MAYBERRY, USA MEETS MEDICARE

Pharmacy/Medical – 2015
by – Sheri de Grom

Any Small town USA Getty Image

Any Small town USA
Getty Image

A rural pharmacy, along with a bank, grocery combination dry goods store and post office anchored small towns that were the backbone of America for decades.

Four-hundred-ninety rural pharmacies closed their doors forever between the years 2003 and 2013. This is a significant loss considering the average age of a farmer/rancher today is 65 and over.

Today's farmers and ranchers are still using equipment 20 or more years old. They cannot afford to upgrade.

Today’s farmers and ranchers are still using equipment 20 or more years old. They cannot afford to upgrade.

There are approximately 6,700 independently owned rural pharmacies operating today. In addition to providing prescription and over-the-counter medications and consulting about their proper use, these pharmacies offer other essential health care essentials. These include: blood pressure checks, diabetes counseling and immunizations.

Added value as independent pharmacist helps older patient understand medication and how to take the medicine.

Added value as independent pharmacist helps older patient understand medication and how to take the medicine.

Often, these rural pharmacies serve as a gathering place for community citizens to meet and chat. Local news is discussed and the drugstore (as it’s often called) is the only social contact for many rural and small town residents. These individuals do not, as a rule, depend on social programs or government programs to provide their needs. They find out what their neighbors (30 and 60 miles apart) need help with, and that help is provided with nothing asked in return. This may include nourishing meals provided, fences mended  and providing rides to wherever the individual may need to go. Normally, these rural communities make every effort to take care of their own.

Medicare Part D makes it more and more difficult for the independent rural pharmacist across our nation to serve the customers who’ve always depended on have coverage of some kind. This population is proud. They grew up and moved into adulthood during the great depression and they made it ‘then’ and they are determined to make it ‘now.’

The money squeeze is affecting everyone and especially our most vulnerable.

The money squeeze is affecting everyone and especially our most vulnerable.

Rural independent pharmacies have been at the mercy of two major Medicare policies related to payment for prescription medications.

The Medicare prescription drug discount cards (introduced January 1, 2004) were offered by Medicare-approved private companies (primarily large pharmacy chains and insurance groups).

The Medicare prescription drug benefit introduced (Medicare Part D, began January 1, 2006) and makes prescription drug coverage available to everyone with Medicare. [This statement is true if the individual can afford the premiums for Medicare Part D, have the income to cover the co-payments for prescriptions and are able to survive the doughnut hole when the insured must pay the full price of their prescription.

With the implementation of Medicare Part D came increased administrative efforts, payment timeliness and low reimbursement levels. Independent pharmacies cannot compete with the large chain stores.

Residents of communities that have lost their only pharmacy may adapt by driving farther to another pharmacy, using mail order, or obtaining courier service from another location, but access is always a concern for anyone with limited mobility.

HOW WILL OUR SENIORS RECEIVE THE MEDICATIONS THEY NEED ON A TIMELY BASIS?

HOW WILL OUR SENIORS RECEIVE THE MEDICATIONS THEY NEED ON A TIMELY BASIS?

With the advanced aging of rural America exacerbating the gutting of downtown America by Wal-Mart, independent pharmacies have rapidly become just another empty storefront town.

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About Sheri de Grom

Retired Fed/JAG, 5 yrs. on Capitol Hill. Former book buyer for B and N. Concerned citizen of military drawdown. Currently involved in mental healthcare reform, health care strategist and actively pursuing legislative change wherein dual retirees are exempt from enrolling in Medicare at their own discretion without losing tertiary healthcare benefits. Monitor and comment on Federal Register proposed legislation involving Mental Health, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, Medicare and rural libraries. Licensed OSHA Inspector to include Super Fund sites. Full time caregive to Vietnam era veteran. Conceptualized, investigated possible alternatives, authored, lobbied for, and successfully implemented Title X, Section 1095 (known as the Third Party Collection Program of Federal Insurance).
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85 Responses to MAYBERRY, USA MEETS MEDICARE

  1. bjsscribbles says:

    Similar things are happening here, making way for big franchises…I might be a bit slack at getting to other peoples blogs lately. I am suffering with terrible pain and torn tendons in my leg. I am trying to keep up but it is a challenge.

    • I understand about not being able to keep up with the blogs of others. I believe we all go through the same process and it seems to hit me in waves.
      Take good care of your leg. Living with intense pain is not for the faint of heart. It puts an entirely different spin on your day. My thoughts are with you. Remember, rest and relax and stay off your leg. With love, Sheri

  2. floridaborne says:

    I am acquainted with 2 health care providers who were solo providers. Both of them had the same complaint. A few years ago, the way billing was done was changed. Both re-entered their billing several times, following the directions. Neither were reimbursed for a year’s worth of billing and there were no efforts made by the government to keep the solo providers in business. I was told that if a person is on Medicare, they can’t be a cash patient nor can the provider bill until after Medicare has paid.

    I’m only telling you what I’ve been told, and I have no way of knowing for a fact that others have been affected this way. I can only imagine that if all small providers were treated this way, the small pharmacies in rural USA might have experienced a similar problem with payment:

    • I’m convinced Medicare is the worst government beast we’re currently living with. Medicare is especially hard on small medical practices and independent pharmacies as the small business tries to do all billing in house. Even with my background, I have a difficult time with the Medicare Explanation of Benefits (EOBs). Unlike a private doctor’s office, Medicare sends out EOBs once a quarter with all patient visits on one claim. It’s up to the patient to determine if each one was paid correctly. It’s also the administrative staff’s responsibility to do the same in the sole practitioner’s office. Often that individual will have had no training. When a Medicare or Medicaid check arrives at the doctor’s office it has several patient names on it. Of course the practitioner wants/needs to deposit the check immediately but it must be reconciled first which may take days.
      Rural pharmacies and solo practice physicians such as the ones you speak of must still meet expenses and rarely have a cushion to rely on that the big box stores have. If Medicare is not forced to reform, we will have all HMOs and one-size-fits-all medicine.
      Thank you for stopping by and adding to the discussion.

      • floridaborne says:

        Absolutely.

        It seems to be apparent that government wants to go to managed care. What’s next, deciding that people over 80 can’t have health care at all?

        • It wouldn’t surprise me. A recent event in our lives is that my husband was tired all the time. At 68, Tom’s internist couldn’t figure out why. We finally found a cardiologist that would buck Medicare and he ordered a cath for Tom and sure enough, his entire left ventricle was 100% blocked. Tom now has a stint. This is the ventricle you hear people calling the widow maker as the individual doesn’t have chest pains. The Medicare ruling is that if you don’t have chest pains you can’t have the cath procedure, thus the patient dies.

          • floridaborne says:

            A hero who bucked Medicare and put the patient first. He’s a keeper. 🙂

            • Indeed he is. My husband, Tom has many medical problems as a result of inappropriate medications given to him for almost 20 years and they literally destroyed his body. We now have a 2nd doctor on the team that we have real hope in. I will be posting as we continue the journey. I’ll have numerous postings throughout the year regarding Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, how Medicare is now influencing our health care from birth to death, and many others. I also advocate for stronger mental health care insurance policies along with Veteran Care and Military Health Care. What I put out on my blog are my own opinions but they are all based on sound research and I’ve either witnessed the care or lived through most of it personally.

  3. Again you are on point. Medical and pharmaceutical care in rural America is lacking – poor at best. Thank you for another great post.

  4. Ileana says:

    ƸӜƷ ¸.•°*”˜ ƸӜƷ ˜”*°•. ✫ ღ¸☆ ¸.•°*”˜ ƸӜƷ ˜”*°•✫ ✿ ƸӜƷ ✿¸.•°*”˜ƸӜƷ˜
    Bunatatea este infinita pentru aceia pe care noi ii consideram prieteni… Exista totusi prieteni care ne ofera la randul lor acceasi bunatate si aceia sunt adevaratii PRIETENI! O zi binecuvantata!

    Kindness is infinite for those whom we consider friends … However, there are friends who in turn gives us confort kindness and those are real friends!
    A blessed day!

  5. Our nearest town has TWO rural pharmacies right next door to each other! They differ in their function. Although they both fill prescriptions, one is a compounding pharmacy and still has recipes for cough medicine from a doc who’s long gone from this world. And they still have my recipe for Baby Bottom Butter, almost guaranteed to cure ANY diaper rash. The other one specializes in orthotics and other assistive devices, ostomy supplies and diabetic needs. We also have a supermarket chain and a Wal-Mart, so people here have plenty of choices. There might be 300 families within a 30 mile radius. A lot of people are moving away because the small factories that employed them have closed, and most of the farmers were left high and dry when the tobacco industry moved to China.

    • Laura – Your small town is indeed fortunate to have the two pharmacies and it sounds as if they meet the needs of different populations so that makes room for everyone. When I think of rural, I of course think of the part of Kansas where I grew up and rural easily equates to zero neighbors for 20 to 30 miles, not to mention a town. I also think of areas I consider rural such as in the Ozarks of Arkansas where people may be located closer together but it’s still 30 miles or more to the nearest pharmacy, grocery store, etc and heaven help you if you don’t make a curve. My career moved us to the area of NC, for a couple of years, that was hit especially hard by the lack of the tobacco industry, the textile mills all closed down and furniture making went south of the border. Individuals ‘of means’ suddenly had ‘no means’ at all.
      Thank you for stopping in and commenting. I always appreciate your reading with me.

  6. You and I both remember the customer care we got from ALL small business owners. The big box stores have run most of them out of business.

    • John – Yes, we do remember. Small rural towns are becoming a creation of the past. The small town where I went to elementary school doesn’t have a single store providing services and if the government wins, the Post Office will go with the next round of budget cuts. It’s especially sad for the elderly. The Council on Aging is supposed to provide the citizens transportation for doctor appointments, to buy groceries, etc. but after an investigation Tom and I did in Kansas in 2003, we uncovered enough corruption to assist the State Attorney General in cleaning house. However, unless someone cares enough, everything remains the same. I don’t like to make blanket statements, but The Council on Aging is another place where there’s no oversight of how tax dollars are spent.

      Do you remember sitting on the drug store stool, swirling around when your mother wasn’t watching and having a wonderful treat over crushed ice. Those were the days!

  7. spunknbrains says:

    Good to see you blogging a little again.. and great insight in this blog.

    • Thank you so much for stopping by and especially for leaving a comment. My world has been a little upside down but I have had the occasion to see how far you’ve advanced with your art/craft. I know your talent is more than craft and definitely don’t want to insult you. What medium does your work fall into? I’ve had several sneak peeks.
      I’ve moved your blog name into one of my new readers and between my husband being ill and having house guest, I hope to be up to full speed with blogging by the middle of Feb or at the latest sometime in March. Thank you so much for sticking with me. It means so much. Now that you are in my personalized reader, I shouldn’t miss any of your blogs.

      • spunknbrains says:

        Thank you. You have been an inspiration to me personally as how you’ve handled your situation and persevered through every step just gives me encouragement as I dealt with my own situation.

        I’m smiling at your question on what medium, because I am not sure I even know myself. I am not that evolved to call it digital art. Though it keeps me entertained and helps me relax to create scenes in an unusual setting (fantasy world) and take photos and process.

        Hang in there and look forward to seeing more of you.

  8. inesephoto says:

    Sheri – I guess it is the same situation everywhere. Big cities take over. Sad to see the conditions of living in rural areas deteriorate, and closing down pharmacies is one of the worst things that could happen to the older population.

  9. Lignum Draco says:

    All part of the death of Smalltown, be it in the USA or Australia. The loss of community spirit and essential services strikes at the hearts of those who endure. Not to mention the loss of the young who move to the big cities.

    Thanks for showing us how the “food chain” works.

    • I think it may be the same in Australia as it is in the US. Our towns are getting further and further apart and soon they will die away completely. In the ranching area of the mid-west where I grew up, the closest area for any real services are almost 100 miles away. The distance is impossible for many and they end up doing without. Thanks for stopping in to read with me.

  10. huntmode says:

    Sheri, excellent writing and great photos. Thanks for opening our eyes to this challenge. It is important. Throwing the baby out with the bath water seems to be the operating premise behind “Change ~ it does a body good!”

    • Huntie – My dear, how did I miss you here. I’m so trying to get into a regular routine again and then laugh at myself because I haven’t had anything pass as regular in a long time. I’m concentrating a lot of energy on rural issues this year as they are leaving few services for seniors or the disabled. Ranchers and farmers, if they are disabled, rarely move to the city. They are taken care of by their wives or other family members and they try desperately to try to hang on to the way of life they’ve known for several generations. Less than 1% volunteer to serve in the Armed Forces and less than 2% are farmers and over 1% of that number are over age 75! Did someone say breadbasket of the world?

      • huntmode says:

        Strong numbers, Sheri. California was famous for its abundance of its fields – then they cut off water to the fields in order to protect a snail dart. Not to mention forbidding law enforcement from pursuing drug cartels across environmental protected lands – they have to go in on foot or horseback to minimize their footprint…. while the drug cartels use vehicles. Catch us if you can!

  11. ksbeth says:

    this is an awful situation. thank you once again, sheri, for shedding the light these kind of issues and keeping them in the forefront.

  12. Angie Mc says:

    Reblogged this on Angie Mc's Reblog Love and commented:
    “Residents of communities that have lost their only pharmacy may adapt by driving farther to another pharmacy, using mail order, or obtaining courier service from another location, but access is always a concern for anyone with limited mobility.”

  13. Angie Mc says:

    Glad to see you back, Sheri! As thorough, detailed, and heart-felt as always.

  14. Sheri, you’re again drawing attention to important issues in your communities. In the UK there are similar issues around the withdrawal of amenities from rural areas – in particular post offices, which were also often local stores. We have the same change in focus from independent stores to large, out of town malls and supermarkets. In our town centres, there is less variety – most of the stores in my local town centre are now charity shops or shops that sell everything for £1.

    • I so appreciate your stopping by, Andrea. I’ve been slow in getting back into the swing of things after being on break. I’m pleased you let me know how your life in the UK was being affected by the same issues we have here in the US. The dollar stores are also everywhere here and then we often learn the items being sold in the stores are not the actual real product — but then how could it be with the price so low. I’ve finally come to appreciate my grandmother’s advise of ‘you get what you pay for.’ That was a lot easier to follow before our economy crashed and the middle class or what used to be the middle class is having a hard time crawling out from under the rock we found ourselves under. We were comfortable and all of a sudden, everything we purchased became a necessity. I’m becoming a savoy shopper but I refuse to give into the big box stores. Thanks again for your contribution. You always have valuable insight.

  15. Lily Lau says:

    That’s right, Sheri! Thanks for expressing this so well, I will definitely share this useful post, we never have enough information!

    • Thank you, Lily Lau. I hope to make 2015 the year of knowledge regarding how the combination of Congress, Obamacare and Administrative Law has destroyed some of the greatest medical institutions in the United States and thus destroyed health care for the people of the United States of America. I also hope to introduce ways we can all fight the crushing of our rights rather it be obtaining medical care or zapping brains with electricity in the name of medicine.

  16. Wonderful shout out for the small pharmacy owner, Sheri. Although nothing is as important as getting the medications to people who need it, this same sad takeover is happening with bookstores, building supply chains, grocers, etc. Let’s all get behind our independent operators and use our dollars to speak for us.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Renee. I so agree about all independent businesses being taken over at an alarming rate. The same small rural towns without pharmacies must obtain all groceries and other goods from towns and cities far away from where they live. In rural Kansas it’s not unusual to drive 90+ miles each way to shop for groceries. The years I was growing up there, a small grocery store carrying the basics was about 10 miles away. Later it became 18 miles, then 30 miles and so on. It’s no wonder so many individuals feel isolated and thus depression sets in and the suicide rates go higher in the elderly rural population each year.

  17. atempleton says:

    Thanks for focusing once again on the needs of rural America, which are so often overlooked.

    • Yes, if the kingpin of the pharmaceutical industries get their way, rural citizens will no longer have a way to receive medications other than through the mail. They will have no other choice. This leaves these individuals in a hopeless and helpless situation. Many are ages 80 and up. We must protect the rights of these individuals before it is too late. Just as these individuals deserve accessible medications, they also deserve a place to meet and greet one another when they are able to leave their homes and socialize on a daily basis. Many live on less that $300/month Social Security and the Medicare Administration believes it’s no problem for them to drive 80 miles to pick up the very medications they must have to live. These individuals don’t belong in nursing homes just because the Medicare Administration wants to herd them around like cattle!

    • I forgot to mention, on my last pass, I love your new avitar. I always love to see photos. Very nice and oh so professional.

  18. Anonymous says:

    You’re right on again, Sheri. I’m inching closer and closer to that 65 mark, and it’s worrying me more and more. I understand the “good of the whole” compared to the “good of the one.” However, I think the population of the “one” is getting very close to the population of the “whole”, which, unfortunately, is turning it into a contest between the “haves” and the “have nots”. Rebellions have been started on less. Lynn

    • Lynn – You are absolutely right my friend. Case in point and you’ve heard this before from me, my father received $300/mo from social security. This was because Pres Roosevelt was positive land would be so much more valuable than paying into social security and this is the advise he passed on to all farmers and ranchers. What Roosevelt didn’t stop and think about was that these very men and women would have advanced medical needs someday and who was going to pay for the needs when they were no longer able to earn a living off their land. Medicare was a way for individuals to avoid large hospital bills in the late 60s and 70s when it was first introduced but it was medications that slaughtered my parents and many other farm families in their situation. With their vast land holdings they didn’t qualify for assistance of any kind. And so many simply didn’t have the energy to go the extra 30 – 50 miles to pick up prescriptions they needed after working in the fields 12 and 18 hours a day. The fraud, waste and abuse that comes from mail order drugs is freighting and I’ll be blogging about it in the coming year. Thanks so much for weighing in on this topic. I always appreciate and respect you opinion.

  19. Jane Sadek says:

    I think it is ridiculous for places like Dallas to have dueling pharmacies on every corner with multiple grocery store pharmacies in between – and lets not forget the big box stores. The cost of keeping all those redundant places open is wasteful and it’s so impersonal. American needs more Mayberry and less metropolis! We need to meet our neighbors and see what we can do for them. That’s part of why I’m so excited to move to Heath. It’s called community and I’ve been missing it.

    • Jane – You have the exact spirit I’m looking for. I encourage everyone to use an independent pharmacy. I love our independent pharmacy. We’re always greeted by name when we walk in the store and if I’m unable to leave Tom – they are more than happy to deliver to our home with no extra charge and the pharmacist knows precisely what medications both Tom and I are allergic too and would cause immediate problems. Our independent pharmacy is more like that old time drug store I grew up. It’s a community of people who actually care about the welfare of Tom and myself. We receive telephone calls to ensure we are okay and have had food ready to eat dropped by when they knew I didn’t have time to prepare complete meals for either one of us.
      I love your line, America needs more Mayberry and less metropolis. I drive through Kansas where I grew up and it can be as much as 15 to 20 houses between neighbors and on gravel roads at that. It’s individuals that live in places such as this that bring that top value succulent meat and vegetables to our table, sunflower oil to our pantries, and flour, oats and other grains with minimum processing for maximum nutrition. I left Kansas many years ago but it reminds me of what I must fight for. These hard-working individuals need our help and we must keep them front and center. They don’t make enough money to make those extra trips to a city where they may get their prescriptions filled or refilled and often it’s a long-distance telephone call as cell reception doesn’t exist in that area. We must protect them. Thank you for caring.

  20. Gallivanta says:

    I am so glad we still have our independent pharmacies, although some of them struggle to stay in business, it seems.

  21. Elyse says:

    Even though I don’t live in a rural area, I much prefer independent pharmacies. They take the time to know you as a person and as a patient. They keep trying to get through to a doctor’s office when they don’t respond about a prescription. You get to know them.

    I really don’t like the big chains. This is not about buying milk. The knowledge of a pharmacist is really iportant to treatment and overall healthcare. The big guys never get to know you back.

    • Elyse – You are so right. I plan to prepare a blog about my experience at a chain on a Sunday when my independent store was closed and everything I had to go through to get a simple bottle of cough medicine for Tom. I was telling my independent pharmacist about everything that had happened and we had stopped laughing, he turned and said, “Sheri, you know all you have to do is call me any time of day or night and I’ll come to the pharmacy for you and fill whatever needs to be taken care of.” For me, that’s customer service and you’ll never find anyone that cares about their customers the same way at a chain store.

  22. What a mess. The solution creates more problems. Thankfully, I live in a rural town that has a couple of local pharmacies that talk to customers. They are lifesavers, literally. Another good and important article. Thank you, Sheri.

    • Paulette – Indeed – Medicare administration is a mess and becoming a bigger mess each and every day. And, yes, I’m thankful your town has two local pharmacies. Are they independent or chain? That’s always important to me when looking at the overall picture. Of course, we always want to keep up the dialogue with the customers. I believe that’s one of the most important components, especially in this day and age of 15 minute doctor appointments.

  23. What a terrible state of affairs. Here the independents are / have been sucked up by the big boys and the big boys build a drugstore on every second corner. That’s in the city. I have no idea what the folks in the country, small towns and on farms have available. ❤ ❤

    Money, money. It's all about money. Ugh.

  24. Great article. Medicare is a mess. And I’ve seen drugstores, as they were called when I grew up, fold one after the other. I live in a town of about 120,000 and there are two pharmacies both owned buy the same man. He simply has provided compounding that one can not get at the chain pharmacies. I get my pets meds from that phamacy when ever something needs to be made into a liquid. They do an excellent job and even deliver at no extra cost. I sure hope that man stays in business. It looks like he will for the store is very busy all the time.

    • Thanks for dropping by. I agree, Medicare is a total mess. I was reminiscing with a friend the other day and recalling fond memories of days gone by when we had such fun twirling around on the soda-fountain stools at the drug store (when our mothers weren’t looking of course). That’s also where our parents went to buy our schoolbooks each Sept. Kansas did not supply schoolbooks and parents had to buy everything. Everyone also found out who was sick and maybe needed food and assistance if they were elderly and if it was a farm family that needed help with keeping the farm up, help would be dispatched immediately. Many families didn’t have telephones then (including us). If you wanted a telephone for your home, you paid to have the telephone poles set and the wires strung and that was in the late 50’s. The magical drug store was the place where you not only got your medication but also where the community took care of the community. Government programs were not used – people were taken care of by their own kind.

  25. Terry – The lobbyist want to squeeze out independent pharmacies and managed to get Administrative Law passed wherein only the big box stores (Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and other National Chains) would be able to dispense prescriptions to Medicare Part D customers. Everything being done is to push the small pharmacies out of business and allow corporate greed to take over.

  26. We need to fight to preserve these rural institutions.There seems to be general agreement that the current trend towards urbanization is unsustainable, both economically and ecologically. Political and economic decentralization will be key to surviving the coming chaos of global climate change and economic collapse.

    Large numbers of foresighted people from all walks of life are leaving cities to better prepare themselves to “self-provision” by growing their own food and making their own clothes and other necessities. Strong local businesses and social networks will be essential to this process, just as they were in the pioneer days.

    • Dr. Bramhall – I so agree. I haven’t grown our vegetables in the past but I’ve decided I have to make the time to do so this spring and summer. I simply can’t put it off any longer. I grew up on a large combination working ranch/farm in Kansas and my mother raised a huge truck size garden each year. Of course we ate out of it all summer along with fresh meats produced and fed properly by my father who did not believe in using antibiotics as growth hormones the entire 70 years he was in the cattle industry. I’m afraid I can’t say that about my brother or nephew. They seem to be more interested in allowing fertilizer run-off go into the major water source and for the first time in the history of our nation, a major waterway is now polluted. I know it’s not all their fault and that others contributed equally and with gusty. It contaminated one of the purest drinking springs in the United States. What a difference in one generation to the next. Dad was a purest and the following generation simply didn’t care. Yet, all crop yields were higher in Dad’s time and the cattle to market ratio was greater.
      Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now.
      My father also believed our country would fall into a revolution if greed was not controlled. I see that revolution unfolding before my eyes daily and the government is fueling the fire. Government is giving more to the upper 1% and taking away more from those we depend on that raise our food and have the ability to help clean up our drinking water.
      Thank you for your thought provoking comment.

  27. Wow! Your posts are always so informative yet they bring to the forefront the fact that most people don’t even understand the Medicare morass. I know I don’t. In a few years I’m going to be a part of that group and I’ll probably pay someone to get me through it so that I don’t miss out on anything. It’s mindboggling.

    • Patti – What you need to understand is that if you need part B which is the part that pays for out-patient visits to your doctor and other ancillary charges, you must buy it when you are 65 or you’ll face a penalty when you do decide you might need it. You are automatically enrolled in part A when you turn 65. That’s the part that pays for hospital care less your co-pay (often 20%). If you have part B, normally they will pay the remaining amount.
      In my opinion, Medicare doesn’t provide anything good, therefore you won’t miss out on anything of value. Of course that’s just my opinion.

  28. gpcox says:

    As a child, we had one who actually saved my mother’s life when the doctor ordered a drug she was allergic to; we could always go there and ask questions, chit-chat, etc. When I moved, I found an Apothecary and loved it! It’s ALL big business now: eg: Lowe’s and Home Depot have eliminated local nurseries and hardware stores and when was the last time you heard of a woman going to the seamstress?
    Great article, Sheri.
    My very best to Tom!

    • Tom and I are ever so blessed to have an independent pharmacist who cares about both of us. I have an extra layer of protection for Tom in that before he takes a new medication, I always call his psychiatrist for advise. His medical doctors don’t like the idea that we follow the advise of his psychiatrist on all things medical but it’s the psychiatrist that’s kept him alive and not the medical community at large.

  29. Terry says:

    A lot of information here. You said what my thoughts have been for so long. The government is set on destroying what America stands for. For the people, by the people. I am sorry I am so bold here but I believe the government wants all control over our bodies minds and souls. Hugs

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