Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Our Government at Work

Just have to do this second post...a little bit of a rant...

Yesterday I received a letter from Kaiser Permanente telling me that my monthly premium for my Senior Advantage coverage was increased.

Here's the letter:
Dear Violet E Townsend,
We are writing to tell you that starting January 01, 2014, your new premium will be $___ per month.

This new amount is a change to your current late enrollment penalty amount based on the annual change to the National Base Beneficiary Premium.  Each year the National Base Beneficiary Premium changes, so will the amount of your late enrollment penalty.

If you have questions about the information in this letter, or if you would like more information about how the national base beneficiary premium affects the late enrollment penalty, call Member Service Contact Center at....

So I called the number for the Member Service Contact Center.  The person I spoke to tried to tell me because I was late in enrolling in Medicare I was being assessed a penalty.  I told this person that I signed up for Medicare in May of 2007, two months before I had my 65th birthday.  So then she tells me to call Medicare and gives me the phone number.  Actually the number was included in this letter I received yesterday.

So I call Medicare and here is what I find out...this is priceless...

September 2009 I was dropped by Kaiser's Senior Advantage Plan because I had been late numerous times with my monthly premium.  I re-enrolled in October 2012.  Because I did not use my Part D of Medicare for 3 years, I was assessed a penalty which was included in my monthly payment.  What I didn't realize is that that penalty is for as long as I remain alive I will be assessed this penalty.  I had no coverage for 3 years, bought no prescription drugs during that time...yet am being penalized for not using the coverage...

How insane is that!!  The Part D coverage was ongoing even though I did not use it so am now having to pay for something that was never used by me for that time period...

Okay...that's my rant for today...

Small World

Gerry went to an American Legion meeting last night.  A lady that was there asked if he was from Hawaii.  He was wearing a shirt that had "Aloha ke Akua" on the front of it.  He told her no, that his wife was from Hawai'i.

She wanted to know what island...she is from O'ahu...he said his wife was too.  Then she said she graduated from Kailua High School...he said his wife did too.  She graduated in 1965...I graduated in 1960.

She gave him her contact information.  I don't recognize her maiden name, supposedly she has an older brother.  I emailed her last night, have yet to get a response from her.

I'm excited to talk to finding people from home and who graduated from the same high school.

So we are fellow Surfriders...what could be better than that...small world...yeah...


Spoke with Faynette today.  We have so much in common.  We lived around the corner from each other when we lived in Kailua.  She was neighbors to a couple of families that I babysat for.  There are 2 sisters that live in our mobile home park that are both Kailua High graduates...she is sure she knows the younger of the two.

I went to the Ulta store in Citrus Heights this morning and took some of the residential streets to get home.  I was in the neighborhood where she and her husband live.  She wants me to go to the next American Legion meeting with Gerry (if he goes) so we can hang out and "talk story".

Enjoyed our telephone conversation so much!  Looking forward to meeting her in person.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

PGR Mission Today in Truckee

Gerry and I continue to participate in PGR missions.  There was one today in Truckee for a sailor.  He was killed in a helicopter accident in Virginia a week or so ago and his service was today.

We got up early, leaving Sacramento about 7:20am to drive to Truckee.  It was a beautiful drive, although very cold.  The outside temperature was in the 30's as we got to Donner Summit at 7,000 plus feet and in the high 20's when we got to Truckee.  We were meeting some other PGR members to set up American flags at the high school where his service was being held.

First, we had some breakfast.  The 3 guys we met had hearty breakfasts.  Gerry and I had eaten breakfast so we had something light.  Arriving back at the high school, we met up with our contact person and then started setting up the flags.  A fire department ladder truck was already there and they were in the process of setting up a huge flag.  We set up 5 or 6 large flags facing the street and were going to line the driveway with flags.  Unfortunately, the ground was so hard and rock was being hit about 2 or 3 inches into the dirt.  We went ahead and got all the flags together, about 60 of them.  People were starting to line up along the street.  One of the guys suggested asking the people if anyone was interested in holding a flag.  Everyone that was standing out there walked over to get a flag.  They were lined up on both sides of the street.  It looked so impressive.  I took my tablet with me intending to take some pictures and then didn't do it.  I did take some for Bob with his iPad.  He is the one that does the flagging.

The military honors part of the program was done in the stadium and then the actual service was moved to the gym.  The stadium was packed.  The guys formed a flag line down on the field.  There is something about seeing numerous American flags blowing in the breeze that causes one to get teary eyed.  I always every mission we do.

There is a group called "Westboro Baptist Church" that pickets military funerals, protesting the United States participation in war.  Word was out that a group would be in Truckee to protest this service.  Some did arrive, however they were not able to get to the high school.  Supposedly CHP blocked them at the freeway exit.  Actually the PGR was formed to create a buffer between the protestors and the family of the fallen warrior.  As many PGR that were in attendance today, the protestors would have had a difficult time getting anywhere near the service.

We had quite a bit of help in getting the flags taken down.  I think everyone was tired.  The PGR guys that rode up on their bikes went to the funeral home and was part of the escort to the high school.  There had to be a 100 plus bikes.  That is also an impressive sight.

We were going to go into Old Town Truckee to eat after we were done.  We did drive down, then decided to just get back on the road and head home.  We stopped in Colfax and had some lunch then got home about 4pm.

It was so cold when we first got to Truckee then it warmed up and we were taking jackets off.  The temperature rose rapidly as we came down the mountain and it was pushing 70 degrees by the time we got to Colfax which is about 3000 ft (I think). 

There has been a huge high pressure system sitting over California, giving us cold nights, warm days (in the 70's) and no rain.

It is such a rewarding experience being a part of these missions.  Gerry and I look forward to being a part of them.

Monday, January 20, 2014

I Am Still Around...

Hi there,
I haven't posted to my blog since July of last year.  I have had some issues with my desktop computer.  Today my stepson installed a new computer for me.  I am hoping that I will be able to post again without issues.

A lot has happened since I posted last so will try to catch up in the coming days.

It is late so need to call it a day.  There is a lot to learn with the new computer, it has Windows 8 on it so will be spending time figuring out how everything works.