Forrest from LA, CA

Faces of the Federal Budget

I am 76, have HIV, a pacemaker and last year I had lumbar decompression surgery which left me effectively crippled. Last year I was taken off Medicare for reasons no one has been able to explain (I worked for 23 years). I had medicare for 10 years without any problem, and suddenly these huge thousand dollar bills started rolling in. I was cut off from all medical care. Doctors refused to see me. I made dozens of phone calls with little result. I was sent to 3 different social security agencies, none of which applied to my case. Each told me to go to another one and when I went they said that was the wrong one. Keep in mind I can hardly walk. Additionally, I was told the wrong thing by sources like my former employer and the union, who should know the score. for example, I was told that I was responsible out of pocket for payments, which is not true, They are taken out of my salary/pension. After a year of inquiry I have found out that my other insurance (that doesn't work if I don't have Medicare) pays part B and Sacramento, my state capital pays part A. It took me a year to find this out. I had to pay $800 to be reinstated and still I wont be able to use the system until July, if I'm still alive. The bureaucracy is fierce. Instead of helping people, Medicare is the people's worst enemy. I was in Cuba once, and the doctor doesn't even have a receptionist. What are they going to ask "What insurance do you have?" Everybody, even tourists are eligible. My sister stayed overnight in a hospital in Scotland and same thing.

Forrest from LA, CA | Map

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