So, 92-year-old Charles Covill of Austin, Texas, had his Medicare card rejected by a local pharmacy. They claimed it had the wrong birth date. Mr. Covill wound up paying $150 extra, out-of-pocket, for his prescription.
Thus Mr. Covill, a World War II veteran, took a copy of his birth certificate to the local Social Security office to clear up the problem. His certificate showed March 2, 1920. The government agency said its records showed the date to be March 20. Yes, the bureaucracy, somehow, had screwed up the date. After four hours of frustrating conversation, Mr. Covill was told to be patient. That patience was rewarded with an unsigned letter from the agency which said, believe it or not, “We cannot overturn our original determination that the correct date of birth is March 20. Please use the date of birth we have already established.”
Mr. Covill now turned to local TV station KVUE for help. They assigned a reporter to the story. Guess what? In a few days, our hero received another unsigned letter from Social Security. It said, “We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you.” (You fill in any blanks that come to mind.)
By the way, new Medicare beneficiary rules will provide much lower prices on medical equipment and supplies like wheelchairs, braces, oxygen tanks, etc… The new program, already operating in 100 metropolitan areas, is estimated to save $35 billion over 10 years, plus beneficiaries another $17 billion in out-of-pocket expenses. For information, call (800) 633-4227.