I tried using my Medicare Part B a couple days ago. The Medicare book says all diabetic supplies are free, including test strips. I even took the Medicare 2016 book with me in case anyone wanted to argue.

CVS – of course they wanted to argue. To start with you need a doctor’s prescription for test strips. I have one. In fact, they had called to say my test strip prescription was ready for pick-up. They had my test strips ready. I merely said, when I got there that my insurance has changed and now I’m using Medicare and I handed them the card for Medicare Part B, which costs me $104 a month. Oh . . . well, in that case, they needed to call the doctor to get the Medicare Code. What? My book said it was FREE. It didn’t say I needed a code. How long would that take? I only came to pick up the test strips because they called and left a message saying it was ready for pick up. But I couldn’t pick it up without the doctor telling them a magic code?

The woman asked me to step down to another section of the counter. She said she’d call right then. She could get the code from the doctor, the nurse, even the receptionist! Of course, the doctor’s office put her on hold when she called them. (I no longer use that doctor and haven’t in four months; I did, however, have a few refills left on that test strip prescription and was using it.) I wondered what that doctor would say when called? Maybe it would be the receptionist who had the magic number and all would be well. But the CVS employee stood holding the phone while on hold. She suggested I might be more comfortable sitting down in one of the chairs across the room. No. I’ve played that game before. They get you to go sit down, they forget about you and thirty minutes later when you go up to the counter, they seem surprised that you’re still there, but they will get right on whatever they asked you to sit down and wait for them to do. No. I wasn’t feeling well, and I was leaning on the counter, but I’d stand. Then her eyes lit up. She said “ok”, and hung up. She turned to me to tell me that the receptionist said the nurse would have to call her back and then she’d be able to let me have the test strips – she just needed that Medicare code that my government required this year. So . . . she said she’d call me at home when she got it ready.

Late last night when her call came, the free test strips were going to cost $20.82. How is that free? I’ve taught Math. Free is 0, not $20.82. I called my current doctor’s office, who has said for me to call Medicare and ask them. Sometimes it depends on name brand test strips versus off brand; sometimes it was the pharmacy itself that would have the different price. But if I called Medicare, they could tell me.

Guess what. I called Medicare yesterday already. They are so busy that I ended up sending them an email. They sent an acknowledgement email back and said they had gotten my question, but were very busy and they’d answer my question as soon as they could.

Meanwhile my free test strips, which cost $20.82 sit at the pharmacy waiting to be picked up. I am upset. It seems like now that I’m old, I once more am being treating like a child – not just a child, but one who dares to question – and I am to wait.

Ok. Well, while I wait, I canceled my today’s appointment with a Medicare Salesman who wanted to sell me Plan G for $95 a month. That would put me paying almost $200 for Medicare Plan B and a supplemental Medicare Plan and Plan B wasn’t performing as promised. So I canceled and he said fine, we’d get together when I felt better, and I just needed to be patient.

Oh, really? I filed for Social Security Disability in May and now it’s October. I’ve gone to the doctors they sent me to. I’ve gone to other doctors as well. They all say I am permanently disabled and will never be able to work again, but after five months of waiting, Social Security STILL  hasn’t reached a decision on whether or not I qualify for Disability Social Security? But the problem is I’m not patient?????

I think the solution, and this will please Oprah Winfrey, who says the country will be better when all us old white people die, but the solution is clearly when you qualify for Medicare, you quit seeing doctors and quit using medicines and just let nature take its course. Everyone will have to be patient, but I think that’s the best solution I can come up with.


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