Medicare penalty is unfair to seniors

Updated 10/23/2017 10:48 AM

My wife and I are senior citizens, and we are writing to protest the penalty assessed to senior citizens who did not enroll in Medicare Part D initially.

In August 2003, we asked our pharmacist if we should enroll in Medicare Part D. He said it would not be financially in our best interest since we would have to spend about $720 per year before we received a penny in benefits and our prescription costs over several years were only a mere fraction of this amount. He suggested we use an AARP Medicare Rx Discount Card available from United Healthcare and we did so.

In 2013, we enrolled in a Medicare Part D Plan. In addition to the cost of the plan, we were each assessed a penalty that was actually more expensive than the plan itself. Four years later, we are still being charged a penalty. We don't think it's fair for us to pay a penalty for services we never received.

Furthermore, there does not appear to be an expiration date for the penalty. Are we supposed to be penalized forever for not enrolling in a Medicare Part D Plan initially?

Social Security benefits have not increased appreciably in many years, yet health care costs have risen astronomically. It's not right to keep penalizing seniors forever for not enrolling in a plan for which they never received benefits.

My wife and I are members of several senior citizen organizations. Most of the people, just like us, worked hard for 40 years or more and always paid their fair share of taxes. They feel that they are being taken advantage of by the government they supported all these years.

Allen and Phyllis A. Kay

Hoffman Estates

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