A DEFINITE CAREGIVER FAIL
Sometimes things are rolling along just fine for awhile and you think “I’ve got this!” and then reality gets you like a rolled up rug and you land face first right in the floor. This happened to me recently and it got me thinking about all the things that I have to handle in a day, week, month…then I had to take a nap!
It started with a bill, not a huge bill in the scheme of things but it was a bill from mom’s health insurance company and it was labeled premium. Now mom has had the same Medicare insurance for the last two years after I switched her over from another. It is something that I feel intimidated dealing with because let’s face it insurance is NOT one of my strengths. Her premium has always been paid by the money taken out of her Social Security check. Apparently this had changed at some point.
There are dates to pay attention to, trying to figure out her health care needs a year in advance and drug coverage are both things that give me a headache at the mere mention of. So anyway, this year came and went and we just stayed with the old company because the dates to change it were WAY back in November and at that time I was up to my eyeballs in newborn twins, N.I.C.U. units and Medicare wasn’t anywhere on my periphery even though it should have been.
Mom gets things in the mail from them all of the time and I wasn’t monitoring it then because had there been anything in there she would have immediately brought it to my attention (I thought). Apparently the insurance company decided this year would be a good year to change their policy and start requiring a premium on top of the money that is taken out of her check every month. This wasn’t the end of the world but had I known about it I would have found another company. Mom is very healthy physically it’s just her mental capacity that has gone down hill. She rarely sees a Dr. but as you well know that can change at any time.
After calling them, they swear they sent a notice of a premium change but I never saw it and honestly I can’t swear that she didn’t get it. So we paid the premium and was moving on, until last week when it was time to fill her Alzheimer’s medicine. I called it into the pharmacy and when we went to pick it up it was almost $400!!! I told them to hold onto it while I called the insurance company. By this time I am pretty steamed and when I called them they told me that oh, by the way, they had also added a new $300 deductible and of course they also sent a notice of this.
LESSONS LEARNED: Read every piece of mail from your insurance company especially the fine print. Send them a copy of the POA so all correspondence will be addressed to you. Mark these dates on the calendar in big letters so dates aren’t missed. December 7th is the cut-off date to change Medicare Insurance Companies.
I definitely have to put this down as a caregiver FAIL and it will be an expensive one at that. There are many mistakes that are made, but this one hurts a little. All I can do is learn from it and do better the next time.
Appreciate the good, laugh at the crazy and deal with the rest.
I love you momma!