Winter Waning Moon of the Cold Month
Kathryn Kiegler has restored, no, wait that’s too strong, has challenged my opinion about insurance sales folk. She gave us good advice, walked us through the labyrinth that is Medicare and the various parts attached to it A, B, C, and D, then helped us evaluate a plan best suited to Kate’s needs. She was clear, patient, gave us the time we needed. Great person to work with.
We did hit one weird snag. Kate had not gotten her part B card, nor her letter telling her she had been enrolled. Without this letter or the card Kate couldn’t sign up for Medicare advantage at all. Kathryn called Social Security, finally, after a really long and tedious animated voice, a real human came on the line. Kathryn explained Kate’s need for the letter, the woman agreed to fax it and all seemed in order. Except. By the time we were ready to leave, no fax. None of us wanted to wait the 10-12 minutes to go through the animated phone information.
What to do? Kathryn recommended going to the Social Security and getting the letter in person. Not a bad solution since the SSA office is on Chicago Avenue and 18th, not all that far from Kathryn’s office near Westminster Church downtown. So, we drove over there. Kate went in while I waited outside. I’m not real patient with bureaucracy. When she returned a bit later, letter in hand, she told me why we had received no fax. “The man told me the Social Security Administration never faxes anything with a social security number on it.”
Hmmm. Have you ever read Kafka? Can you imagine, say, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles choosing to never fax something with a license plate number on it? Yes, of course. Identity theft. I know. Seems that such intelligent folks could have figured out a solution. One idea. When faxing a document to the person whose social security number is involved? Leave it off and let them fill it in on the other end.
The really good news in this is that our budget for Kate’s insurance costs was about double the cost we’ll pay. That probably means the same will hold true for me. That will remove several thousand dollars a year from our expenses, maybe a bit more. Where was that cruise brochure? Maybe we could afford that round the world jet junket? Nah, even at $65,000 that sounded like a cheesy deal. The Amazon River? Egypt? Possible. Maybe possible.