Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Putting a toe into the water of retirement

Today marks Day 1 of being on Medicare.
My new mantra:
If Medicare is here, can Social Security be far behind?

It certainly wasn't easy getting here, despite some guidance and suggestions from friends who are a few months or years ahead of me on this.

Now I ask you, why on earth, when Medicare has Part A, Part B, and Part D,
would our otherwise nurturing government title its options for your selection Plan A, Plan B, etc. ??

I don't know about you, but when I'm drowning in paperwork (at least three copies of everything were sent by AARP alone), the last thing I need is to have two sets of four-letter words that both begin with P and have the letters A and B, all floating around in the material I'm supposed to be evaluating.
Especially when the AARP packages have pages that got separated so you couldn't tell what all the different entries meant. (Future mailings came with them stapled, by the way.)

So for days I was trying to make sense of Plan A thinking I was reading something about Part A. And of course, no sense was to be made, no matter how many times I read it. I don't like feeling stupid, no matter how much wine I've had to drink. I especially don't like being forced to wonder if I'm already having Senior Moments and I'm not even retired yet.

My "Aha Moment" (thank you, Oprah) came when I received the stapled version and discovered that row one under the heading Plan A was actually Part A and row two was Part B, etc. "Aha!" (said I.) "This is really just an Excel spreadsheet that was missing its Column A labels!" It still took awhile to figure out what made the most sense for me (calculating expected out of pocket based on current number of doctor's visits, etc.) But at least I was finally playing with a full deck. And a fresh bottle of wine.

So, in service to those of you who are still looking forward to Medicare, I offer the following:

NOTE TO GOVERNMENT: Please consider renaming Plan A and Plan B etc.:
Plan 1 and Plan 2 etc.
Or better yet, how about: Cheapest Plan, Next Cheapest Plan, Travel Lovers Plan, and You've Got To Be Kidding Me Plan.

Just can't wait to see what Day 2 brings...


Deborah Elizabeth Finn said...

Dear Elaine,

Congratulations on launching your blog! I hope that you'll consider registering with BlogHer (

Best regards from Deborah

Deborah Elizabeth Finn
Strategist and Consultant
Technology for the Nonprofit and Philanthropic Sector
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Skype: Deborah909
Twitter: Deborah909

I bring resources and needs together for nonprofits and
philanthropies, mostly through strategic use of information
and communication technologies.

SrStewart said...

Excellent post Elaine! ~and made me laugh. Even better than Excellent.

The Reading Lady said...

Seems that one needs a Google account to post a comment on your Blog. I am (still) the Reading Lady. Ciao!