Wednesday, January 09, 2013


Two updates to complicate the post below even more.  I ate out at Olive Garden last night because I wanted to support their support of their employees...and not to put too fine a point on it,  I just wanted to eat out after several weeks of cooking.  Anyway, the waitress comes to our table and asks for our drink order after we get settled.  She proceeds to sneeze into her elbow not once but twice before she can even speak.  She has been out the two prior days due to illness.

Yes, this was extremely off-putting, and if I was more religious, I would say this was a message of some kind from God.  Of course, I had to comment that I was pleased how the Darden franchise had decided to provide their employees with heath care instead of cutting hours.

She smiled ruefully and then said it was great if you could afford it.  Yes, they provided every employee with the opportunity for health coverage, but it was expensive and the coverage was minimal.  Then she said that if she didn't want it she still had to provide herself with health coverage from somewhere else by law. 

I also want to add, after talking to my husband, that my health coverage, which is taken from my pension check prior to my getting it, is also more expensive then I remembered.  My husband and I pay for single, not family, coverage as it saves us about $100 a year.   We are both on Medicare by age, but also must purchase the supplemental for coverage of what Medicare does not pay which is a lot!  We each pay $165.79 a month.  Last year it was $132.21.  This is almost a 25% increase in premium costs if my math is correct.  I could blame this on the implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act, but I am a pragmatist and think it would have gone up anyway and I do not know for what reason.  My co-pays creep up over the years as well.  Still this insurance is far less than we would pay through Part A and Part B supplimental Medicare insurance to pay for the things that the medicare basic does not cover.  It is similar to what Congress gets.

We also both carry long-term care insurance.  We would get about 3 years coverage each in a nursing home if needed and this costs us about $300 a year each.  We purchased these policies when we wer in our mid-fifties for greater savings   These are somewhat of a gamble, because in decades ahead the insurance company has to be there to pay out if needed and we are gambling that one or both of us will need to spend time in a nursing home.  Our company is large and bonded.

I took care of my mother in her last months in her own home and I took care of my Mother-in-Law in her last years in our home.  But she did have to spend a few months in a nursing home before her death when she required full time nursing care.  I just do not want my children to have to take us in if they cannot.  My father was taken in by my brother for a year before his death.  My Father-in Law spent about a year in a nursing home in Florida.


  1. I have a sister caring for both in-laws who are very dependent on her. Long term insurance sounds pretty good. I am 52 and might just look into that. Thanks for the heads up.

    Our insurance changed the beginning of the year. I have more coming out of pocket and a larger deductible also. It is happening everywhere.

  2. I was very poor after my divorce in 1975. I found a good job as a bank clerk but still needed day-care assistance for my 3 and 4 year old children and my portion was increased with every salary increase I received. We lived in government subsidized housing with our rent adjusted upward with each salary increase. We qualified for food stamps and welfare but managed to avoid accepting those services with the help of family. I weaned myself off of government assistance in four years by moving forward in my banking career. We only had the basics like food, clothing, shelter and transportation. We did not have cable TV, cell phones, iPods or iPads or designer clothes and we did not eat out or live on steak and lobster. My company paid a portion of my insurance but I had to pay the rest and that was among my priorities also. When I see the poverty in third world countries and then see what is called poverty in the U.S. I have to wonder how many of our poor might simply be making the wrong things priorities in their day-to-day lives. Who knows what luxuries that waitress might sacrifice in order to afford her insurance.

  3. When I do something nice for my daughter, I frequently say "Now remember this when you're choosing nursing homes....I get the bed by the window."

  4. Some employees, even if they have coverage, must come to work sick or they miss hours, meaning they miss pay. No paid sick leave, and not enough to pay the bills if they miss hours.

  5. I am hoping I never have to go to a nursing home. Assisted living isn't bad but nursing homes are tough and I'd rather die first. I also would never want to live with my kids for such help; so not sure what I'll do if it gets to that point. Both my parents went quickly and without such an issue ever arising. I hope it'll be that way for me but we never know.

    One thing that some don't know is if you use up all your money for care, Medicaid kicks in. For some states that means half of what you have if the couple are both alive. It's why Medicaid matters for more than those who are poor now.

    Someday I hope for single payer. I also wish they'd let everybody buy their prescription meds (with their prescription) through mail order out of this country. Buying them from Canada would save a lot of money for corporations and individuals. Big pharma, of course, is why we don't have that choice.

  6. Our long term care insurance is costing us much more than that! But I believe in being as prepared as you can afford to be. Insurance will be expensive as long as it is a for-profit business.

  7. I pray that I die before I get so bad off that my children have to take me in. A fate worse than death, for both them and me.

  8. Medical costs are going to bankrupt quite a few seniors. I might be forced to leave the country and avail myself of that horrible (tongue-in-cheek) socialized medicine available in poorer countries.

  9. We plan to remain independent as long as possible. If we need care we will move to our small condo in Seattle near our kids and hire in help. No care facilities or nursing homes!!!


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