SoCS – Medicare Insurance

Day 171

It’s time again for Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. The prompt for today is: “the last piece of mail you received.” Talk about the subject of the last piece of physical mail you received, i.e. a gas bill–talk about gas, not the bill itself. Have fun!

I get some interesting mail. Just last week I received a 10 page letter from a friend in Africa. But of course that was not the last piece of mail I received. I was not to be that lucky. No, my last piece of mail was from a life insurance company selling Medicare insurance policies. So there you have it, Medicare Insurance.

Let me first say that once you retire you get a lot of mail about things that remind you how old you are. You get invited to lunches for buying retirement properties or you can learn how to invest your savings to benefit your golden years. You can get full body scans to determine what diseases your body may already be wracked with. You get mail about pre-arranging your funeral or an occasional mailing from an elder attorney. The worst offender of the mailings, however, has to be for Medicare Insurance.

Now, I have yet to figure out just how the money flows, but the comparison to available health insurance policies Vs. Medicare insurance is stark. Last year there was only one company in my state that sold health insurance where it appears EVERYONE offers Medicare Insurance. Even a life insurance company.

For the three months prior to your 65th birthday, especially if already on social security, you will receive a constant bombardment of the plethora of plans available. I have blogged about this before so I will not rant here again. It is so annoying. The really frightening thing is that in our day of privacy is king, every company out there has the goods on you. I even had a sales person appear on my doorstep to try to sell me Medicare insurance. I lied right to her face. I told her I had already signed up. No way this slick person was coming into my house. You see, I live in the boonies. It takes an effort to find my house. There has to be a great deal of money somewhere.

Yesterday, when I saw Linda’s reminder I was hoping to get some exciting mail. It was not to be. So, there you have it. Medicare Insurance. Nothing like being reminded how old you are.

If you would like to join SoCs, just head over to Linda G. Hill’s blog to read the rule and join in the fun.

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Meanwhile, 10 Miles Up the Road

Day 101

The weather bypassed us luckily. We had rain all night and into the morning, but no snow, no sleet, and no ice. We were a little suspicious that the weather was different elsewhere because our cell tower has been out most of the day. Such is life in the mountains. You better be ready to live without all of life’s conveniences for a while.

We have been fairly homebound since Thursday so we decided to go out for a bit today. I checked the local online news channels and there were minimal power outages and a few roads closed because of downed trees so it sounded okay to travel.

Hubby’s soup is great, but two days for lunch and dinner were enough to convince us to go out for a late lunch. We tossed around several ideas and decided on Zoe’s Kitchen, a favorite Mediterranean spot. On the drive up, it became very foggy and we noticed a lot of ‘snow’ on the trees flanking the highway. We didn’t think much of it and motored on. It was a delightful lunch. Both of us had the chicken kebobs, turmeric rice, and Greek salad with pita. Of course, I am also a little obsessive over their tzatziki sauce–yum!

Afterward, we made a stop by Fresh Market and decided to take the back way home. That’s when we realized the ‘snow’ we had seen on the way up was actually ICE. It reminded me a great deal of the ice fogs we often experienced when I lived in Alaska.

On the way home, we saw a lot of trees down–snapped from the weight of the ice. We also saw quite a few bucket-trucks from the surrounding power companies. The ride home was a little precarious because as the day had warmed up, the ice was melting and falling in big chunks. We came to realize that when one dropped on the car and the windshield. We were lucky that it wasn’t a larger piece of ice. After the third chunk of ice hit the car, I was ready to get home.

Above GIF from

Needless to say, we were happy we made it home safely. It was nice to get out, but as Dorothy always said, “There’s no place like home”.

I forgot to mention that I received my Medicare card in the mail yesterday–Yahoo! I’ve already whined about that in a prior blog post so tomorrow, I’ll try to talk about it in a more positive way.


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First Snow of the Season

Day 62

Today is one of those days that I don’t have much on my mind to write about. That’s okay, though. I had a very full weekend and lots of busy days lie ahead so some downtime is welcome.

We did our normal walk this morning. It was brisk but we hung in there. We saw a few bluebirds in an open field about a mile from our house. They normally do not come up to our house because the area around our house is heavily treed. Bluebirds prefer open spaces just on the fringe of woodland.

The bluebirds are not as ‘blue’ as in the nesting season. We had a pair nest in our bluebird house this past spring. Now we are thinking we need to put some mealworms out for them — especially because it is so cold and insects will be harder to come by.

Speaking of cold, we are anticipating the first snow of the season to come this weekend. The estimates of snowfall keep changing. At present, they are predicting 5-8 inches on Saturday and 5-8 inches on Sunday, Sounds like a perfect weekend to bundle up and stay warm.

We only get 2-3 snowfalls in our winter season. This one may come with some ice or sleet which will make driving more precarious. It also increases the chances of power outages due to extra weight on the trees. We are fortunate to have a generator, so if we do lose power we are usually okay.

One good thing we accomplished today was going to see a SHIIP counselor about Medicare. We had done a lot of research but had a few outstanding questions we could not find documented anywhere. The woman that assisted us was kind and extremely helpful. I think we finally have a grasp on all the ins and outs of moving into Medicare.

Just another average day. In a strange way, I am looking forward to the snow. I am glad we do not live where it snows a lot — I had my share of that when I lived in cold weather climates. I do love the change of seasons and the first snow of the year is oddly comforting to me.

So that’s it for the day. Nothing much going on here. Just an average day in the neighborhood.

“Life is lived in the moments of simplicity!” 
Avijeet Das


Insurance Rant

Day 43

Today I will be ranting, so if you don’t really want to hear it, I will understand if you walk away now. I just need to get this off my chest.

Health Insurance

When we retired, we were on Cobra, a costly but good insurance program. We aren’t eligible for Medicare yet so when our Cobra expired, we had to buy health insurance to bridge the gap until we were eligible for Medicare.

We found a policy. It was double what we were paying per month and there is a $13,000 deductible before the insurance kicks in. Obviously, we bought it because we needed something in case of a catastrophic event.


So Medicare is on the horizon. But that’s not straightforward or free like some people think. Part of it that covers hospitalization will be at no cost, but any doctors visits, deductibles and prescriptions are all something you need to buy.

If only it were simple and easy to understand.

Some people buy insurance managed by the Federal Government. Some people buy from an Insurance company that manages the healthcare offered by the government. That means you deal with the insurance company for claims. You might be required to go back to using an approved network of doctors. And that network may only be available in the state you live in.

If you want to cover non-insured costs like deductibles and services that Medicare does not cover you need a gap policy.

There is Part A, Part B, Part C, Part D, and today we received paperwork for Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N. What????????

Guess what? Not all doctors and hospitals even accept Medicare. That’s fun.

Eyes, Ears, and Teeth

Most plans do not cover eye exams, hearing aids or dental. And all those parts of our bodies get worse and in need of attention the older we get!

Plan Ahead

If you are young and healthy, try to stay that way. Watch your diet and get some exercise. If you haven’t been going to the doctor, go while you can avoid insurance. My insurance would cost 50% less if I was 10 years younger.

Also, SAVE, SAVE, SAVE. Your cost of living does not go down when you retire. The only money you don’t need to spend might be for work clothes and gas to get to and from work. Insurance is definitely more expensive the older you get. If you can retire with no car payment and no mortgage, I would highly recommend you try!

Right now I am fortunate to be as healthy as I am. I have some things I need to be better about and I am working on those things.

Health care is a BIG BIG business. And we are two of the fortunate people.


To enjoy a long, comfortable retirement, save more today.
Suze Orman