I am old enough that I can apply for social security and medicare. We are in a position to delay receiving social security, and waiting to receive those benefits allows you to collect a bigger check when you do apply for them.
Medicare is another thing. You have to have insurance or one medical issue can bankrupt you. In our country, insurance is provided by your employer in most cases. Once you retire and no longer have an employer, at 65 you can apply for medicare, which is a government funded insurance. So Tim and I applied for our benefits in March. He received a card immediately. I did not.
I know how things can be delayed, and I am a patient soul, so I waited patiently. Today, nearly 3 months later, I called. I had to wade through a myriad of questions and each time I answered a question, the system helpfully told me that I could do all these things on line. (True. I could if I actually had an active medicare status, I suppose.) At the end of all the back and forth and the innumerable reminders that I could go to ssa.gov to do anything I had to do, the helpful prerecorded message told me that my status was still in process and that it could take as long as 2-4 weeks to fully process. It then asked me if there was anything else I needed before disconnecting.
ACKKK! I almost shouted 'Noooooooo!' out loud but restrained myself. "Operator! Operator! Operator!" I repeated.
The helpful tinned voice came back. "Did I want to speak with an agent?"
"YES!" I said.
"I'm sorry. I did not catch that. Would you like to speak with an agent?"
"Agent, agent, agent!" I repeated.
"I'm sorry..." and the response was drowned out by the loud hissing of my cappuccino maker frothing my milk.
I was fumbling with the machine when the tinned voice said, "I'm sorry. I did not catch that. I will get someone to assist you."
Since that's what I wanted anyway, I breathed a sigh of relief and sat down at the table with a hot cup...
...and I was still sitting there when the hot cup was finished.
45 minutes later, a voice came on the line, a very echo-ey far-away sounding voice.
"I can't hear you. You're echoing."
*garbled mumbling that went on for some time.*
I listened desperately trying to make it out.
"Listen," I said. "I've been on hold for over 45 minutes, can you call me back?"
I picked 'no' out of what came next. along with something that indicated I could call back.
"No." I said. "I've waited 45 minutes already and we are going to get through this."
She began to ask questions. I began to ask her to speak slowly so that I could piece together what she wanted. We got through it.
"Your claim status is in process," she helpfully told me in a very slow voice.
I pointed out that it has been in status for nearly 3 months now. She assured me that I would be receiving my card by the end of the month.
Anyone care to place a wager?