Just Get On Board by Pat Conrad MD

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We’ve spilled more than a little ink on this blog describing how Medicare is harmful to physicians, and their relationship with patients. And if Medicare gives fat payoffs to large hospital corporations, it certainly harms a great many individual hospitals and their staffs, particularly their nurses.

We’ve also talked about how Medicare harms patients, from making untenable promises, to stealing from future generations, to the de facto rationing of care through shortages created by declaring seniority a material right. Our deserving seniors, abetted by the medical profession, embraced dependency and allowed us all to be corralled into this cattle chute of institutionalized compassion.

And now I’ve learned of a new (to me) jab from this program, both cruel and incomprehensible.

  •  “Confusion can cause people to sign up late for Medicare Part B, which can lead to a hefty penalty that sticks with you for life … one recent caller to the Medicare Rights Center help line reported enrolling late for Part B and, as a result, paying an additional $52.45 a month, or $629 extra a year.”
  • “There’s a seven-month window to enroll in Medicare that starts three months before your 65th birthday month.”
  • “If you’re collecting Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you are automatically signed up for an insurance package that includes both Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B.”
  • “Missing the deadline can sometimes result in a lifelong penalty of 10% a year on the Part B premium for each year you fail to enroll.”
  • “If you have retiree health benefits from a former employer, you still must enroll in Medicare during your initial enrollment period to avoid a Part B penalty.

Through this entire article I’m screaming “WHY??” Why should there be a penalty for signing up late, when it could only result in cost savings? Why are Medicare and Social Security linked and activated together? If you are late, why is there a lifelong penalty?

68420cookie-checkJust Get On Board by Pat Conrad MD