Somebody bring me my walker…my Medicare card came today! Even though it won’t be effective until October, I am feeling more elderly than I did when I woke up this morning. I find it interesting that I am automatically signed up for Part A (free to everyone) and Part B (currently $105/month); if I don’t want Part B I have to “opt out”. My guess is that they have quite a few people who would not sign up for Part B on their own, but it is easier to have it than to quit.
There are crazy decisions to be made on several fronts. Do I need “medi-gap” insurance to cover the things Medicare doesn’t? Or do I go with a Medicare Advantage Plan (which means I can’t have medi-gap insurance). The one that makes me go “hmmmm…” the most is the prescription plan. The directions explain that you can either choose drug coverage when you are first eligible for Medicare, or you can add it later. But if you go more than 63 days without coverage, you will pay a late enrollment penalty to join a plan later. And you will pay the penalty for as long as you continue drug coverage! So they suggest that you might want to get drug coverage, even if you don’t take a lot of drugs now, so you won’t be caught without it later. They suggest, too, that you check the formularies for the various Medicare Prescription Drug Plans in your area, make sure the plans cover the drugs you take, and understand the rules or limits that apply.
So here I sit, taking no prescription drugs, having no on-going health issues (I’m not bragging, I’m grateful), trying to figure out which plan would work best for me. Even without the benefit of a crystal ball, I know that my mom reached her early 70’s before cancer entered her world. Daddy, too, avoided health issues until his mid-70’s. The odds of me going along in my typically healthy fashion are very good.
Meanwhile I will continue burning the candle at both ends, wringing every good moment I can out of this life I’m thrilled to be living. Sixty-five is just a number, right? And it won’t be here for four more months!