Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Fun with Medicare

I’m going to be 65 in a couple months. One of the neat things about turning 65 in the United States is that you can finally qualify for socialized medicine. Some people don’t like to call it that. Sure, whatever helps you sleep at night. 

Anyway, I’m not exactly a shoo in for the program. As far as Social Security is concerned I’m pretty much a ghost. The last time I paid into Social Security I was when I had a part time job when I was 18. I haven’t exactly contributed to the program.

Let’s back track a bit. First I tried to figure out if I qualified by going to Social Security’s on-line site. That didn’t get me very far. Then I went to an organization called Service Link that’s supposed to help people with these programs. After a couple of meetings they gave up and sent me to the Social Security office an hour away. 

At first they didn’t get very far. They had a hard time believing I didn’t have to pay into the Federal system because I was a firefighter covered under a state plan. That covered my retirement, but Medicare was not part of the deal. In later years firefighters were entered into the Medicare system, but I never was. 

It occurred to me that plenty of housewives, who’ve never worked outside the home, get Medicare under their husband’s contribution. I asked if I might get in under my wife’s contributions. They think that might work. However, they had no record that we ever got married. Don’t know how that happened. 

At any rate I had to go back to the SS office so they could make a copy of my marriage certificate. Of course, I was dealing with a new person and they had no idea what I was talking about. They couldn’t find any record of my application. Hey, it had been two whole days, so it’s no wonder we had to start from scratch. 

As it turns out my application is under my wife’s SS number. I’m still pretty much a ghost to them. 

Currently I’m scheduled for a phone interview at the end of the week. Let’s see how that goes. 

Personally, I think this is pretty amusing. One can’t take these things too seriously. Worse come to worse I can always do what I’m doing now: running up bills I can’t pay. What they heck, they can only ruin your credit once. After that you’re pretty much free. That’s one less thing to worry about. 



  1. Right around the corner I'm looking at the same transition you're experiencing. Fortunately I've got contributions into the system, however I am fairly certain my past is going to come crashing into the mix. Duality has it's challenges, fortunately I've kept all paperwork. We shall see...

    1. I might be a ghost in the system, but you are two ghosts.