Saturday, September 22, 2012

Autumnal Equinox

Everyone who knows me knows that I am pretty even-tempered, laid back, and not given to fits of anger. Yet there is one thing that always seems to enrage me, and it occurs annually right at the autumnal equinox.  It is the receipt of "Renewal Information" from the carrier of my Part D  Medicare insurance program.  For you youngsters, this is the drug insurance portion of the program.  Do not infer that I am unappreciative of any benefits that may depend from such a program.

The subtitle of this year's document is "Changes to Your Program for 2013."  The book is 154 pages in length and is printed on 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper slightly lower in quality than standard newsprint.  Apart from the aggravation and minor hissy fits I engaged in while attempting to understand the first half-dozen pages, as nearly as I can figure out the bottom line is that the premium will be increased by a mere 10.5%.  And that some of my meds may not necessarily be any longer on their formulary.*

Of course, I have the option of changing carriers.  This means I have the "opportunity" to explore and study some what? forty or more programs offered by twenty-some carriers.  Which multiplies the aggravation exponentially.

I think the designers' hopes are that everything is made so opaque and confusing that we oldsters will simply forget to or fail to comply with some jot or tittle in the program and thereby be eliminated.  Is that even remotely possible?  Nah, surely not.

*formulary: a made-up word meaning the list of stuff that will be covered.

12 comments:

John Cowart said...

"We oldsters will simply....be eliminated".

Yes, I think that's the plan.

John

Jim said...

I worked for four years for a Medicare contractor, probably the one from whom you get your statements. I had a front-row seat to the bureaucracy. I swear, every communication could have been halved and halved again with a good editor.

Grace said...

I don't know how folks figure this whole thing out. It is, thankfully, not a problem we have. Part of my husband's retirement plan is the option to continue his health insurance coverage. We pay the same premium as active employees and while it is considerable, our increase for 2013 will only be 3.3% -

Secondary Roads said...

Why is it "autumnal equinox" and "vernal equinox," but it's summer and winter solstice? Must also be a bureaucratic thing?

I do believe you have captured the essence of "formulary." You know there is something wrong about it when the spell checker says you don't have it right. :)

Elvin Powers said...

I feel your pain. The bureaucracy is determined that we shall all feel it together.

vanilla said...

John, now you have me wondering if there is a plot afoot to "eliminate" oldsters.

Jim, they could probably save enough paper to pay the salary of a good editor; and perhaps save the customer a good bit of aggravation.

Grace, well, figuring it out is a chore. Happy for you that it is not one of your chores.

Chuck, I never really thought about the seasonal designations. Now I've something to stew about this afternoon.

Elvin, I guess this is a good example of "misery loves company"?

Shelly said...

I think their strategy is to wear us out with drivel.

vanilla said...

Shelly, if that's the case, it's working!

Sharkbytes said...

I am not looking forward to ANY of this.

vanilla said...

Sharkey, hold off as long as you can!

Lin said...

I always wonder what uneducated or impaired people do. I mean, how do they process this information or lack thereof? It's all so confusing--why do they do that? It's crazy.

vanilla said...

Lin, good reminder to me that there are others who have things much tougher than I have. I am blessed. Thanks.