"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Sep 22, 2020

A Christian Scientist at Medicare Time

I haven't got a clue.  I turn 65 next month so gobs of mail from medical groups arrives each week, which I toss along with the life insurance probes.  I've been covered by Oregon's health plan for years, the equivalent of Medicaid I guess; and until two weeks ago I assumed that would continue until I die or am no longer indigent, from my lips to God's ears.

So months ago, when I received an ultimatum from the Feds advising they'd be taking out about $140 a month for something called Plan B unless I said no, I turned them down.  That's over 10 percent of my total income, are they nuts?  A nagging thought said, "Wait," but I unwisely ignored it.

Two weeks ago I received a call from Oregon Health, interviewing me for almost an hour to determine if I was eligible for help with my premiums.

"You will be notified of our decision within 2 weeks."

"But I already turned down Plan B...can I still change my mind if Oregon picks up the tab?"

"Sure, you've got until January 1st to fill out the Changed My Mind form," don't you wish those were more common?

It's not quite that simple.  The letter arrived last week saying I'm a QMB (Qualified Medical Beneficiary) and will be covered by Oregon for pretty much everything; but I was busy packing to evacuate from the fires ravaging our county and set the letter aside.  Yesterday was my designated Health day: first call to my local health plan, where a woman very kindly explained to me how I had it all wrong and as of September 30th I was out of the system and my Oregon benefits would end because I turned down Plan B; unless I could fix my mess.

After I fix Social Security I wait 5 days before contacting Senior Services to ask that they fill out the "Don't take out her premium" form; then, once all that's completed, I can call back my health plan and get myself reinstated, what insanity.  Why can't these agencies work together?  Ignorance should not neutralize eligibility.

Since Covid, Social Security isn't accepting walk-ins but unfortunately it's impossible to schedule an appointment either, so I downloaded the 1/2 page form, filled it out and drove to the supply store to send a fax.

"Why not stop at the SS office, one block from Office Depot, drop it off in person and save the money?"

The building looked abandoned but for the couple in the dark SUV slowly circling, looking for an open door, a body, some proof of life, so I left and sprung for the fax.

"God can't send the fax; but he can certainly influence who passes the machine with the incoming fax; maybe even decides to take care of it right away, stranger things have happened," I said to Sis.

So I'm asking for a collective prayer that my paperwork goes through before I turn into a pumpkin, thanks so much!

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