Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's Deciding Season

    Actually it could also be called “Too Many Ads” season, and I for one think it comes around too often and last much too long. We are making political choices, Christmas ads have started, and we have to decide which sports to watch. (I am cheering for the Yankees) Then to top that off we seniors are entering “Annual Enrollment Period” for Medicare Supplement Insurance.
   Every year between November 15 and December 30, we have to decide what coverage we want. That’s because every year there are changes, some major and some minor, and all confusing. I don’t pretend to understand any of this although I do read some of the things online; Mr. Bruce does understand more. We both agree…it’s six of one, half a dozen of another. A couple of times we went to a meeting where nice salespeople gave presentations. That was more confusing and resulted in more phone calls and mailers.
   We are on a budget, like most people in age group. (I don’t like the term limited-budget, that sounds negative to me, but that’s a topic for another article.) We have always had one of the Medicare Advantage programs.
   Last year Bruce went to a sales presentation alone and came back all enthused about what he heard. It sounded the same to me. I asked him to make sure his doctor would accept that company before he signed up. Bruce was certain that any doctor’s office would because that’s what the “salesman” said. Wrong, when he checked with Dr. A’s office they said no. Seems the company in question was difficult to work with, late with payment, and more.
   I had a situation where I was referred to another doctor who happens not to be in my “network”. Anyway, I didn’t think to ask, both of the doctors were in the same building and had CoxHealth Hospital affiliates. Luckily, the office professional at the lab caught it before I ran into huge bills with lab work and x-rays.
   Almost every day we get something in the mail reminding us to make our choice as soon as open enrollment starts. I personally think they should save the trees and not send so much paper out. After all, they are also filling our email boxes with daily ads. I would mark these as spam but I do need to email them questions ever so often. Like do you cover paper cuts from all these mountains of written material you send out?
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