News Flash: Trouble in The Middle East.

Has anyone else noticed a kind of repetitiveness to news stories? Bad news is, it appears, better for getting the eyeballs, and, more importantly, the coins of the public.
I’ve been watching the news closely for better than fifty years, and the stories haven’t changed that much. Different stages for the same play. Sometimes the same play at the same venue.

Somebody famous once said something like “History teaches us that history teaches us nothing.” Or was it “Learn from history, or repeat it”? I forget–and don’t want to research it.

If I’ve learned anything it is that knowing that kind of thing is pointless.

People like their own kind, hate others that they think are different, and especially so when they occupy spaces you could be occupying–or do, as they shoulder their way in. It mostly seems to be about power, which mostly seems to be about money.

When I was young. I thought it was mostly about knowledge. That’s some of it, surely. But it seems to be mostly about money.

My mother used to say, “the love of money is the root of all evil.” Then she would follow that with an explanation of how and why it differed from the more common observation “money is the root of all evil.” To her there was no evil in money per se. It was loving it that was the root of evil.

As with many things, I still agree with mother. Money is valuable stuff, even if it is just paper, and the same size and color as much more valuable money. But the love of it definitely leads to so much misery.

I am in an interesting situation with my long-term insurance company. There is no facility in Tahoe were I can go for assisted living. They have one care provider in Tahoe who can provide in-home services, but that is restricted to things like getting you dressed, down the hall, showered, wiped, preparing food and helping you eat. Also covered is light housework, some medical devices (I think), such as wheel chairs and devices for controlling your spoon when you eat, and time spent talking to you while you sit, near comatose, in your chair all alone. When you qualify for these services your quarterly premiums cease and the insurance starts payment.

However, if you do not use the services, you are automatically judged to be unqualified to draw the payments and the quarterly premiums are reinstated.
For services provided by Elder Options, the group CALPERS designates as the only local provider of services, and not paid by CALPERS, the rate remains the same, but the charge becomes the recipient’s direct responsibility. Elder Options tracks and bills CALPERS as a service to the client, then CALPERS passes the billing on to the client via the EOB and, after receiving the EOB, Elder Options then sends you a bill–or, as happened once due to an incorrect Elder Options billing of $1200, they deduct it directly from your credit card. Whether covered by the insurance or not, the amount billed is at the same rate as for elder care, which is a lot higher than the going rate on the street for any unpaid (by CALPERS) services. If Elder Options performs two (I think it is) services that CALPERS deems worthy, CALPERS pays for the total bill.

CALPERS will continue your premium waiver so long as you bill them for services by Elder Options once every two months, but Elder Options won’t come to your house unless you’ve scheduled them for a minimum of three hours per weak.

As you probably can tell, I am not very interested in continuing my relationship with Elder Options. For reasons unrelated to the above, nor am I very interested in continuing with CALPERS, other than the amount of money I have invested in the policy over the years. Nonetheless, I am old now, and have little motivation to hassle either of them and much larger irritation over trying to do so (one of the things not covered is helping with bills, e-mail, check writing, or snail-mail).

For what it’s worth, I used to love a good fight. No longer. Now I am mainly interested in going out with a zero balance so the real death tax will be minimized.

Thanks for tolerating all this. It’s been good to get my ducks in a row before calling CALPERS  to see if I can talk someone there into a premium deal for my not opting to move into an assisted living facility off the Hill.

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3 Responses to News Flash: Trouble in The Middle East.

  1. Hank Raymond says:

    I’ve gone through all this with my mom recently. I’m sure the insurance companies make it complicated so that many people will never collect. If a person has gotten to the point where they need the help that will qualify them for a claim on their insurance, then they are usually too diminished in their capacities to be able to jump through all the hoops required to file a claim and keep it open. So the only people who ever collect on these claims are people who have friends who can do all the paperwork for them. That’s by design I’m sure. The other thing that happens in my mom’s case is that the insurance company frequently “loses” the invoices that her assisted living facility sends to them. When they “lose” an invoice, someone has to jump in and spend a couple hours or more to follow up and get a new invoice to them and make sure they got it and make sure it gets paid. this happens frequently with my mom’s insurance company. I’m sure this also happens by design to avoid paying claims.

  2. Hank Raymond says:

    Complain to the insurance commissioner I guess.

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