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This doesn't make sense, because prescription drug coverage is an option. It's not required.

I chose to not get Part D because I already have the equivalent. As far as I can tell, the charge for Part D is around $38/month, but my understanding is that I am not paying the charge for Part D. I am paying only the $11.60 surcharge for Part D, the part depending on my income for the previous tax year.

The guy with whom I spoke at SSA said he was in the same boat: he had retired from the same company I retired from, and gets a similar charge and there was nothing he could do about it either. And he works there. He said that is what the law said and there was nothing the SSA could do about it.
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