Friday, October 15, 2010

770 The Medicare Booklet

770 The Medicare Booklet

The health insurance company has sent along a booklet called "The More Things Change, The More We Stay The Same." Yeah, right. Not EVERYTHING they do stays the same. Last January, the rates went up 34%. The deductibles rose more than 40%, and the pharmacy catalog shrunk bigtime. "The More We Stay The Same?" Well, in a way, yeah. What stayed the same was the gouging. It got deeper, but it remains based on the same and original concept, "get the suckers while they're still warm."

Guess they need the money to print up those pretty brochures. One "chapter" is called "We're Always Right Here, Close at Hand." So let's make a phone call. Three minutes of introductory blahblah on cell phone prime time, and then someone answers the phone, but can't answer the question which was "how much are the rates going to rise NEXT year." "We'll be sending out notices in the next week or so, sir. But I don't have the information now." Hell you don't. You just don't want to say because you don't want your customers calling around to find a better deal. Are you going to call back to answer the question once you admit to having the information? Hold your breath.

As noted in a previous post, we Social Security Moochers aren't going to get a raise in 2011. So our Medicare rates will remain the same.

Moron the booklet: "We got 'Lifestyle Classes!" Really! We got to be of Medicare age by listening to some 12 year old trying to teach us how to how to eat fewer Big Macs? Not. Another chapter: "Exceptional Benefits, Just Like Always." From the "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should" school of grammar. "AS" always, schmeckle! Exceptional? Not a bit. All the plans are doing the same thing. Maybe they should call them "Medicare Plots," instead of "Medicare Plans." Better yet, "Medicare? Plotz!"

Then there's the infamous "Silver Sneakers" plan which pays for some health club memberships as long as you check in 12 times a month. If you don't, the health club can bill you. But it and "Sneakers" can't stop you from running into the gym, checking in and then leaving without exercising. Probably, this is fraud. Go prove it. Revenge is sweet.

Then, there's the "dental plan." Ask any dentist about how good that is. Cleaning? Yeah. Periodontal? Fuggedaboudit. Implants? Dental MRAs? Nah.

And there's "Manage Your Prescriptions." This is health insurance-ese for (A) use our mail order house, because we get better kickbacks than from the regular drug store" and (B) We don't use generics, but you'd better. C'mon. They're just as good as the real thing. (No they aren't.)

Best of all is advice on "how to navigate the health care system." You gotta be kidding! Half the problem is the idiotic "Medicare Advantage" plan, which charges you co-payments for stuff that regular Medicare doesn't.

There is no information phone number supplied with this "informative" booklet. Any thoughts about why they tell you to "refer to the phone number on your card?" It's because it's too much trouble for most of us to look up, and they know that, so we don't. Except this time.


--Please note the return of Jim Kingsland's Blog which had been inactive for some time. Also note the new name, Financial Balderdash. Welcome back, Jim.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010

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