Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The XG#*^)WTF Medicare and Social Security

I have found an activity that ages me more than all of the sunshine, smoking, drinking, and fat ever could. I mean dealing with the Medicare and Social Security Administration. I don't understand how to read the books and booklets they send out to those of us who receive Medicare and Social Security. So I went to an insurance man who set me up with parts A and B, part D, and a perscription plan. The parts A and B plus the perscription plan were to be deducted from my Social Security. The Part D came from my checking account.

I understand that now. After paying a bunch of money I wasn't expecting to pay. No one, and I mean No One, told me about the fact that the amount the Social Security Administration charges for medicare is tied to income tax. You see, I paid income tax for a building I sold. They didn't call it capital gain, though that is what it was. An inherited building. This was in 2009 that the building sold. And I thought since I put the money into trust for my retirement, I was safe. God, I must be really stupid. In 2011 my Medicare cost me 319.70 for parts A and B. My perscription plan started at $30 per month and went to $66.40. And I still paid from my checking account for the part D coverage. But I had no idea the change was because of my 2009 sale of the building. Remember that I put the money into a trust. I was paying well over half of my SS income for medical care and had to begin borrowing from the trust.

I understand that I am lucky. My SS is about $10,000 per year and I'm lucky to have that. In this economy, any income is a really good thing. However, again, I was paying over half for health insurance. I think if I had known exactly what was going on I would have used the health insurance more, just to justify the cost. And a lot of the problem with this is because I didn't get or understand the information about the payments. After the first half of 2011 I was trying to get by on very little money and I started asking questions. I found that no one knew enough about my situation at the SS office to really help me. It was all there in the computer except for the why. So, as luck would have it, a friend told me about her health insurance which was a whole Bunch cheaper than mine. When sign up time came, I changed over. Part D and the perscription plan is about one tenth of the original plans I was on. But that didn't change the SS payment. So I submitted a 2010 Income Tax form showing my significantly lowered income and after practically camping out at the SS office, my payment was lowered to where it should be. My blood pressure on the other hand has not come back down yet.

I'm writing this blog to accomplish a couple of things. One-----If you are on SS and Medicare, please know all you can about what money goes where. And if you don't understand, don't necessarily just ask one person. Ask a bunch of questions. The man who set me up on the original policy went out of business. Small wonder.

The second reason for this blog is----I needed to bitch. Hopefully it will help my blood pressure.

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I've found

I've found it's a lot easier to be high maintenance when someone else is paying for the maintenance.