Things that are important to me!

Have you ever wondered why some things are important to some people while others take a completely different point of view of that same subject? Being a simple man and not really needing much to make me happy, recently I have found that there are but a few of the many things we do each day that I truly look forward to. These are personal things. Things like: What the word of the day is? Which quote will cause me to stop and reflect for a minute or two as to where I am today! And finally what funny joke or saying will I read or hear about before the day is out!

Each of these three things have become my bastion of hope that even though I am getting older and the world, at times, appears to be spiraling out of control, looking forward to seeing what I can learn differently each day be it in the form of a new word; famous quote; funny joke, or whatever (let’s face it – we are always or leastways should always be learning something) makes it all, let us just say, interesting! And believe it or not, being able to share it with others, whether that be here or other places I write for, makes it all that much more fun.

One of my most recent words that I learned about is: Eudaimonia

According to Dictionary.com – Noun: “human flourishing”, a contented state of being happy, healthy, and prosperous.

I would venture to say that eudaimonia” is what many of us are looking for most of our lives. To be happy, healthy, and prosperous!

Sometimes I think of quotes first thing in the morning while other times, I may be engaged in a conversation and the gist of the conversation gets me to thinking – gee – what famous quote may apply in this instance? Such was the case recently when I was in a conversation wherein the question was posed: Have you given thought to what it is going to be like to turn a quarter of a century old (both the person asking the question and myself will be 75 this year). Personally, I am one of those unique individuals that think age is merely a number. However, I must say that this question piqued my interest thus causing me to look for a quote representative of age and the aging process: Below is what I found:

“Father Time is not always a hard parent, and, though he tarries for none of his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him well; making them old men and women inexorably enough, but leaving their hearts and spirits young and in full vigour. With such people the grey head is but the impression of the old fellow’s hand in giving them his blessing, and every wrinkle but a notch in the quiet calendar of a well-spent life.” ~Charles Dickens

Isn’t the above description that which we all seek – our hearts and spirits to be young and in full vigour.

Finally, as mentioned in my opening remarks, the third thing I look forward to each and every day is the possibility that I will hear and like a new joke. And while I am past the age of 70, the following one-liner about age struck my fancy: Statistics show that at the age of seventy, there are five women to every man.  Isn’t that the darndest time for a guy to get those odds?

As we age, we all tend to spend our times differently. I would venture to say that golfers tend to get in as much golf as their bodies will allow them to endure; individuals that have a hobby of sorts may do their best to spend more time engaged in that hobby; those that spend a bit of time doing volunteer work may find themselves spending more time at the place they volunteer.

Whatever your situation is though, one thing we may all tend to learn as we age is that when we were younger, time seemed to be standing still whereas now that we are much older, time seems to be flying by.

Until next time!

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Dentists and Medicare

Today I decided to write about a recent fiasco with the dental industry especially with regard the handling of new patients and how new patients are treated.

This year my wife and I decided to switch health insurers from the Medicare Advantage program we had in 2014 to a different insurer for the year 2015. While a bit more costly (this plan does not offer a rebate as did the one we had in 2014),  the coverage/co-pays/drug costs and what have you seemed a bit better and thus our reason for switching. Plus, they offered “Dental” insurance which when you are in your seventies may come in handy.

Not having seen a dentist for our annual checkup this year, (new plan – new dentist) we had to call our insurer to (1) be assigned a dentist and (2) arrange for an appointment. But before I go any further, allow me to interject what brought this all about (seeking a new dentist early in the year). Late Sunday afternoon, while eating dinner, my wife discovered that a tooth broke free from her dentures.

So, we got on the phone with our insurer (Medicare Advantage Plan) and learned that the Dental Insurance Plan (Company A for the purposes of this article) associated with our Medicare program had pre-assigned us to a specific dentist within a few short miles of our house. We decided to call them (the dentist) to set up an appointment to have her denture looked at. After what seemed like forever answering this question and that question, we were informed that even though our Medicare Advantage Plan had assigned us this dentist, they were not taking on any new patients. Back to the telephone! Keep in mind this is February 2, 2015, a feature that will prove to be interesting later.

After speaking to our Medicare insurer once again, suffice it to say that they assigned us another dentist but upon calling to set up an appointment with them, learned that even though the first dentist (who was supposed to be our assigned dentist) was not taking any new patients, this next dentist on the list could not see us until after March 1st as you cannot just switch from one dentist to another in the same month (remember now – we haven’t even seen any dentist this year yet). Forget the fact that the first dentist hadn’t even seen us – just because we were assigned to them as of January 1, 2015, and it was now February 2, our plan provider could change us to another dentist but we would not be able to see them until after March 1st (rule of the program).

Call me crazy or what have you but having been in the insurance industry 35 plus years (property and casualty insurance as opposed to health-care insurance), I have learned a thing or two about how the system works. As a result, when I switched to a Medicare Advantage plan now available to many seniors over the age of 65, I decided to keep the dental coverage (Company B) my former employer had because in the beginning many Medicare Advantage Plans did not provide dental coverage. Naturally this costs me extra but it has come in handy over the years.

So, we asked this second dentist if they would check to see if my other policy (Company B) would be valid so that we could see the dentist this month yet, preferably within a day or two. The receptionist said yes and an appointment was set up for the same day. But shortly after hanging up the phone, they called us back to inform us that our Company B program for our dental coverage was an HMO type plan and they (the dentist) only accepted patients on a PPO plan.

Back to square one! During all this melee of phone calls and running around seeing these dentists, we came across a firm that specializes in repairing dentures as well as providing or replacing worn dentures. But………..don’t you just hate it when there is a “but”…they didn’t involve themselves with the insurance end of the business. They see you, tell you what they think you may need, allow you to make the choice, and tell you what it cost. At that time you can accept their offer, have the work done, pay them, and if you choose to – submit a claim to your insurance company for the cost of the service.

That is exactly what we did. We stopped in – they told us what they could do for us and what the cost would be. We had the work done, I paid them and we were on our way. Since it was a repair on a denture that has been in service for years, there was no guarantee how long the repair would last but the fact of the matter is that they did something. They were not bound by rules, guidelines, timetables, and so forth that serve no other purpose than to create a paper nightmare subsequently turning people off to dentists and the overwhelming abundance of red tape, paperwork, and so forth, individuals such as we have to put up with today.

Bottom line and the reason for this rant and rave – is it any wonder why individuals do not like to go to the dentist? First off – for whatever reason many of us have a fear of visiting dentists and then there are situations such as the one just described that tend to drive a sane person crazy and don’t even get me started on some of the prices I have had dentists propose to work on my teeth. That would fill another page.

I am happy to say though that while I am out of pocket the entire cost of what was charged to repair my wife’s dentures, she is feeling better and for the moment all is good in the world again.

Now where is that directory so that I can attempt to determine who it is we are supposed to see when we need a dentist………………. hopefully in this year yet?