Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Retirement Simplification—Acronyms for the Jargon

Political commentators sure use a lot of acronyms. I’m not talking about ones used for texting, like “OMG” and “LOL.” Theirs are strange. As I watched one of the political shows this past Sunday, I came to attention when I heard “BOMFOGers.” The speaker explained that BOMFOG stood for “Brotherhood of Man, Fatherhood of God.” He was warning viewers to be wary of those who spout meaningless platitudes. I think the term is a little like the onomatopoeic “bloviator,” but with a more political focus.

My first thought was that BOMFOGer sounded raucously close to another word with an M and an F that ends in “er.” My next thought was that acronyms can play a useful role in simplifying communications, especially in areas that are rife with jargon. I immediately realized that I could provide a valuable service by cataloging some acronyms for retirement.

Let’s start with Medicare. (I heard some of you moan, “Let’s not!”) It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. You should look carefully at a MSIP (Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan) to cover costs that basic Medicare doesn’t. Part A covers hospital services. Part B covers medical expenses such as PSIOPMSSS, and PST, DT and DME. So, you’ve got your Physicians’ Services, In & Out Patient Medical & Surgical Services & Supplies; and also Physical & Speech Therapy, Diagnostic Tests and Durable Medical Equipment. I hope you’ve been paying attention, because there will be a test.

If you decide to get coverage for the prescription drugs you take, you’ll enroll in a PDP (Prescription Drug Plan.) Be careful not to confuse that with AARP’s PDP (Prescription Discount Program.) The latter PDP is free and is presently run through Walgreens. It can be used when your regular PDP doesn’t cover the prescription you’re filling.

So, if your PDP doesn’t pay for your medical marijuana, for example, AARP’s PDP might. If you’re smart, you’ll toke before you even try to figure this one out. Especially since the fine print reads “The AARP PDP is not a licensed pharmacy and may be discontinued at any time.” By the way, as best I can tell, bongs are not covered as DME.

Your PDP (Prescription Drug Plan) is where that infamous “donut hole” comes into play. The good news is, if you’re really decrepit and take lots of meds, you can throw yourself on the mercy of drug companies’ PAPs (Patient Assistance Programs.) When you reach the donut hole, your PAP kicks in. That way if the AARP PDP has gone toes up, you won’t get smeared.

Moving on to Social Security. We all know that FRA (Full Retirement Age) is the age at which our government finds we’re sufficiently senile to collect 100% of earned benefits. For my peers, that’s 66. However, 100% of earned benefits is not, in fact, the maximum we can receive. That’s right, we can get more than 100% if we’re willing to hang on until full senility sets in. The government has decided that for all of us that happens at age 70.

This means that FRA is really FRABNAFMAB (Full Retirement Age, But Not Age For Maximum Available Benefits.) It sets up a new concept: OFRA (Over-Full Retirement Age.) It also sends you to actuarial tables to decide if you’ll live long enough to make it worth waiting for MABRA, or whether you should take the money and run at FRA.

Once you decide to start collecting your Social Security benefits, you’ll have the option for DDA (Direct Deposit Advice.) When you choose that, your monthly payment will automatically appear in your designated account. Unfortunately for some of us, there is also the DDISEA (Direct Deposit Into Someone Else’s Account.) You may discover you have DDISEA even though you didn’t sign up for it, and it takes close to an act of Congress to undo it.

I hope you have enjoyed this informative, if brief, foray into the topic of retirement acronyms. There are so many more that I could share with you, but I don’t want to risk your having an attack of AFRJO (Acronyms for Retirement Jargon Overload.) I’m quite sure that isn’t covered by under OPMS, although it just might qualify you to find relief in medical marijuana. They say that every cloud has a silver lining.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious!