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Just before noon, November 23, 2016, I went in to a panic attack.

dinahscopeI called the Medicare office to ask that I be dropped from Part D prescription drug coverage. I have been with Humana a couple of years, and I feel I have not been getting my money’s worth.

The premiums amount to somewhere around $250 to $300 per year, and I am positive the cost of prescriptions covered by the plan are less, or very close. Why spend any extra money.

As I was talking to Jessica V—- at Medicare, I was literally shocked to hear I would be PUNISHED (financially) if I had no Part D coverage at all!

I have heard of penalties being assessed to people without medical insurance under Obamacare, but I always assumed that was for“the other guy.”

(Whenever I taught writing classes, I always told my students, “Never assume anything!”)

My income is only about $2,000 above the poverty line for an individual. Surely those warnings about penalties described families. Surely they were talking about hospital and medical services – Parts A and B – that I have had for years.

No. I was wrong. I would be penalized if I had no Part D prescription drug coverage. I MUST decide by December 7!

dinahpillsSo, I called a social worker, Shantel C—-, who had helped me find the best Part D coverage the last couple of years. She confirmed I could not simply drop Part D. My head started spinning and my gut ached. I was shaking.

To make matters worse, our phone call suddenly cut off. All I heard was a very audible “click.”

I tried several times to reconnect. All I got was a busy signal. Again. Again. And again.

By now, I was running late for my usual trip to the gym. Maybe I could connect with Shantel in a few minutes. On my way to the gym, I almost T-boned a white car at an intersection. We both drove away without stopping, however.

I tried calling Shantel several times from the gym. FINALLY, I figured out what was wrong. I had RUN OUT OF MINUTES on my cellphone! The day before Thanksgiving in America! If I didn’t connect with Shantel in the next few minutes, I would have to wait until Monday, November 28! FIVE days away! The panic would not subside.

Racing home, I got on my computer in order to buy some time for my phone. I wasn’t even sure that was going to work. By sheer coincidence, my computer had just barely come back from repairs that very morning.

Yes, I was able to buy some time for my phone, but as expected, I was too late to connect with Shantel.

She had sent me an email lamenting the lost phone connection. She also confirmed that if I switched to Aetna Plan D, I would save money. We could connect on Monday.

Monday is a long way off.

-30-

 

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