Clearing Up The Misconception About Medicare Recipients

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

I am a senior citizen and retiree with health problems. I've worked since I was 14-years-old and even younger doing odd jobs. I've been the spouse of a military veteran who kept the family going while that spouse was away either in training or sent farther way somewhere else. Spouses, parents and grannies, especially, are the unsung heroes of the enlisted when military calls the them up for more training, to be spent to another base or deployed to a war zone. 

As a spouse sometimes the marriages may not have held up, military life back then could be hard on military families. However, we were the "boots on the ground" so to speak who made sure those interruptions in family life went as smoothly as possible. As a granny I've packed my bags in a matter of seconds and gone to stay with a grandchild while the mother, an Army Captain and in charge of a military unit, was sent away for several weeks of training. It helps the child if they're not constantly uprooted when mom or dad is away and they can remain in familiar surroundings. 

I'm the mother, grandmother, sister, niece and aunt of military veterans dating as far back as possibly WWII and likely beyond. I just haven't gotten around to carrying out enough research to determine how far back. I only recently discovered one, perhaps two of my uncles, were sharpshooters in WWII. 

Overall, I wish to clear up long standing misinformation about Medicare insurance and its recipients. Medicare recipients pay monthly premiums the same as one does in the private sector and also employees pay premiums. The premiums are often taken out of paychecks weekly, biweekly or monthly for employees, and those who receive Medicare have the option of their monthly premiums either deducted from their pay or they can choose to send their a monthly premium. For me, it's much easier to allow Medicare to deduct the premiums. 

Medicare recipients also have out of pocket expenses. There are often co-pays for primary care doctors for each visit. Higher co-pays that can run as high as $40 or more when the primary care doctor sends the Medicare patient to a specialists or several specialists. The co-pays to see a specialist are also for each visit and not a one time deal. When having to see several specialists in a short period of time, it can put a big dent in savings, salary, max out ones medical credit card and other credit cards in a short time. Then there's also lab and other tests the insurance may not fully cover. I just recently completed paying off charges for an MRI not fully covered by my Medicare insurance through a private insurance company, and another for CT scan. I've sometimes found myself cancelling a doctor's appointment with specialist Dr. Peter in order to see specialist Dr. Paul because I couldn't afford the co-pay or needed to pay down cards.

Then there's prescriptions. Some, if generic, may cost only a few dollars, while others can run as high as 50 bucks or more, and you have to move up to the next tier with your insurance. Depending on the tier level you're in, the insurance may pay very little or none at all for medication if you haven't met the max out of pocket. 

All in all, Medicare recipients are not charity cases. We've worked pretty much all our lives. We didn't gripe and moan about our taxes going for education. We were proud to know we were helping to prepare the next  generation. We didn't attack or mock the poor who may have needed help with food, shelter, or to keep the utilities on. We knew we could very well one day have to walk a mile in their moccasins. 

We're of that selfless generation who did what we had to do because it was the right thing to do. That in the end we all stand on the shoulders of those who came before, those who are and those who have yet to arrive. We knew when one falls we all are destined to take a hard tumble. 

Brenda Washington 


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