Manual Ballet Update

Tried to get some writing accomplished earlier but I cannot grasp a pen without gauze wraps for my swollen digits and exfoliating palms, a problem resolved with a couple rolls of bandaging and a few other supplies but so far no help forthcoming and there’s no couch in our small house, let alone couch cushions to shake out for loose change.

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About Rodger Jacobs

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3 responses to “Manual Ballet Update”

  1. SomeGuy says :

    You might take advantage of the Medicare open enrollment period to look at the zero $ monthly premium Medicare Avantage plans in your area. The AARP plan is best if available, but there is probaly HealthNet and Humana also there. Here in SF there are several — I just enrolled in the HealthNet. They all have very low office copays, like $5 or $10. Your extrahelp Rx would still work.

    Also, you might disable your text feature on your Go Phone to save mins. The Virgin Mobile Pay-Lo plan is better — just 20cents min air time and $20 / quarter activation (which covers airtime). I got a very simple and reliable LG-101 VM phone for $10 at Radio Shack, that has excellent voice quality.

  2. Rodger Jacobs says :

    SG, I’ve been ensnared in the medical social services world for 14 years now and, believe me, there are no tricks this old dog cannot be taught because I’ve learned them all. I have been on Medicare managed HMO group plans numerous times, including Humana for four years. Because of my Medicare Advantage, yes, my co-pay for office visits was zero but the downsides were numerous and plentiful. I was restricted to doctors within their network and never once did I receive individualized care. I received only the care that the physician’s directives for a person with my conditions was allowed to receive; if I did not respond favorably to the methodology, then, as my Humana doctor once said, “There’s nothing more we can do.”

    Everything in Humana is outsourced: for my monthly bloodwork I had to go to an off-site lab, for instance, instead of having the draw right there in the office by an RN as I do now. There’s no coverage outside of an HMO’s “coverage zone” as well, another huge downside. And when I relocated back to California from Vegas last summer I was out of pocket for all medical expenses for the first 30 days as it takes that long for Humana to drop coverage of a patient and transfer care and costs back to Medicare. All in all, not an experience I recommend.

    Now, to be fair and balanced, as our friends at Fox would have it: On straight Medicare the co-pay for office visits is a bit of a bite but I can see whomever I choose and no one can say no. Procedures are done in the doc’s office, not spread out over various clinics and labs across the city. Of the two plans, which would you opt for if you were chronically ill, as I am?

  3. Rodger Jacobs says :

    One other point, not only for you but for anyone else who thinks that my problems can only be solved with a little much-needed research: I am a semi-retired features journalist; over my career one aspect of my work that all editors unanimously gave me high marks for was my exhaustive research abilities; in fact, I began my career in 1979 as a professional researcher for actor and producer Stacy Keach, back in the day before the internet (the nearest tool to the web we had then was microfiche) and libraries, library collections, and live interviews were the best, and often only, resources. Imagine how my skills grew in leaps and bounds once I had access to the World Wide Web. I approach research as a complex algebra problem that needs to be understood from every angle imaginable. It’s not enough for me to know how to repair a bicycle tire, I also want to know who manufactured that tire, the history of the manufacturer and the names of all their employees. And I will find it.

    But don’t take my word for it. Go read any of my feature-length Deconstruction Zone columns for Pop Matters, particularly “The Name of This Land is Hell: Mexico in Literature”.

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