Ideas For Addressing Medicare Madness
By Erica and Karen
If you fail to sign up—correctly—for Medicare, disaster follows. We have tried to find the best ways to do it right. But really, why does it have to be so complicated?
We looked around for resources. AARP publishes a book called Medicare For Dummies. Sounds promising. But it is 432 pages. Seriously?
We identified at least twelve other books on Amazon, some of which included titles like “Avoid the Pitfalls, Navigate the Landmines” and “The Traps WIthin Medicare”. Most are at least 200 pages long. And why should there be landmines and pitfalls?
Almost the same length is the government’s handbook, Medicare and You. Nice graphics, and it is free. We used it. But simple? No.
And then there are Medicare experts who will advise you, for a fee. A good idea, though not a cheap one.
Once you do sign up, don’t forget the payments go from you to the government. You will discover that actually getting payment to Medicare is not so easy. You get a bill each month in the mail, and you had better be careful about the deadlines. You can sign up for automatic payments, which we did, but there are hoops to jump through first. And you still get what looks like a bill in the mail each month, though it says it is not a bill. So why do you get it?
If you need to sign up now, go do it But meanwhile we are going to try to find a good, affordable, simple source of advice. We are lawyers ourselves, so we know there are transactions that require heavy duty, expensive advice—mergers and acquisitions, big lawsuits, complex tax returns. But we think Medicare, in the twenty-first century, should be a lot simpler than it is. Please send us your tips.