plan later, I’ll be changed a penalty for EVERY MONTH I failed to sign up prior…for EVERY MONTH I decide to be on the plan.  If I live a long time (and I plan on it), I could pay another shitload of month just for the insurance to pay for the drugs I might take.
(d)  Marijuana isn’t covered.  Shit.

I might return to this topic at a later date.  Depends on whether the drugs kick in.