My Medicare card came in the mail today.
It's red, white, and blue, identifies me as FEMALE, and has added a T to the end of my social security number. Why a T? I do not know. Yet, there it is and there it will stay.
No longer will i have to break out my BlueCrossBlueShieldofArizona identification card to remember my Plan ID Number. I just have to remember to put a T at the end of the nine digits I've known since I was a little girl, getting my own savings account after registering for my own social security number.
Then, I felt very adult. Now, I feel old.
I spent an hour or so with a lovely insurance lady who explained the varieties of Plans available. I got lost, a bit, in the Deductibles and Monthly Payments and Total Cost Per Year calculations, but she sounded as if she knew what she was talking about. Fast Eddie and JannyLou and TBG have all worked with her, being older (and wiser?) than I. I have confidence in them, and so, by extension, confidence in her.
Still, I was a bit uncomfortable, trying not to cough or sneeze in her comfy chair, in her sunny office, as we arranged for medical coverage for my dotage.
G'ma and Daddooooo had Medicare. I managed the bills. I presented the cards, squeezed out of the slots in their why-would-I-need-a-new-one-this-works-just-fine wallets. I never imagined taking my own card out of my own wallet.
Yet, here I am. Officially Old. My government will take care of my basic medical needs, because, as the lady explained to me, as I had explained in the past, this is not welfare. I paid for this by working.
Of course, I didn't work anywhere long enough to have contributed enough to cover my costs. It's my kids' FICA contributions which will take care of me. That's a lovely thought, but also somewhat disheartening. Will there be someone to work and pay for their costs when they are Officially Old?
I don't have an answer for that, nor for the What will I do when they privatize Medicare? reel that is on a perpetual loop in my brain. I've got a fairly expensive drug plan, in case the generic Crestor doesn't work and I have to return to the brand name. Will Big Pharma price me out of a healthy old age? Why did some companies raise their rates 8% and then, six months later, another 14% last year?
Will our carefully husbanded resources be able to keep up?
I sit in my lovely house with a hefty bank balance and I wonder. I'm relatively healthy right now, but who knows what tomorrow will bring? The future is out of my hands, resting with Congress and the Fates and the Furies.
Is this the beginning of a querulous old age? There's no reason for it, and yet, here it is.
Somebody smack me if I become too morose.