New entry in my Kilt blog 9/21/2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Boring Post or Things You Need To Know about Medicare

A perfect double rainbow marred by power-lines a good example of the elusiveness of perfection. The second rainbow is faintly seen just above the Mockingbird. This drivel comes to you through that bottom wire.

Everyone pays for it.
It is a government health plan. i.e. socialized medicine.
It is not your enemy.
You pay in all of your working life and you are entitled to it.
You pay into it heavily from your Social Security.
I don't give a shit what any politician says, you paid for it and you are entitled. If you have other means count your blessings but remember life is a crap shoot and eventually everyone craps out.

That being said  there are ways to make it better:
There is Medicare itself.
There are insurance plans that take the Medicare money with your permission and give you better benefits.
If you are old and on Medicare and don't know about this pay attention and I'll tell you a little story.

I have had Medicare benefits for the last seven years but I have only used them twice so it hasn't been important to me. Now SWMBO is on Medicare and she is important to me (a good cook and good company). For me it was no big deal because I have the Veterans Administration. When she turned 65 all kinds of insurance companies started making overtures trying to court us both. Unlike what the thirty something news media thinks we are not senile, we didn't get old being stupid and we are very skeptical of everything knowing that the young are out there waiting to shove the pole in our butts (shafted). So we played the fish.

The best deal we came up with was out of what the Guberment takes from our social security the insurance company will take $65.00 in American dollars and give us more benefits. The rest is refunded to us. Between the two of us that is about 90 bucks which amounts to 1080 American dollars a year in our pockets. For the mathematically challenged that is about 72 cases of cheap beer. The kind we like.

With Medicare there is a deductible and some places make you pay into the medical care until you reach it every year. With the insurance card they don't even know it is Medicare. It is just a magical insurance card. You pay 15 dollars for a doctors visit and they hit the insurance company for another 85 bucks. Quite a mark up over the 60 bucks it cost if you pay cash. Nothing wrong with our medical system in the USA (Home of the Brave and Land of the Free) except that maybe it is a little larcenous. It's 40 dollars for a visit to a specialist and I don't even want to speculate what that mark up is. Perhaps if the heavy markup for Medicare were eliminated then Medicare would not be in trouble all the time but then what do I know.

I choose Medicare or rather the insurance over the VA on this last go 'round because they would take care of it now and not next month sometime,  it would be done in town meaning I didn't have to travel to the city of New Orleans where they shoot people and it was cheaper. They VA copay for me for a specialist is 50 dollars with the VA because living on Social Security we are considered rich. Goddamn! I'm glad I'm not poor.

When you go into the docs office they ask for your insurance card and a picture ID. If you use your medicare card they want money too or at least the last time I tried to use it that was the way it was.

We only have a VA CLINIC here and it is not the same as real medical care. In the seven years I have been going there I don't think I have ever seen a real doctor. That is unacceptable. I really like the people there, they handle vets with extreme care and courtesy. They are wonderful. I will miss them.

Now I would like to know why some people, that I otherwise consider smart, are so dead set against everyone having publicly funded healthcare. Unless you live in a sterile bubble the lazy poor drug addict that refuses to work (to the well off all poor people are lazy poor drug addicts that refuse to work) uses the same door knob you do, breathes the same air, and may well touch you at any given time in a day. Do you want them sick? They handle your McDonald's, your change, sack your groceries, stock shelves and may shake your hand. I never refuse a hand shake as it is a sign that we may someday be civilized.

Remember that the richest men on earth were not exempt during the black plague and will not be exempt in any future epidemic in this increasingly crowded globally mobile planet.

Then there is the idiocy of wanting drug test requirements before receiving food stamps, wic or welfare. Just what I want are really hungry drug addicts needing a fix running around. Of course if you are a well off government person you can get all the legal drugs you want while sitting around doing nothing. Down here among the bottom feeders it is widely believed that the major cocaine supply for Washington D.C. travels in diplomatic pouches which are never inspected. Want drugs? Make friends with a diplomat.

Healthy people are happier people and much less likely to cause trouble and unrest.

Warning: These comments are from my personal observations which are limited at best. If you want or need to know more then I suggest you do some research.


Gunnar Berg said...

I selected a plan the way most people do. I asked around.

Me: "Lyle, what insurance company do you have for your Plan C?"

Lyle: "I get it from (the company)."

Me: "How many did you look at?"

Lyle: "One. It's what my brother-in-law uses and he's the tightest son of a bitch I've ever known. If he has it, it's the cheapest."

Steve A said...

It don't matter if the R or D types run things - the healthcare thing is going to change a lot more before this is over. And I notice Barbara B seems determined to eliminate herself out of serious consideration by attempting to demagogue that issue.

Steve A said...

Meant the Congresslady with no common sense, not the actress I like.

Dizzy-Dick said...
This post has been removed by the author.
Dizzy-Dick said...

Both my wife are on medicare and since we don't like to see doctors (best way to stay well) we just stayed with the good old medicare part A & B, nothing more. Better than the no insurance we had before that. Always paid my own way.

Oldfool said...

Gunnar: that's probably the best plan of all.
Steve: I know who you mean.
Dizzy: How about if you got all the benefits of medicare plus some more and they gave you some money back. If there is a fail it reverts to plan old medicare. The insurance companies get to compete for your favors every year. If you don't like what you had last year choose another.

frann said...

I want to know the name of Lyle's brother-in-law's insurance.