...open enrollment, I mean.
It was easiest to just keep my traditional 80/20 health insurance plan through Cigna. It's just $137 a month for premiums, and another $14 or so for dental. The other choice would been an HSA high deductible plan which philosophically doesn't appeal to me.
I have the opportunity to earn up to $250 in 2016 in gift cards for doing easy wellness things I would do anyway, like get a physical and a mammogram. And new next year, I'll be saving $240 off my monthly premiums for the year just for having gotten a flu shot and a biometric screening.
I also get short-term disability at no charge and I'll continue contributing 25% or so to my Roth 401k. The company has begun matching to the tune of 6% of my paycheck which I think is pretty good.
I really can't complain about this job. The only thing I hate is driving 6 up and back from Boston area each quarter for various meetings. Now I'll have to make that drive alone because I now work with a new team of people.
While on the healthcare front, I received some shocking news today. There was a man probably in his late 50s/early 60s who had done contract work for the bank where I work for probably 6 months or so, and then they let him go when the contract expired. He sat near me. His manager had reason to call him back and that's when he told her he'd just learned he had esophageal cancer and it had spread thru his body. He died a short time later. I was so shocked. We all take our health for granted.
In other news...
The verdict is in. The head of nursing at Masonicare said she thought my mother' s needs would be better met in their skilled nursing area, aka nursing home. I guess they're right. The monthly cost with 2 12-hour shift aides and assisted living rent would have been $22,204 a MONTH. At the nursing home, my costs will be $12,866 a month. So the money will be spent down more slowly, giving me more time to get my Title 19 house in order.
I do plan to try to get Masonicare to pay for a special "scoot" chair they used in their other facility where my mother's been the last 2 weeks. It sits very low to the ground, similar to those chairs you see people use at the beach. It seemed to work well becus it's much harder for someone to get up out of the chair...While my mother fell 3 times in short order upon arriving at this facility, once they put her in the chair, the falls seemed to stop.
Now when I put my mom in their assisted living area, they told me I had a choice, that medicare would pay for either her wheelchair or her walker, but not both. Obviously I let them pay for the wheelchair, which was more expensive than the $120 walker that I paid out of pocket.
Now my mother already had a history of falls at that time, and yet no one suggested to me that I buy a scoot chair instead. If I had known they existed, I would have let medicare pay for the scoot chair instead of the wheelchair becus I believe it is much safer and could keep my mother from fracturing her hip again.
I plan to try to get masonicare to pay for this chair. Imagine it costs $1 or $2,000. But considering they could have suggested I get this, but didn't, and considering I will be forking over $200,000 to them during the course of the next 1.7 years, the least they could do is pay for the scoot chair. Don't you agree?
When I mentioned what a huge hassle the whole experience had been with the agency aides (the 1st one quitting after 1 night and the other barely hanging in there for 3 days), the head of nursing agreed with me and assured me all her needs could be met in-house. Of course, this would be a huge coup for them because they will be getting all the money, not the agency I got the aides from.
Many families I'm sure suck most of the assets out of the estate before the 5-year look back and so the nursing homes don't get always get much money from their patients. In my case they will, because though I tried once to gently talk to my mother about basically giving us her money for this very reason (like she got her mother to do prior to my grandmother going into a nursing home) my mother was reluctant and a little fearful about doing so and I didn't push it. I don't think she could really visualize how all these things might come to pass. I couldn't even really talk to her about because as soon as I mentioned the word "nursing home," she got upset and the conversation went nowhere.
So in a little while I'm calling my friend Dave and hopefully he'll come through for me one more time to help me empty out my mother's room that we just moved her stuff into about 3 weeks ago now. This will be the last and final move. This year as a whole will be one I remember as an exhausting series of moving my mother's stuff, out of the condo, into Maplewood, into Masonicare and then out of Masonicare.
I hope that once we move my mother back and she settles in, and after I finalize burial plans, tombstone inscription, funeral plans and Title 19 paperwork and my mother's taxes, things will finally settle down for real. There is still all the stuff overflowing in my house but that's of somewhat lesser importance. So maybe by late February I can catch a break.
It's that time of year....
...open enrollment, I mean.