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Next Monday, 15 October, begins the annual Medicare enrollment period during which those who are eligible may make changes to their health and prescription drug coverage for the year 2013. The enrollment period continues until Friday, 7 December.
Nine weeks would seem like a long time to get a tedious and sometimes confusing job done. But last year, so many people put off the task until the last week that the federal government had to extend the deadline by three days.
So, next Monday's post here will be stuffed with facts and information you can use to help make the decisions before the deadline whether you are enrolling for the first time or already a beneficiary perhaps looking to change plans.
Personally, I don't believe it's nice to subject elders (or anyone) to the huge number of choices each year that cannot easily be compared. Single payer/universal coverage would, of course, fix that problem.
But, given what passes for Congress these days, I doubt that will happen in our lifetime so we're stuck with this odious annual ritual. I'll try to make it as easy as possible for you and point you to places where you can get additional help.
Meanwhile, today, I'd like to do a little survey. It's not scientific. It will have no meaning in terms of numbers and percentages. It doesn't even lend itself to being counted.
But it will help me for next week's story and might interest you. Just two questions for you to answer in the comments below.
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1. What single thing do you most want to know about the Medicare sign-up? Understand that I cannot answer questions about specific personal complexities. I'm seeking to find out what generally would help you get through this process as easily as possible.
2. What do you think of Medicare? Given that single payer is not an option at this time in American history, do you like Medicare? Does it work for you? What don't you like? What would make it better for you?
The first question will help form next week's post. The second is just curiosity on my part.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Johna Ferguson: Friendship