We have been living in “the bubble” now for almost a year and a half. I rarely leave our small condo for fear of the Corona virus that continues to ravish our nation where over a million fellow Americans have now died. Each dreary morning when the sun comes up on the dusty, smoke gray sky the television starts blaring out the continued news of the unstoppable pandemic. We see it, we grieve, but we do it virtually without tears for we have forgotten how to cry. We no longer remember what a friendly, consoling hug or human touch is like. Meanwhile, the politicians keep promising that an effective vaccine is just around the corner. We will have it soon and that everything will be “OK”. But how do they know? They are just existing in their own virtual bubbles, protected from the great illness that continues growing like a cancer in our land. When we suffer physical or mental ills do we see a doctor? Yes, but only online. Living in the bubble sucks. No more sports to watch as baseball, football, and all other athletic events we enjoyed for so long are now illegal, so we have to content ourselves with streaming video shows, most of which contain unspeakable violence and repeated bad language. Oh, how things could have been different if we had only listened to the voices of reason. Wear face coverings, keep social distancing, avoid large crowds. But many thought themselves invincible that not only brought on the financial panic and the greatest depression in our history that has left our economy in ruin, but also took so many unnecessary lives. Oh, we need to get to church and pray for our survival…but we can only do it virtually, and remember- no singing allowed as it can continue to spread the unstoppable virus. God, please keep our electronics working as they are our only link to the world outside the bubble that I don’t think we will ever be able to leave.
SCARY? YOU BET! LET US PRAY THIS NEVER, NEVER EVER COMES TO PASS!
OK, I admit it. I often have a tough time going to sleep and then waking up early. When this happens I know I am not functioning at the level I need to be at. Science tells us we need seven to nine hours of deep sleep a night. So, how much sleep are you getting? If you suffer from insomnia be aware it’s effects can be deleterious to your health causing such negatives as anxiety, obesity, diabetes, and even depression. Currently, with all the serious problems we are experiencing ranging from racism to unemployment and much more only about 35% of Americans are getting enough shuteye. The keyword here according to government reports is STRESS which can lead to heart problems and more as well. Yep, when your circadian rhythms are abnormal it can lead to a host of problems. I am fortunate that although I am deeply involved daily as a health insurance broker (which can be stressful) my heart is good (thank God), my blood pressure is low (usually), I do not have any of the chronic diseases we fear but I do need some days to take a short nap to restore my energy. In my 80s I am indeed blessed. I can only hope your sleep patterns are healthful. If not, it’s important to check with your family physician to see if there are some (non-pharmaceutical, hopefully) solutions so you can keep yourself in tip-top condition. OK, please pardon me now…I am going to take a nap! See you in an hour. (yawnnnnnnn……….. ZZZZZZZZZ)
Every day my wife Joanie and I start our day by reading various bible lessons that are exemplified by scripture. So, as most of us are aware our nation has been suffering from blatant and covert racism directed toward people of color for too long a time. This was dramatically emphasized by witnessing the murder of George Floyd on public television. When we started our readings the other day I wondered- does the holy bible have any opinions on this vital issue? Indeed, it does. Both old and new testaments are filled with statements directing us towards equality for all men. It seems making quick and unfounded judgements about a race and being partial or biased is an ancient problem for humanity that was addressed many times. In the book of Deuteronomy we read “God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.” Paul said in Romans “…the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call upon Him.” Of course Jesus preached about inclusion, unity, and peace. If you study the holy word there are many instances where strife between peoples can be replaced with understanding, and kindness become the word of the day. Now, I am not a biblical scholar but I believe the the veracities found in the bible are as true today then when inspired by the Lord above. And if that is so, I believe it is time for us as a society to exercise those lessons. We are making progress, but we are just beginning to achieve the much needed reconciliation between our peoples needed to keep us the greatest nation in the world. So let’s now not only read the words, but live them as we should.
Recently my daughter in Arizona put off her impending hip replacement surgery because of the upsurge in Corona virus cases in her area. Here in California we experienced 7000 new cases in one day just this week. So, what should you do about medical visits scheduled in the near future. Well, if you are uncomfortable with being in a medical office right now and your condition is not life threatening you could probably wait a bit. Of course, you can’t wait with heart or stroke problems. CMS is urging us to continue to do our preventive care, particularly cancer screenings and immunizations. We have some excellent doctors and hospitals and I have found that they are very aware of shielding us from harm but using PPE and limiting the number of patients in their office at one time. Naturally, always check with your medical provider to get their imput as well.
We all complain about the high prices of prscription drugs these days, especially if you are a senior taking multiple meds. So what can you do to save some time and money? Heres a few suggestions-
First, develop a good relationship with your pharmacist, and shop at a preferred pharmacy for your part D coverage, or use mail order. Remember, you can request a 90 day supply for either resource and most plans will give a you a discount for doing that. Make sure your pharmacy will price match other retail sources. A terrific online resource is Goodrx.com. Many times you can find a coupon that will make for great savings at a local store. Using generics instead of name brands when available can save a bundle. Check with your doctor to make sure you are not taking unnecessary meds, or if there could be drug interactions with the ones prescribed. And of course brokers who assist clients with Medicare Prescription drug plan s (like LJR Insurance Solutions) will be happy to check your coverage at the appropriate times (like the open enrollment periods) to make sure you have the best plan in place!
When it comesto business, including health insurance, nothing…absolutely nothing is FREE. I get so tired of hearing the TV pitchmen shouting FREE! New Medicare insurance now available with FREE DENTAL! FREE HEARING! FREE MEALS! FREE! FREE! AND MORE FREE!Today, I got a cold call offering me FREE benefits! I thought, this is not right. That person just might not know what coverage I need, or know the best doctors in the area, or know much of nothing to HELP me, not SELL me.Why is it they can shout FREE on TV when Medicare tells me this is not an acceptable practice?
Please believe me while today’s Medicare Advantage policies come with lots of extra benefits but THEY ARE NOT FREE. Most of us are paying about $145 a month or more through Social Security to support the Medicare system, so none of this is just free. I represent some fine companies, but each one is unique. It is my job to find the best coverage to fit my client’s needs. That is what I do, and I want to continue to do it the right way. I spoke to one of my clients today who recently received SIX COLD CALLS offering her new free benefits if she would sign up. She told me she couldn’t even speak a word as they rambled on about all the benefits she could have if she just agreed to their proposals.. I am sure some of you have had the same or similar experiences that leave a bad taste in your mouth when it comes to health insurance. This really disturbs me. I work with a fine group of professional agents who know the right way to assist a beneficiary. I AM GLAD TO BE ONE OF THAT GROUP. THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH.
With the threat of COVID-19 still swirling all around us most folks you see these days appear in public wearing face masks to protect themselves and others from catching the deadly virus that has killed over 107,000 so far in the U.S. to date. So is there a right and wrong way to wear these important safeguards to our health? Let’s look at the facts. While you don’t need a surgical or N95 mask the important things is to make sure the mask is fitting tightly and completely covering your nose and mouth, but not with discomfort. You can use a good cloth mask or even make your own as long as you are preventing respiratory droplets from entering these passages. Remember also that wearing a face mask is not a 100% guarantee against getting the virus. So, keep on hand washing and practicing good hygiene. You should change or wash your mask with regular laundry detergent and warm water to prevent contamination as well. Finally, not everyone should be wearing a face mask including those with respiratory problems or very young children.
Due to recent events, Medicare has declared that Medicare enrollees may be eligible for a limited time to choose a Medicare plan. If you were affected by COVID-19 and unable to make a Medicare plan selection earlier in 2020, you may have until JUNE 30th TO MAKE A PLAN SELECTION for 2020!
CALL LOU REINITZ TODAY TO SEE IF YOU QUALIFY TO ENROLL NOW AT 760 699-1359
Remember all those who sacrificed their lives for us
We will not forget those lost on the battlefields. We will not forget the heroes lost in the Pandemic who gave their lives to help us save so many others. God bless all who made these sacrifices. God bless the USA.
If you, or someone you know has lost their health insurance due to unemployment, in most cases because of COVID-19, it is really important to find other ways to get coverage. The Kaiser Foundation has estimated that a hospital stay for the uninsured for any significant illness can cost you between $10,000 & $20,000 out of pocket today.
So, what answers can you look for? COBRA is one, but it is expensive as the premiums would be what your employer has paid plus an additional 2%.
If you are on Medicare you would qualify for a special enrollment period that would extend for 30-60 days after your job loss. LJR Insurance Solutions can answer any questions you might have and explain what coverage would be available to you by calling us at 760 699-1359.
We are also Certified Covered California brokers so if you are under age 65 we can assist you as well in obtaining good insurance.
Other answers are you can be added to a spouse’s insurance if that is practical, or you can check to see if you are qualified to be a Medi-Cal recipient. Those earning less than 133% of the Federal Poverty Level can qualify, and others can benefit as well. There is also a low income subsidy available for drug coverage. Please call me for details.
Finally, there is Telemedicine. You can speak to a doctor online or on the phone to check symptoms. They also can prescribe. This can eliminate many trips to urgent care. Of course, it is not a perfect answer to being insured in a new plan. Many Medicare Advantage plans today do also have this benefit included along with other benefits.
Lou Reinitz, President LJR Insurance Solutions LLC