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Monday, August 20, 2012

Genuine Card-Carrying Senior

I'm a genuine Senior! I got a Medicare card last week without even asking for it. It's not effective yet but it's residing in my wallet, ready to go when the magic month arrives. I have the option of saying "no" but I'm not about to do that. Since Leroy got his card a couple years ago I am not totally clueless how Medicare works. But now that we can both enroll we are seriously considering making some changes to our health care program. And that's where the confusion begins.
Parts A & B are easy to understand and Leroy has had part D for prescriptions. I was able to go online, compare the prices and plans, and choose the one that best fits his needs. So I know how to proceed with that part for my prescriptions. Part C is the stickler. That must be purchased from a Medicare approved commercial insurance company. There is a great variety to choose from BUT they won't post their prices online so I can compare and choose like I did for Part D. Every time I try to get a price they ask for contact information so they can call for a consultation. I don't want to talk to a lot of salesman. I just want to see their prices.
Then a salesman called and said he could compare all the companies and tell me which is best for me. He was very helpful in explaining how the different options for Part C work and I almost got sucked in. Fortunately, my common sense kicked in and before I went very far I told him I want to talk it over with my husband first. The longer I thought about it the more sure I was that I do not want to do business with anyone who calls to sell me anything, especially someone representing a company I never heard of who lives in another state. How do I know they are not some sort of fraud or scam? They would be sure to ask for my Social Security number when filling out an application and that is a NO-NO!
Today I called Medicare and they gave me a number to call which will provide the same service for no charge. They will be able to tell me who has the best price for me.
Moral of the story: Never listen to a salesman and never, never give personal information to anyone on the phone. Identity theft is too common these days and a word to the wise is sufficient.

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