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How can I get the President to help me with my Medicare late signup penalty?

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posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 09:35 PM
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I've been on Federal employee disability and SSDI for many years. Up until about two years ago, most of my insurance was provided by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management through the Federal Employee Health Benefits program.

OPM raised its rates so much that I was forced to give up FEHB at the end of 2015, knowing that I would NEVER be allowed to get it ever again. Regardless of the reasons, inc. the lack of money. OPM was basically asking me to keep paying for their crummy insurance I couldn't afford to use.

Because I had FEHB, I declined Medicare Parts B and D. There was no way I could afford to carry both.

When I dropped FEHB I looked into getting Medicare Parts B and D and that is when I was told about the late signup penalty. Btw, the penalty is 10 percent of the premium for every year one went without it ON TOP OF the premium itself. This would cost me hundreds of dollars each month.

I tried to get Medicaid but the spenddown is way too high.

I tried to get help with paying the penalty but my income is JUST OVER the limit. Figures.

I wrote to the President before he took office, asking for his help with getting this resolved.

No response.

I wrote to my Congresswoman, Claudia Tenney of NY. She looked into it for me and wrote back, saying Social Security wouldn't budge. I wrote her back, asking if she took up my issue with our Potus.

She never responded.

I wrote a letter to VP Pence, begging for his help. A couple of days ago I got a form letter from Social Security office which started with something like "your letter to the Vice President was forwarded to us," at which point they went into their policy on this issue. They just WILL NOT help me even though I have serious health issues including:

A hx of borderline ovarian cancer

Uncontrolled diabetes

Diabetic retinopathy in both eyes

Severe arthritis

Asthma

Hx of hernias, the first of which nearly killed me (strangulated), the second of which wasn't nearly as bad but it was bad enough (incarcerated), and I am now on my third hernia which is so large it looks like I am full term pregnant with twins on my left side.

I have sent many Tweets about my predicament to our Potus, VP, Rep Tenney, etc and the only responses I got were either trolls who were happy to see me suffer or were sympathetic to my issue.

I went so far as to post a picture of my hernia (covered, of course) on Twitter but not one person responded. Not even a troll!

Wanna know what else really angers me? Some people who face this penalty (but not all) are being given a waiver for it, until the deadline, which is Sept. 30th:


Each year, thousands of Americans miss their deadline to enroll in Medicare, and federal officials and consumer advocates worry that many of them mistakenly think they don't need to sign up because they have purchased insurance on the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces. That failure to enroll on time can leave them facing a lifetime of penalties.

Now Medicare has temporarily changed its rules to offer a reprieve from those late-enrollment penalties for anyone who kept the ACA policy after becoming eligible for Medicare Part B. For those 65 and older and for people with disabilities, Medicare Part B covers doctor visits and outpatient care. Many of these people who missed the deadline "did not receive the information necessary ... through the marketplace to make an informed decision" regarding Medicare enrollment, says a Medicare spokesman, explaining the policy change.

People age 65 and older who have a marketplace plan or had one they lost or canceled, as well as people who qualify for Medicare because of a disability, but chose to stay with a marketplace plan, may qualify for the penalty waiver or a reduction. They'll now have until Sept. 30 to request the waiver, according to federal health officials.


Source

I was thinking back in June when I heard about this waiver that I would finally catch a desperately needed break. I was wrong. I called the Medicare Rights Center and had a lengthy interview by phone, at the end of which I was told I did NOT qualify for said waiver.

Figures. To rub salt in my wounds, a couple of weeks ago I got a letter from the Medicare Rights Center asking for a donation. I put it in the circular file.

I just don't know what to do. I have so many issues that could kill me if left untreated. And I could go blind too because I have diabetic retinopathy. I can't get our Potus, VP or Congresswoman to help me.

I am so desperate for help I could scream. Someone once told me he didn't understand why Medicare charges this late fee because when I went w/o Medicare B and D, I was saving them money. I agree. Imho this is an attempt to cull the herd, so to speak. I can't come up with any other explanation as to why so many people are forced to go without life saving medical care.

The healthcare industry is a cash cow for the government, big pharma and the insurance industry. People like me don't count.

I would appreciate anyone's thoughts on how to get Trump's attention and help with my predicament. If he has the authority to pardon Arpaio, order the wall built, yada yada yada he can order this penalty revoked.

I am so stressed out and so incredibly tired of fighting the corrupt system that is working very hard to kill me. I want to give up seeing my one lone and very patient healthcare provider (a local nurse practitioner) because in the long run, what good is that going to do me? I need specialist care.

Thoughts, ATS?
edit on 13-9-2017 by dianajune because: typo




posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 09:51 PM
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a reply to: dianajune

I am sorry to read all this and don't have any suggestions, but I am going to keep it in my head and hope I can come up with some ideas.

I want you to have healthcare and I hate reading how you are suffering and so desperate, DJ.

*hugs*



posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 09:52 PM
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originally posted by: MotherMayEye
a reply to: dianajune

I am sorry to read all this and don't have any suggestions, but I am going to keep it in my head and hope I can come up with some ideas.

I want you to have healthcare and I hate reading how you are suffering and so desperate, DJ.

*hugs*


Thank you!



posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 10:02 PM
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a reply to: dianajune

Take out a loan for several hundred thousand dollars, and give it to Jared Kushner. That's pretty much the only way private citizens are getting Trumps attention.



posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 10:04 PM
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a reply to: dianajune

DianaJune, did you investigate the 4 options for "help" with paying your Medicare premiums?

From Medicare Website: www.medicare.gov...-2625



posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 10:12 PM
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a reply to: dianajune

Canada has mostly free health care. If you make less than a certain amount its free.. if you make over a certain amount you pay a monthly fee, but its far cheaper than the health care would actually cost. Your situation is precisely why i dont understan the us stance on healthcare.

Im so sorry you are suffering. I dont know what to suggest.



posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 10:17 PM
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a reply to: dianajune


I'm guessing but the late fee could be due to individuals not signing up on part B and D as a cost saving measure and then realizing they need it then spend the money to purchase it.

A rough comparison is Canada's policy. They don't mandate medical coverage, but if you require it, you have to pay for a full six months before it activates. That discourages the 'I will wait until I need it' mentality.



posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 10:19 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

This is true, you must pay your fees. Before my work covered it it was like 70 a month or so



posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 10:22 PM
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Great help as always, have a little compassion for her issues. Aren't people like you supposed to be the most companionate amongst us??a reply to: underwerks



posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 10:23 PM
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originally posted by: carewemust
a reply to: dianajune

DianaJune, did you investigate the 4 options for "help" with paying your Medicare premiums?

From Medicare Website: www.medicare.gov...-2625



Also, if someone at the Social Security/Medicare office omitted to tell you, in person or by phone, that you should sign up for Medicare when you turned age 65, even though you were covered by the FEHB at the time, you could qualify for the little-known "Equitable Relief" provision.

You can read the official language here: secure.ssa.gov...



posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 10:28 PM
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originally posted by: nwtrucker
a reply to: dianajune


I'm guessing but the late fee could be due to individuals not signing up on part B and D as a cost saving measure and then realizing they need it then spend the money to purchase it.

A rough comparison is Canada's policy. They don't mandate medical coverage, but if you require it, you have to pay for a full six months before it activates. That discourages the 'I will wait until I need it' mentality.


You hit the nail on the head. The late fee is to discourage people from waiting until later in life after age 65, developing an illness, and suddenly needing to enroll. After the illness is treated, did-enrolling (to save $$$).. and then re-enrolling when the next illness strikes.

The ObamaCare repeal-replace had the same type of penalty...It was 30% of premium, but only for 1 year.



posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 10:29 PM
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originally posted by: carewemust
a reply to: dianajune

DianaJune, did you investigate the 4 options for "help" with paying your Medicare premiums?

From Medicare Website: www.medicare.gov...-2625



Oh yes...I already went through this as well. I can't get help from any of the programs listed.




posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 10:29 PM
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DJ - I got a letter from our Medicare office here in Australia earlier this year.

Apparently - because I turned 31, each year I don't have private health insurance up to the age of 75 I get penalised 1 percent of the premium which compounds each year.

Which is not very nice, for I am on the pension as a carer for my son, as well as dealing with both of our health issues. I can't work at this point in time to even be able to pay for private health insurance. I and probably many others here in Australia, are being further marginalised and penalised for things out of our control. I understand the whole idea was to get people who could afford to pay insurance to sign up instead of using the public health system(free or mostly free) is under crippling pressure.

I know that what I have written won't help you, but I thought that I would let you know that because you've written this, and though you had no response from your elected officials, I might myself write to my own officials here and ask for answers. I will follow this thread and watch for advice from the others.

I hope everything works out for you, I truly do x



posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 10:31 PM
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originally posted by: nwtrucker
a reply to: dianajune


I'm guessing but the late fee could be due to individuals not signing up on part B and D as a cost saving measure and then realizing they need it then spend the money to purchase it.

A rough comparison is Canada's policy. They don't mandate medical coverage, but if you require it, you have to pay for a full six months before it activates. That discourages the 'I will wait until I need it' mentality.


I suppose that could be one reason for the late signup penalty, but that soooo many people don't catch this in time and miss out on coverage for the rest of their lives should tell the gov't to resolve this.



posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 10:33 PM
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originally posted by: WUNK22
Great help as always, have a little compassion for her issues. Aren't people like you supposed to be the most companionate amongst us??a reply to: underwerks



Actually, he made an excellent point. If i had that kind of money it would get Trump's attention!

When money talks, people listen. When one doesn't have much (if any) money, no one will listen. Especially in D.C./



posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 10:46 PM
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originally posted by: carewemust

originally posted by: carewemust
a reply to: dianajune

DianaJune, did you investigate the 4 options for "help" with paying your Medicare premiums?

From Medicare Website: www.medicare.gov...-2625



Also, if someone at the Social Security/Medicare office omitted to tell you, in person or by phone, that you should sign up for Medicare when you turned age 65, even though you were covered by the FEHB at the time, you could qualify for the little-known "Equitable Relief" provision.

You can read the official language here: secure.ssa.gov...


I didn't know about this "equitable relief" program. I went to that link and decided to dig into this a little further. Here is part of what I found (re. proof that I was misinformed by an employee of the gov't) :


Be aware, though, that the evidence has to be pretty convincing. Social Security says it doesn’t even consider opening an investigation unless you can provide the name of the official who misinformed you, plus the place and date when the conversation took place. (This situation is where keeping notes about every interaction you have with federal officials pays off.) Therefore, equitable relief is awarded quite rarely. Some people have obtained it only after asking their members of Congress to intervene. But it’s worth a try.


Source

How could I possibly provide the proof they seek given how many contacts I've made over the past couple of years, not to mention when I was given Medicare in 2004 the year after I went on disability?

2004 was the year from hell......my income took a big hit because I was on disability. I had my cancer diagnosis that Fall, and the first doctor I was sent to thought my case was advanced. I thought I was terminally ill...thank God I wasn't after all, they caught it early.

But when someone is told they have cancer, advanced or not, it changes that person's life forever. I've had trouble coping with stress over the years but it got much worse after 2004.

I have no way of providing the information they want, other than I tried to get Medicare B and D in 2015 and found out about the penalty. I spoke with too many people to be able to list them by name.

I could try to apply for relief but it looks like I am doomed. I will apply for it, but the skeptical side of me says they won't listen.
edit on 13-9-2017 by dianajune because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 10:47 PM
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originally posted by: Aeshma
a reply to: dianajune

Canada has mostly free health care. If you make less than a certain amount its free.. if you make over a certain amount you pay a monthly fee, but its far cheaper than the health care would actually cost. Your situation is precisely why i dont understan the us stance on healthcare.

Im so sorry you are suffering. I dont know what to suggest.


I like the healthcare systems in Britain and Canada. It's too bad I can't take advantage of either. I'd have to move first.

NHS in Britain has its flaws, but it's better than what I have now, which is nothing.



posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 10:50 PM
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originally posted by: auroraaus
DJ - I got a letter from our Medicare office here in Australia earlier this year.

Apparently - because I turned 31, each year I don't have private health insurance up to the age of 75 I get penalised 1 percent of the premium which compounds each year.

Which is not very nice, for I am on the pension as a carer for my son, as well as dealing with both of our health issues. I can't work at this point in time to even be able to pay for private health insurance. I and probably many others here in Australia, are being further marginalised and penalised for things out of our control. I understand the whole idea was to get people who could afford to pay insurance to sign up instead of using the public health system(free or mostly free) is under crippling pressure.

I know that what I have written won't help you, but I thought that I would let you know that because you've written this, and though you had no response from your elected officials, I might myself write to my own officials here and ask for answers. I will follow this thread and watch for advice from the others.

I hope everything works out for you, I truly do x


I hope everything will work out for you as well. It's not fair for them to charge such a penalty, especially given your circumstances.



posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 10:58 PM
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Here's a strategy for you Diana.

1. Enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. ASAP.

2. At any time between October 15th and December 7th, enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.

Medicare Advantage plans for central New York are rich in benefits and low in premiums. Some cost $0.
Get a quote here: www.ehealthmedicare.com...

Here's a primer that explains the Medicare Advantage program.
www.medicareinteractive.org...

Note: You can't obtain a Medicare Advantage plan, unless you already are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.


edit on 9/13/2017 by carewemust because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 11:06 PM
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originally posted by: carewemust
a reply to: dianajune

DianaJune, did you investigate the 4 options for "help" with paying your Medicare premiums?

From Medicare Website: www.medicare.gov...-2625



There has to be a way to get affordable coverage. The part B is important, I only started paying part B when our insurance was going to lapse, I had to do it within a few months of loss of the BCBS insurance so I wouldn't get penalized. So I did it before the insurance lapsed. If done right, there was no penalty. When I signed up for medicare I think I noted other coverage on the application, maybe that is why there was no problem. Filling out paperwork correctly is essential I guess.



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