Medicare and Birthdays!

I turn 65 today and my first thought upon waking up was that I really didn’t want to wake up to being 65.  Not much choice, I know, but I’m really not pleased and the major reason I’m not is the government.  I should be up front and admit that I have absolutely no respect for this country’s government.  We say we are a democracy but in fact that has never been the case and certainly isn’t now.  This country is governed by Corporate America and Big Business and anyone who thinks otherwise is sadly mistaken.  In fact we never did have a true democracy since for much of our history large segments of the population were denied a vote.  Now, the voters are controlled by Madison Avenue, etc., and the entire system is so corrupt and so beauraucratic that it simply cannot function.

I knew all this before, of course, but now that I’m 65 the government has taken over my medical insurance and I’ve been given no choice at all.  I can no longer carry my own private insurance no matter what kind of premium I am willing to pay, simply because I am 65.  I am forced into Medicare, run by a government which I find to be unconscionable.  And then it turns out I actually need three insurances with three separate cards to be carried because Medicare is so flawed.  I need a supplemental policy for what Medicare deems acceptable but won’t pay for and then I need another policy for prescriptions, again those Medicare deems acceptable but won’t pay for.  So now I have three cards, three policies, three separate premiums and why.   I have them just in case of some catastrophe because guess what, Medicare doesn’t believe in naturopaths!!  I have a wonderful doctor who knows me, understands my medical needs, and is easy to talk with.  I have absolute confidence in her, but Medicare says that even though she is a licensed medical practitioner, they won’t deal with her (well, not her personally, all naturopaths and alternative care providers, apparently).  So now I have three useless cards in my wallet, because I am not about ready to change doctors.  I will have to pay out of pocket for my office visits, for any lab work she orders, and for all my prescriptions from her because Medicare doesn’t believe in her.  I really find this offensive.  Someone who looked into all this for me said that in fact I might not end up paying any more than before (we still don’t know what the two supplemental policies will cost), but even if I don’t pay any more, it is still wrong that any of us should be forced to take something we don’t want.  I’d think Medicare would be happy to have fewer people.  It is the principle behind all this that bothers me much more than the actual expenses.  And now I shall have to write three premium checks, not to mention the additional costs at the doctor’s, the lab, and the pharmacy.  Why?  Just because I turned 65!  This is why I really didn’t want to wake up this morning.

Well, enough on that.  I’d better get in a different frame of mind now because my friend Paula wants to meet me at The Monkey Tree for brunch to celebrate my birthday.  The Monkey Tree closes today and that will be the end of an era on Vashon, so that too is bittersweet, but I am very grateful that Paula wants to celebrate with me.  Thank you, Paula!

6 responses

  1. I'm with you on the gov't and corporate America! Access to health care in this country is in some sorry state! Uncivilised! Happy Birthday though! Enjoy!

  2. Thanks, Rose, and the birthday is going nicely indeed!

  3. Happy Birthday, Daphne!I too am in total agreement with you and with Rose about the sad state of affairs in this country. I worked for several years as a billing clerk at the local hospital and oy, the stories I could tell. And I quit in 2000 – things have only deteriorated and grown more complicated since then. I find it especially vexing that most insurance won't cover most of the so called "alternative" (yet effective) treatments, nor REAL prevention. Ooooh, I feel a rant coming on! But since this is Daphne's birthday and thus a festive event, I'll refrain from ranting and instead, "Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words." (~Plautus) :-)I'll bring the wine, Rose is probably much better at sweet words than I am! 🙂

  4. Laloofah, I bet you do have stories to tell! And alternative medicine is recognized more widely in WA, I think and naturopaths can write prescriptions, etc., and many insurances do recognize them, including my soon to be former insurance with Premera Lifewise (my doctor is doing a major blood draw tomorrow to get it covered and I'm refilling all my prescriptions before Friday also!). But the government is notoriously outdated and out of step and I suspect heavily sponsored by the AMA! Anyway, enough on that. Thanks for your good wishes and I think both you and Rose are first rate with sweet words! Thanks!

  5. Nice post. I completely agree about the state of health care and the gov't. I'm not quite ready for Medicare (but not too far away), but like you, I'm more interested in alternative medicine and my work provided insurance doesn't cover that either. Happy Birthday anyway and thanks for the random thoughts!

  6. Thanks for your comments Sarah, and I'm really sorry that your work provided insurance doesn't cover alternative medicine. The insurance I carried before I was dumped for age (hey, maybe I could file for age discrimination, hum) did cover that so that made the blow of being forced into something I don't agree with much, much harder. Thanks for the birthday greetings and feel free to stop by anytime!

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