The new medicare year has started and we have to “pick” a new Doctor! Oh! Not all of us do, but some of us lucky ones do if our Doctor has “opted out” of Medicare, or if we are disappointed in the “Customer Service” our present one offers. Many of the Physicians act like we are getting FREE Insurance! One of them actually said I should be grateful for my FREE Insurance! About 1/5th on my SS check is deducted to pay for my “free” insurance.
I started paying FICA when I earned $1.15 an hour working at a Fire Insurance in Hartford, CT as a keypunch operator. Us “girls” were never hired to work across the room in the “Computer department” with the MEN who made more than twice our pittance.
I remember the days when looking in the “help wanted” ads there were two categories: Help Wanted Male and Help Wanted Female. Guess which one paid more?
You could say my working career was rocky, at best. One of my last jobs before I met and married my husband was in my home town at a Shoe Factory sewing the backs of skates, bowling shoes and golf shoes on an industrial serge machine. I proudly admit I was fast with my hands and was campaigning for a higher price per case to increase my pay, unsuccessfully, I have to admit!
Two things contributed to that; I was in favor of unionization, and I let my supervisors know that my body was off limits! I was 18 years old and full of piss and vinegar, ready to conquer the world!
One day one of the bosses called me out of the bathroom to read me the riot act for not getting back to work instead of smoking! I told him I had a right to take a bathroom break in no uncertain terms. He disagreed and finally to make a point, I picked him up by the front of his shirt and raised him a foot off the floor and at his insistence, dropped him. I am pretty sure that I didn’t endure myself to him or management, if he told anyone, because no one saw it.
The second thing was my campaign to get higher wages was met with cold stares or laughter by my immediate boss. He wanted to date me, but I said, NO! He used to try to meet up with me by asking me where I was going rollerskating and showing up only to find I was at another rink!
I saw him put his hands around the girl next to me and touch her breasts. When he approached me, I faced him and clearly told him, “Don’t ever touch me, anywhere on my body!” He was so cock-sure of himself, one day he tried. I attempted to give him a vasectomy with my scissors! His hand got in the way, so it was unsuccessful! I was walked to the door and told I was fired. I drew unemployment, after my interview with the male interviewer! I have mellowed a little!
After my two children were in Junior High, I got my Real Estate License and contributed handsomely to the FICA coffers! Along with a few other low paying jobs, because the parity between Men and Women’s wages had not changed much in 40 years.
This year my Insurance Company merged with a huge Pharmaceutical Store and probably they were trying, but our “New Cards” did not arrive in the mail. You have to show that card to get any service! We waited nearly an hour on the phone to try to find out how soon they would be in the mail. My husband figured out how to print them.
I have been having some serious eye problems by a specialist, referred by my Doctor and they called me to inform me that they had been calling and faxing a request for a renewal of the referral. When I called the doctor’s office to ask about the hold-up, I was informed that I needed to bring the card into the office. My ID number was not enough! I will admit I was a little hot under the collar to have to cancel my specialist appointment and wait a week or longer to get in. My husband works full time and he has one weekday off!
I guess asking the Doctor why they didn’t renew the referral when he knew I had more appointments with the specialist was the wrong thing to do. How was I to know they don’t talk to each other?
When you call a Doctor’s office one of the special numbered buttons to push is if you are a doctor’s office to get right through. It appeared to me that when he showed me the file, telling me that they wouldn’t know how many times I saw the specialist is he didn’t get any reports, that this was somehow my fault. But is it my responsibility to make sure he is informed?