Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Home Again!

Well the economy has claimed another victim!! My youngest son needs to come home and take a rent breather to catch up on his bills. I told him that I would require him to pay utilities and that is it. Since we are a row house with homes on both sides, our  energy bill is quite manageable. That should give him a break. Quite frankly, it will be nice to have him around the house for some discussion, my wife is a liberal and I am conservative, we don't talk much about politics as it usually escalates into arguments. My son is willing to listen and I listen to him. Though lately, I believe my arch conservatism is beginning to erode a bit in my old age.

The other good reason for him being around is that it has given me a good reason to attack our front rooms with an almost violent capacity. I have thrown out stuff, I thought I never would and have been shredding an unbelievable amount of paper to help make way for him in one of the storerooms which used to be his bedroom.

After all this work, I hope he hangs out for a while :-)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Getting old is a Pain in the.....................!!

I never thought getting old would be so complicated. I thought I could work til I wanted to stop then get a paycheck from social security once a month. Here is a rough chronology of the last year or so!
November 15, 2012  called into a conference room, informed I was to be part of a reduction in force. Laid off THAT day and sent home.
Medical benefits were to stop November 30th. I enrolled in Cobra for one month because my wife's plan started in January.  That was successful
Applied for unemployment insurance. Successful but I have to keep going to seminars and keep proof I'm looking for jobs.
Went to Social Security Administration office and asked several questions about  Social Security and Medicare. They said as long as I was a dependent on my wife's plan, I didn't need to enroll in medicare, ok, score 1.

January and February Fought Blue Cross Blue Shield/Cobra because they continued to bill me even though I wanted only one month. Finally my Ex-employer stepped in and straightened out the mess.
June rolls around and stuff starts to happen. I'm told I have to enroll in medicare by my 65th birthday. I call the SSA. They confirmed that I don't need to enroll yet as long as I'm a dependent on another plan.
July starting to think about putting in for my Union  Local 94 pension. Checking into it and its a pain. They want me to send them my original birth certificate. Yeah, like that's going to happen. I asked what If I gets lost. Well you can always apply for another one they say. I'm looking at alternate means of proof now.
Another seminar with unemployment. Training on what to do with social media. I join LinkedIn.
August rolls around and I go to Social Security again. It turns out that it would not be that advantageous to wait another year for my benefits. I apply for them.
The advent of Obamacare now has my stomach turning. What will it do to us. I start looking at alternate insurance. I get a letter from the VA stating that I am enrolled in the VA healthcare system and that it conforms to the Affordable Health Care Act. My wife's insurance company is being cute, they won't tell us if I'm covered as a dependent until their enrollment period begins next month.
I call the VA and ask a few questions. I need to take a means (financial) test to see what priority I'm in now. I made a lot of money my last year on the job, but on unemployment for almost ten months now. The results will determine my copays for clinic visits and prescriptions.
More questions about my Union pension. I can take it in one large monthly payment but it ends when I expire, or I can take half of it and assign the benefits to Regina so she will have a little something afterwords.
When I applied for my SS benefits I said I didn't want Medicare because I was on Regina's plan. Yesterday I got a Medicare card in the mail!!!! What the Heck!!! So I call Social Security this morning and they tell me, no worries, it is for part A only.Its free.
I emailed the Rockland County Office of the Aging. They are supposed to have a rating of all the medicare supplement plans so I can pick when its time to do so. My current doctor has given me some hope. He likes the VA clinic in the county and works well with them. I have a feeling they will fit somewhere in my plans. But a lot is still up in the air until Regina gets her 2014 enrollment plan.
Sometimes, I wish this was the 19th century where I could father 10 kids they could all take turns caring for their old folks.