Yeah, right. You’re either laughing or crying as you read that title.
I, on the other hand, am just plain mad!
So last year, I turned 65. Time to sign up for Medicare. Went well, no problems. Just Part A, don’t need anything else because Terry still had insurance from his job.
This year, at 66, we decided to sign me up for Social Security. Also, Terry retired, so we signed up for Part B. No problems. A few weeks later, I got my red/white/blue Medicare card saying I now had A and B. But when we contacted Tricare for our supplement to Medicare, we were told I didn’t exist. That took a lot of time and patience.
Later, Medicare told me I didn’t exist. “Then please tell me to WHOM you think you are speaking,” says I, in my best English teacher voice.
Then I got involved in some physical therapy that has been very helpful. Nice lady in the office sent my claim to Medicare. They sent it back saying I did NOT have Part B.
Okay, okay. We can deal with this. Pick up the phone, call the number on my card, go through the whole menu of options, finally get to talk to a real person who says, “Sorry, Ma’am, you’re not in our computer. There’s nothing we can do. You need to call Social Security, because that’s where you sign up for Medicare.” (By the way, I couldn’t get them to pronounce our last name correctly. Computers are only as smart as their programmers.)
“Look,” says I, trying not to let sarcasm drip through the phone, “This is the THIRD TIME we’ve run into a problem and what I’m wondering is, why is there a lack of communication between SS and Medicare?”
“Ma’am, I don’t have the answer to that. “
So then I called the national SS number. “Hello. We’re here to serve you. However, all our representatives are helping other people at the moment. Please try again later. Goodbye.” Click.
And I’m sitting there looking at my phone in utter frustration. Really? No “hold please”? Just “Goodbye”?
All right, ok, I’ll call the local office where we applied.
One ringy-dingy. Two ringy-dingy. Three ringy-din—“Hello. The office is not open today. Office hours are. . . . . .yadayadayada. We look forward to serving you.”
In the meantime, my therapy place is beginning to look at me sideways. They’re very nice. They’re very patient.
“It’s government efficiency,” I tell them.