Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Rain is drumming a cadence on the metal porch roof again and it's back to more seasonal temps after more than a week of temps in the 60s and even low 70s. There's a fire in the woodstove warming the house (and the lazy cats) and I intend to get out of the office in a few minutes to join them in coziness.

We've had a good season of rain this year and the grass has been plentiful, along with the weeds. The deer are fat and happy. I'm grateful for every drop.

I get my cast off Friday and then we'll see what happens with my wrist. Meanwhile, I've attended to other health concerns which so far have proven to be minor. May that continue.

We've enjoyed vicarious winter sports and snow through the Olympics and enjoy our weekly HBO/ Showtime series plus a few on network tv -- guilty pleasures all, but a nice way to spend an evening. Wish I could say I'm ready to get outside and work, but I'm not, really.

My thoughts and to-do lists seem to be full of "I need to..." rather than "I want to" or "I am looking forward to," encompassing everything from tidying the den to continuing to clean and organize the office to cleaning the cat box. I need to clean out every drawer in the house and organize and sort throug the bits that find their way into silverware and bathroom meds and kitchen linen storage areas. I need to make more hummer food for the wee birds that are seeking sustenance now and then, even in the cold and wet. I need to pull the weeds from the walk near the front door, even if we RoundUp soon, because they're growing fast and thick. I need to climb on the treadmill every day, even if only for 10 minutes. My 'need to" list is neverending.

I'd rather have a 'need to' list that would include reading at least three chapters from a good book every day, or polishing my nails regularly or taking naps more often or writing here at least once a week instead of once or twice a month, if that. I think I spend so much time thinking of the 'need to' list that I never get it done completely and I always put 'want to' things at the end of the 'need to' one.

I'm still obsessing over healthcare, at least somewhat, since I've been calling doctors and hospitals to figure out what we really owe, and checking on our benefits. I am grateful to have insurance at all, but we have been simply floored by the amounts billed and the amounts allowed and the amounts paid. Anthem has a phrase on their Web site as well as on their customer service lines -- both recorded and then repeated when a rep gets on the line with you -- that runs pretty much like this: Benefits are subject to the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions in your coverage. Benefits are subject to change.

I learned in one conversation with a rep yesterday that my mammogram, for instance, which is supposed to be covered at 60% (unless I have a coupon from Healthy Checkup, which I'd not heard about), is in fact not covered at 60%. It depends upon the deductible that has been met, the provider's number, and the billing code. And then I learned that in some instances, such as when it is performed at a hospital, you are billed both by the facility and the imaging contractor. It is no wonder that the uninsured don't seek preventive healthcare. At least my bills reflect some discount through the insurance companies.

And did you see the brouhaha that resulted from Anthem's rate hike announcement? Not only is the hike the subject of federal investigation, it has largely been responsible for a renewed interest in healthcare reform. And Anthem isn't the only guilty party: see here for more.

Dealing with this stuff is necessary, and I've learned you must question and watch. But fun it is not.


I feel like I've been on hold since the first of the year. I have more energy now, I don't hurt anymore, I'm healing. But I'm ready for something positive, something fun. Don't know what that is just yet.

And my friends and family are still struggling with their own issues of money, health, fear, security, loss. I say prayers for them every day -- but I also never fail to say thank you to the Universe for my own blessings.

One of them just crawled into my lap for a snuggle. He's getting it.=^^=

Sunday, February 07, 2010

We don't need no stinkin' healthcare reform


The insurance companies are going to punish us for the recent healthcare reform debacle in Congress. If you have Anthem, be prepared for a whopping 39 percent increase.

The company says it is "concerned" over the rising cost of healthcare.

Yup. Concerned about its bottom line.

See here for the full story.

My insurance is through a group and the story says it will not impact group rates. (yet)

Nonetheless, my recent visit to the ER and subsequent wrist surgery is going to cost me a bundle. I'm going to estimate around $4-5K before we're all done.

So what should I have done -- just lived with the pain and the S-curve in my wrist, and resign myself to a crippled hand?

The Dems have no guts; the Rethugs have no compassion. We are going to pay dearly for this attempt to overthrow the big insurance companies, folks.