Thursday, November 7, 2013

Medicare Application: One Small Step For A Man...

... hardly a giant leap for mankind, but at least one man has taken one step toward getting into the Medicare system. I ran into only one technological glitch in the application process: I had to pause my sign-up to ask Stella a question about our current insurance; when I came back to sign in again, there was a mysterious obstacle. When the help line called me back (better than waiting on the phone for the advertised 55 minutes), I explained the problem. Try again, they said; although I had already tried three times, I did as they asked, and it worked. I'm guessing there was something keeping my previous session alive, though for the (session) life of me, I couldn't have told you what it was. Perhaps it had to do with the partial Social Security sign-up one must do even if signing up only for Medicare.

One recommendation to anyone else about to face for initial sign-up: don't try to learn everything before you try to do anything. It isn't possible; it is exasperating, and it isn't necessary. I tried yesterday only to end up a basket case; I abandoned the attempt for the day. If you try reading the entire "Medicare and You" pamphlet as an introduction, you'll end up screaming in frustration. Being led by dialogs through the process today worked pretty well when I got around to trying it. And there appears to be no penalty for not having all your ducks in a row before you start the process: they'll tell you what they need that you've forgotten.

Now I have to decide on some options and pick a plan. I have an idea, but I'm waiting for some info from Stella's brother, who just went through the same process. I'll let you know what happens.

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