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Thread: I'm so frustrated with Medicare, Social Security, etc!

  1. #1
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Angry I'm so frustrated with Medicare, Social Security, etc!

    Does the U.S. have the most difficult retirement crap to deal with?
    It's a good thing DH can understand most of it, 'cause I sure can't.

    We've changed a couple of our Medicare supplement plans this year, because supposedly, they're pretty much all required to provide the same things,
    except the cost can be different.

    So, we changed from one Supplement D (Rx) plan to another one in December. I've tried over and over and over to register online, but it keeps saying I've put the wrong username and password in.
    So I requested a new password, and went through all the right steps, but it still wouldn't take it.
    So I thought maybe I got the username wrong, and requested a new one, but it refused to give me one, since I hadn't answered their security questions right.........which I did!

    I've called twice and have been on hold once for 20 minutes and today for almost 40 minutes, but got nowhere. The one person I talked to had such a thick Indian accent, I couldn't understand him.

    I've emailed their customer service last week, but haven't heard back.

    I haven't even used the card yet for meds. I hope this isn't a sign of how the whole dang year is going to go, until we can change.

    We were on Silver Script. The monthly premiums got too high, so we switched. But I never had trouble contacting them, or with their website.
    This new one is WellCare. And now that we have it, I'm reading reviews saying the same bad things about never being able to contact them.

    Who would I call to complain if this company continues to give such bad service?

    This is so damned frustrating..........

  2. #2
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    Just think...if we lived in Scandinavia, we wouldn't have to stress so much over all this stuff...

  3. #3
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    What has this to do with Social Security or Medicare? Both are usually extremely simple and easy to use. The problem you described is the difficulty in obtaining and using additional insurance coverage which is optional. And yes, supplements to Medicare are confusing and difficult to work with and understand.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I deal with it by not dealing with it. Our system in unnecessarily complicated, and as long as I do what's required and stay well, they can take the whole dysfunctional bureaucracy and shove it, IMO.

  5. #5
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    We really didn't have trouble when we first signed up for Medicare 4 years ago. But when we needed to change plans because of cost, we started running into problems, as far as the poor communication of one of the companies. There was essentially no way to get hold of them. Our Medicare agent (who is wonderful!), said that agents were having trouble getting hold of this new company too, probably because they were inundated with new customers. I haven't been able to contact them yet to register online, but at least I have their card to use when buying meds.

    With Social security, for some reason, our online applications gave rise to us needing to wait a month and a half to see the Social Security in our district. Fortunately, he was very good and we got everything straightened out, but it seems the online people aren't as competent.

    And in our meeting with our Medicare agent yesterday, we learned that if you change Medicare companies after having had one initially, you have to fill out a big medical questionnaire and then wait for someone from the company to call and ask you more questions. If one of us gets approved and the other doesn't, that presents another problem that I won't bore you with now.

    Maybe lots of people stay with the first Medicare company they sign up with, but the price of ours went up significantly.
    So my frustration when I posted this initially, was being unable to get hold of the new Part D company, and also just the crap that seems to come with all the decisions you have to make at 65.

    We didn't apply for SS until now.....as we're both 69, so that makes it more complicated. Plus, I haven't worked in a long time, but I can apply for half of his SS at his age 66, which was a bit complicated and we got different info from various online people.
    Maybe some of you find this easy, but I don't.

  6. #6
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    These bureaucratic hurdles are no fun - but they are a part of all insurance plans now. Iíve stopped reviewing all the details. I just choose the plan at work that costs a little more but gives us options to go to other hospitals (at a slightly higher cost to us if we donít go to the preferred hospital of course) - but I want the options for the specialists we like. And when I get a bill I just pay it, as long as it looks approximately correct from my very cloudy understanding of our policyís many rules and exceptions.

    Then I just go about my life without wasting time on the details, cause I canít stand it.

    My whole job is in a huge bureaucracy. I work every day to get a few things done. It took over a year to get acoustic panels installed in a very loud and echo filled room that our patients use. A year AFTER it was approved.

    I refuse to deal with bureaucracy when I get home, I just pay the bill and if itís a few dollars too much I donít care. Itís worth it for my peace of mind.

    Our medical insurance systems are ridiculous in the USA.

  7. #7
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tammy View Post
    These bureaucratic hurdles are no fun - but they are a part of all insurance plans now. I’ve stopped reviewing all the details.
    ......

    Then I just go about my life without wasting time on the details, cause I can’t stand it.

    ......

    Our medical insurance systems are ridiculous in the USA.
    Ridiculous is right. WHY we continue to feel that our "American way" is so much better, despite ample evidence to the contrary about outcomes and costs, and why so many people believe that having a system that works (i.e. European model) would be a threat to the free world is beyond me. SO frustrating.

    But to Tammy's point, my system for choosing a Medicare plan was to find the smartest friends I have and ask them what they chose and why, and then I followed suit. They had already done the homework, so I took advantage of the free consultation.

    For the record, I chose supplemental Plan F. I compared the prices and the benefits after my friend told me what she did and I think she was right.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  8. #8
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I find it surprising that you all apparently think there is no bureaucracy in the socialized medicine world. I’m not sure if you all have run into it, but The Gubmnt is pretty good at Providing hoops to jump through to accomplish anything. Certainly some countries are better than others at how they hand out healthcare. Mainly, the grass is always greener…

  9. #9
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I have retained a phone landline for the primary purpose of dealing with insurance and gubmnt officials as we sign into Medicare and Social Security. Hearing them on a cell phone is bad enough—two parties on the cell, ugh. Nightmare.

    and this all reminds me that I need to make an appointment with the Medicare expert. I can enroll after Fenruary 20 for it to start up in May.

  10. #10
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    In Poland my DIL just shows her card and that’s it. If she goes to a private facility the prices are posted and she pays. They try to get their health care when they visit because it is so much cheaper. However, it’s a small country and she was lucky to be living here when she got a big complicated brain tumor. No one in our state was qualified to do surgery either. I am just the opposite about medical bills. I will fight to the end not to overpay. When my husband was sent out of network by the doctor for cancer treatment and screwed up the paperwork I fought for a year until I got them to pay. I was unable to resolve by phone and fax and finally made a appointment with someone higher up and brought everything in person. When I was young I paid health insurance claims for a living.

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