New meaning for health care deadlines

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hi neighbors. October begins the decision making time for most people with insurance on what they want for 2015 coverage.

Medicare users have from the first of the month until Dec. 7, to notify the good folks at the Medicare offices of their choices. Not actually choices for Medicare itself as that stays constant; but for the other insurances in the private sector that cover what Medicare does not.

It is all very complicated as far as determining a prescription plan, dental and eye care choices.

Many insurance plans offered to state employees have to have changes into their offices by Halloween (trick or treat?). I have noticed that the amount paid and the amount of the deductibles seem to drift farther and farther apart each year. However, I can't complain. Between Medicare and my state offered insurance for retirees I have so far survived. Heaven help me if I ever actually need a lot of doctors attentions without actually having to go to the hospital. There's the rub.

Then there is Obama Care. To be honest, I have not looked into that much. After all the people who lost their current insurance coverage just by clicking on the Obama Care website -- I was too skittish to even look into it.

If any one who has used the national insurance and are satisfied with it; I wish they would contact me and I'll tell their story.

Whatever decisions you make about your insurance, just be certain to get your paperwork in on time. Any one in today's world needs health insurance, whether you get sick or not. Most insurance covers an annual physical and that is a wonderful thing. Make sure you take advantage of that for eliminating or finding potential severe health conditions.

Most of us only see a doctor when we are sick. But with some diseases, waiting till you feel sick from them, can be too late. We all know about the Big C (cancer), but there are other conditions that we should be aware of. High blood pressure, elevated cholesterol or blood sugar levels, thyroid malfunctions are just a few of problems that can be life threatening and that seldom show symptoms early on.

If testing does show some problems you may face years of treatment and even surgery. You'll be glad you have health insurance when those bills start rolling your way.

Most insurance these days have you pay an annual deduction before they pay 100 percent of your health care costs. Even if these are $1,000 to $5,000 dollars, that's not a drop in the bucket for a surgery or long hospital stay.

If you are upset about paying deductables, do all you can to help yourself to be in better health.

Once you've had your annual check up, whether you feel sick or not, you can save a ton of money by not having to see a doctor every quarter. Monitoring blood work and other physical symptoms on a quarterly basis can run into cash out-of-pocket. But still, much less cash out-of-pocket if you have insurance.

You don't have to join a spa for a massage or a gym for a work-out. You don't need a lot of health equipment and a home gym to stay in shape. Walking each day (around the town, or around the perimeter of a large retail store) can work wonders. Stop eating cheeseburgers and French fries (that hurts doesn't it?) Cut back on all fried foods, don't eat ice cream every day and learn to dance. These are all fun things to do.

Organize your days for what I call, brain time, body time, heart time and soul time.

Brain time means learn something new every day -- read a book, a magazine and the newspaper. Body time is some of the things listed in the last paragraph; walking, hiking, doing some easy stretches -- you got to move it!

Heart time is doing something emotional: work on scrapbooks, call your family members at a distance, watch a sappy movie that makes you laugh and cry, play with a pet. Soul time is for balance, meditate, go to church, watch a nature show on television, read about your own spiritual beliefs, visit with people who extoll the characteristics you admire. Look at the night sky -- find the place of awe within you.

Now that I've written this down it doesn't sound too overwhelming. Who knows, I might be able to keep this schedule myself!

Until the next time friends, remember to care for those you love; take care of yourself so you can love them longer.