The news media continuously talks about all the benefits of Medicare and joining the right plan, but nobody addresses the situation that concerns me the most. I don't understand why the government finds it necessary to charge lifetime penalty fees to those who do not meet their original sign-up deadline. Perhaps there are mitigating circumstances that should be considered.

For example, as a retired educator approaching 65, I began to receive Medicare mail, but countless conflicting answers were delivered when I asked questions. I was informed by more than one "authority" that I did not qualify for Medicare because I did not have the necessary Social security quarters. Years later, when my younger friends talked about receiving Medicare cards, I did further research and learned that I did qualify for Part B, but would be required to pay an ongoing penalty fee for not signing up earlier. Since becoming eligible for Part B coverage on July 1, 2017, I have made two payments totaling $1,206.00, and another $603 bill for the next three months should be arriving soon. Being that several local and higher-up Medicare authorities were misleading, this should qualify me as a Medicare special case member and granted exemption from those penalty fees. This seems more credible than to be told that if I could get a husband with coverage, then I could piggy-back off his!

I have asked this penalty question at numerous meetings and have received a variety of answers. Most recently a Medicare authority stated that the government is aware of grievances such as mine and that we can expect relief within the next 10 years! Being that Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid and other types of health care are such hot topics, it seems that individuals who do not qualify for Plan A, but do qualify for Plan B, should be granted the possibility of additional benefits.

We hear that health care reform is messy, confusing, and tricky We hear advice regarding how to get our "ducks in a row." We hear that Louisiana is offering the best healthcare benefits this year. Within the past few months, television's Judge Judy and several other individuals have used the word "kerfuffle" to deal with rather challenging situations.

Wouldn't it be a really great Christmas/New Year's gift if our Louisiana politicians would instigate a plan to begin immediate termination of Medicare's lifetime late enrollment penalty kerfuffle??

Barbara "Bobbie" Spencer

retired educator