Saturday, May 17, 2014

Electronic choices

Yesterday I went to an AT&T store and got myself an iPhone 5s. The 5s is likely the most advanced iPhone available at this time. This phone has stuff like fingerprint and voice recognition. I can sign on to using this iPhone with my thumbprint. I can talk to this iPhone and ask it questions. And the damned thing answers me too!

For quite awhile, I have been using an iPhone 3GS. The 3GS was introduced by Apple in June, 2009. That would make the 3GS five years old. There is a giant world of difference between a 3GS and a 5s. My feeling is that buyers of the 5s should be given a document cautioning them to beware of using this phone! 

Merely using an iPhone 5s to go shopping online brings the user in contact with merchants who use all manner of tools in order to get them to buy. Merchants know where you live. They keep track of the things that you shop for. And they try to sell you by contacting you on your iPhone with offers.

It is incredible!

Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
Did you know that we are required by law to be enrolled in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan? I did not know that. But I received a letter from the government informing me that I failed to enroll in such a plan on May 16, 2006. Now I must pay a penalty for that lack of enrollment for the rest of my life.

The penalty amounts to about $30/month. So, for that $30, I get prescription drug coverage. I guess that if you look at this $30/month penalty in a certain way, it's like a premium. Hmmm?


  1. Hi, George. I have a 4S. Am on my daughter's family plan. I read a few days ago that the iPhone 6 will come out by September. From what I was reading, that one will make the older phones obsolete! The computer chip is supposedly going to rival laptops. But what do I know? I am happy with the phone I have; the grand kids tend to grab the new versions as soon as updates are available.

    And, no, I didn't know that Medicare requires prescription coverage. Come to think of it, though, we do get letters from our employee coverage that says our plan meets the requirements of Medicare. I guess now, thanks to you, I know why that message is sent out!

    Have a great day.

  2. The penalty is in addition to any monthly fees you have for the prescription drug plan. If you've found a $0 plan, then it would only be $30. Not sure why the penalty, but it's a gotcha!

  3. George, you are paying a penalty because you did not choose a drug plan when you first became eligible for Medicare and had no other drug coverage.

    I do not have medicare drug coverage because I have

    You get nothing for your $30. It is a penalty above the cost of whatever plan you now choose.

  4. Any mouse is correct. You'll have to go online to check out what plans are available. I pay 40 p/m and take 7 drugs of which 6 are generic. Without the plan I couldn't afford them.

  5. don't you have prescriptions drugs through Kaiser - if so you don't need the Medicare plan also can't you prove you were out of the country and not using the US for prescriptions?

  6. in fact if we enroll in Medicares plan we lose our insurance prescription benefit - which is much better than Medicarwe

  7. If any of you remember drug costs before the Medicare Part D plans, you would know they are a good thing. The penalty has been in place since its inception. If you have a plan that is "as good or better" than a Part D plan, there is no need to switch. However, many employers will drop that coverage once you turn 65 and qualify for Medicare.

  8. If the question is enrollment in Medicare Part D mandatory, it is NOT. It’s another of those options you have where coverage is provided by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. However, you need to enroll when you FIRST begin your trek down the Medicare path to avoid a penalty.