I went to Medicare yesterday and got a dreadful shock. They’ve stopped the free money. I loved my cash refunds, they felt like I’d won a minor prize on Lotto. Now the money is deposited straight into your bank account – damn progress – which is very dull. Especially when you wait 20 minutes for your automated number to come up. Fortunately it was 15 minutes sooner than last time I visited Medicare, on the bank holiday. The place was wall-to-wall wrinklies then, all clueless about using ATM machines - I had visions of them desperately banging on the glass at their local St George like the zombies in The Walking Dead – and forced to scrabble together their endless medical bills instead …
Oh no! What will the poor biddies do next bank holiday? It’ll be chaos!
Anyway, my plans for my skin cancer excision cash were dashed. I had to wait 24 hours for my bank account details to register with head office. Sure, the operation cost over $600 and I only got $200 back, but that $200 was going to burn a hole in my pocket for a few seconds before being lavished on two-for-$20 Cotton On black leggings for my hand-luggage-only trip to New York. (I know it’s not until April, but what if they get discontinued over summer?)
Sigh. I’ll miss that free Medicare money. It was awesome. I even wrote a blog about it last year. It went like this …
“I got some “free” money at Medicare yesterday. Well, that’s how it feels whenever they hand me those crisp bills. I forget about the massive outlay that lead to the minor payback. Ancient history. The Medicare office is in a shopping centre, so I did the logical thing - I spent all my free money. I got two pairs of cargo pants and three baggy T-shirts, all on sale. I justified the new clothing as being necessary rather than extravagant. After spending three weeks wedged into one-size-too-small garments on my holiday, it’s a relief to finally wear stuff that actually fits. And there’s only so long you can mooch around in black leggings before people start to wonder if you wash. When the Medicare cash ran out, I went to our private medical fund to get more, but they tricked me. They suggested I go and get a coffee while they sorted out my payment. When I got back, they’d put it all in my bank account. Where’s the fun in that? So I went home. I was supposed to tidy up the house yesterday. The task loomed over me, taunted me, tripped me over every time I went to make a cup of tea. But I was too distracted by the computer. Not just Facebook, getting constant traffic updates on my blog site (“how can it be zero, when I checked five minutes ago it said zero, it can’t still be zero …”) (I’m dramatising – who me? - wordpress is on American time and switches to a new day at noon), my daily hit of celebrity at laineygossip.com and gmail, but shopping. At the shopping centre, I’d realised it was already October 10 and I hadn’t started on my Christmas list. I felt all tight in the chest just thinking about it. I went on an exploratory search of Toys R Us, Target and Myer and they’d ALREADY sold out of all the good stuff. The really, really organised people had been there before me (Husband reckons its more likely the shops don’t have their Christmas deliveries yet, but I’m not buying it). It was imperative to get on the internet immediately, before it ran out of stuff as well. And so, another day passed without any significant housework being done. But at least the Chistmas shopping is sorted. Phew, such a relief. Fortunately, the private medical fund had deposited all that free money in my bank account to pay for it. So thoughtful of them.”
I’m a bit freaked out after re-reading the blog, because it’s only September 5 and I’ve already done most of this year’s Christmas shopping for the Sprogs. Sprog 1′s birthday is in November, so it’s sorted too. Though she’s been making noises about a cactus garden. And an ant-o-sphere. And I had to physically restrain myself from making a dash to the ABC Shop while I was in the city this morning. The urge to add a Tardis beach towel to her Xmas haul was almost overwhelming. It’s an illness.
I really need to get a job.