- You can make an appointment, but don’t expect anyone to make it easy.
- Be prepared to wait for at least an hour.
- Take someone with you.
I had actually tried to make an appointment and got shushed off, so that’s what happened to me. I didn’t see anyone enter that over-crowded, stuffy office that didn’t wait at least an hour. It was about that long for me as well, but I considered it getting off lightly since it could have been two hours.
I had a book with me, but it was hard to concentrate. Lots of people are waiting, always more than there are chairs or even space to stand. At least you can’t bring in any food. Hearing people having lunch would have been way too much like a school cafeteria. I did manage to read a couple of chapters, but mostly I was glad that my mum had come along because conversation proved to be a better way to pass the time.
Once we actually got to the window, the SSA rep was awesome. He was chatty but in a fun, friendly way, not a time-wasting way, listened when I said that I fully understood (and actually understood my reasons himself), answered my questions, and was even nice enough to also process my corrected SS card that will feature my married name. At last. I am a horrible procrastinator. (dmv is gonna suck, passport’ll be worse) I was afraid I’d have to get back in line or come back with more documents.
Definitely get as much information as possible. It’s kind of hard to hear the rep through the window and with all of the people behind you chatting and complaining. The penalties for cancelling Medicare Part B are that if you want to enroll again, you can only do so during a certain period, and you may have a 10% increase on what you pay then.
One last thing, that is a reminder, but an important one: If you don’t want Medicare Part B opt out as soon as it becomes relevant or cancel as soon as you realise you don’t want it. If you go so far as having to withdraw from it, you will have to wait two months for that cancellation of benefits to go into effect.