Hey, Blog, I’m Back!

So I call the state agency that’s helping me get Medicare and Medicaid. I work through the maze of automated systems until I find get to the one (out of something like 30) menu systems that offers to connect you to a real, live, human being and I get told “All our agents are busy at this moment. Please try your call again, later.” Wait… What? I bounce back in and out of this menu system at least ten times and finally get told my call was being transferred to an agent. Ten minutes of mind numbing hold music later and I’m talking to “Kevin”.

I ask, simply, “My case worker is convinced being accepted into the QMB program means I was automatically opted into Medicare. How do I prove to a doctor’s office that I HAVE medicare Part B?”

After an agonizing half hour trying to understand the guy, who seemed to be half Jamaican and half Indian, I find out he doesn’t know… ANYTHING about the programs his agency administers. He said I had to call Medicare. He gives me their number and says they could help me with proof of my coverage.

I call Medicare and run straight into an automated answering system that’s designed to keep you from ever hearing a non-recorded voice. At least ten minutes later I get “Paul” on the phone. “Paul” at least speaks English well enough to easily understand him. He seems angered that I didn’t use the automated system and bothered him with my boring little questions. “Paul” says they have no record of my ever getting Medicare Part B and if I want Medicare Part B I have to call the Social Security office and they can help me with my problems.

I get the number for the Social Security office from “Paul” and begin fighting with another government answering system. I have to tell this one at least five times that no, I don’t want you to try and guess what help I need, I want to talk to an agent. I’m told that the Social Security phone system is often busiest at the beginning of the month and hold times during those days may be excessive.

FIFTEEN minutes later of listening to horrid hold music fade in and out I get “Dwayne” on the phone. After giving him a ton of personal information to identify myself (including the city I was born in!) I get to ask him “What do I have to do to opt into Medicare Part B NOW?” and “Dwayne” says… “Nothing, I see here you’re enrolled in Medicare Part B already. When the state accepted you into their QMB program it automatically and immediately opted you into the program.” {Facepalm} He has no idea why Medicare has no record of my having Part B and tells me my new ID card is on the way as well as a letter of proof as well which will arrive before the new ID card. He gives me my Medicare ID number and the program effective dates they have on record and tells me to have a nice day….

{Facepalm} {Head Desk} {Facepalm} {Head Desk}…

I need a nap.

Hawk (napping)

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