Thursday, January 5, 2017

January 5th...

...was an aggravating day! Well, it actually started on January 4th. Here's the story.

As of January 1st, I'm officially on Medicare---or so I thought. I have never received my card or any information. I'm going to be starting a new treatment for my hives that is very expensive ($5,000 a month!). I've been told that this is a Medicare covered expense, but I want to make sure before I begin. Since I never received any information, I decided to call. 

I called Medicare and was on hold for 23 minutes before I even talked to someone. She couldn't find me anywhere in the system and said I didn't fill out an application. YES I did! We even went to the Social Security office at the end of November---after making that appointment 2 months in advance. Turns out, when we were there, I got a call and discovered I was at the wrong office. Apparently, when you call Social Security, you may not be talking to the office you think you are. So when I made that appointment, I thought I was talking to one office when actually it was another. Anyway, we waited and went through everything with that "guy" and thought we were all set. 

Yesterday, the Medicare person I was talking to said that I needed to call Social Security. I did. The woman there told me that I didn't qualify for Medicare since I only had 21 points or credits and needed 40. I would have to apply under my husband's account. What??? Honestly, I feel like I'm being punished for choosing to be a stay-at-home mom. Anyway, no one bothered to tell us that. I asked what I needed to do. She said that I needed to make an appointment because I couldn't apply online. I have to bring my marriage license and Butch along with me. 

I called the local Social Security office to make an appointment. They don't have anything available until March 4th. My only alternative was to just walk in the office and wait in line. That's what we decided to do since my first treatment is scheduled for January 18th. 

We left the house at 8:15 (the place opens at 9:00). I had to take the marriage license off the wall---it's framed. I decided I wasn't going to take it out of the frame unless they insisted. We arrived at 8:45 to a long line out the door. Once they started letting people go through the metal detector, it went pretty fast. I registered and got a number. 

We only waited about 15 minutes when they called my number. We went to the window where the lady was having problems with her computer. She kept messing with it, got up and walked away, came back and tried a few things to no avail.  Finally, she snagged a man who was walking around and he managed  to get her computer going---15 minutes. That's when she asked me what I needed. We told her the whole story only to have her say that she couldn't help us. We had two choices---either make an appointment (which would be March) or wait for 2 or 3 hours today for someone "in the back" to get to me. She said that they were short handed because a lot of people had called in sick! I don't care! I looked at Butch. He wasn't happy, but neither was I. We decided to just wait and get it taken care of.  

Turns out, we were in luck. I'd say we only waited about 20 minutes before we were called to the back. The lady there couldn't have been nicer. She helped us fill out the papers---so many different things. Butch had some papers to sign too. That lady told us that the person that helped us the first time was too lazy to do all the necessary paperwork. She not only did it all on the spot, she sent it on to the next department rather than let it sit for later. We're trusting that she's told us the truth. We should get everything within 30 days. I may have to postpone my treatment. 

Oh and another thing, this nice lady asked if we were receiving benefits. I asked if I could. She said no, since Butch wasn't drawing his---not unless we were divorced! Butch quipped that maybe it would be worth it. I asked why--as that didn't seem fair. She said it was to protect a woman from a vindictive spouse who would refuse to draw so she couldn't get any. Oh well, we knew that ship had sailed last spring when Obama took away the early benefits you can get when you are 65. So we'll have to wait.

Anyway we got back home around 11--not all that bad. And if this social security fiasco wasn't enough---we're still fighting with Sprint! Butch got a text that they were shutting off our phone service. He got the notification yesterday and today they actually did it! Only his phone, but still..

You know the problems we've been having. Well, since I reported my 3 hour and 11 minute phone marathon with them the week before Christmas, Sprint has threatened to turn off our phones EVERY week since! Butch and Mindy dealt with them the Friday before Christmas. Stephanie actually went in to the Sprint store to talk to someone to get this resolved. They keep saying we owe something we don't! It's impossible to get it straightened out. This is what Stephanie reported after her "try" at it:

I got a partial resolution. No action needs to be taken on our part (except paying the January bill) unless they contact us. Our service is not in jeopardy of disconnection.

So today, when Butch's phone was turned off, he called Sprint and started the whole process again. They turned his phone back on, but the problem is not resolved. Basically, they've extended our bill to January 12th.

It's been every week for 4 weeks now that we've had to deal with this. Here's the thing. The amount---$130 something---is NOT on our bill. It's some random amount out there on some bill that we don't even get. We just get a notice that our phones are going to be turned off for lack of payment. It doesn't make sense to me. Why doesn't it show up on our regular bill?

Butch is going to try, yet again, next week to get it straightened out. The biggest problem is that you cannot get to someone that can actually make a decision or help you! What a mess.

Not a great way to start the new year.


  1. Oh my, what a trying day ... I think I'd have needed a large cup of tea and a sit down after all of that. Hopefully it's on its way to being sorted and you'll be getting your treatment soon.

  2. A pretty grim story indeed. My brother has spent this CHristmas telling us about your healthcare and he doesn't have much that's good to say about it, to be honest.

  3. ps: I hope the new treatment works. Fingers crossed.


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