Home > December Doings

December Doings

December 1st, 2023 at 11:18 pm

It's official. I'm now an elected board member of a new statewide environmental group I got involved with last summer. We've had a few monthly zoom meetings since then, so I've really only met the founder of the group in person, at a beach cleanup, but we're planning an in-person holiday get-together at a restaurant owned by one of the board members.

I'm trying to decide if I should look to get involved in another group in town. There's another environmental group I was involved with for the past year to a fair degree, but they seem to be taking a hiatus for the winter and we haven't had any meetings. I'm thinking maybe of joining one of the garden clubs. There are 3 in town and I already belong to one of them but it's mostly online during winter; in summer there are garden tours of members' homes and guided walks for foraging and stuff like that.

Today, I finished writing a story assignment early, which  like to do just to get it out of the way, especially during this time of year. I have another one due Dec. 20 so I will want to get started researching that one the week after next.

I think I have a leak from my dishwasher somewhere. I rarely use it, but the past month or so I have been running it every other day, and I'd begun to smell a mildewy smell. For now, I've just stopped using it, and the odor has disappeared, but I suppose at some point I'll have to call a plumber? I hate calling them as they are so freaking expensive. Maybe I could try an appliance repair person.

Today I ran down to Aldi's for a few things. I am always impressed with how much I can get for a relatively small amount, like $40. At the more mainstream supermarkets, I am shocked by how expensive everything has gotten. I shop pretty much everywhere as there are certain things I can only find at certain stores, etc.

I'm pretty much done with my Christmas shopping.  I already had my cousin's gift shipped directly to him, and I gave my other cousin her gifts when I saw her Thanksgiving. I have a gift for a friend, and my father yells at me every year when i bring up the subject as he doesn't want me to spend any money on him. I may just put together a basket of good food items as he can't browse a supermarket anymore and get what he wants, and relies on my sister to do his grocery shopping. Unfortunately, much of what he craves is not good for his health, and my sister's careful protocol has greatly reduced his sugar and fat intake, to the point where he is now pre-diabetic, not diabetic.

I've done a little decorating around the house, but have not yet dragged down the big tree from the attic, and may not as it's a pain to do, plus hanging all the ornaments. If my cousin ends up visiting right after the holiday, I may be inspired to decorate more.

My father has just 3 more physical therapy visits. I don't mind driving him, though at the same time it sucks up a lot of my free time and I'm looking forward to recapturing some of that. Of course, right after physical therapy ends, we have a return trip to his endodontist and a return to the low vision clinic. Hopefully we'll wrap up all of it before the snow flies.

I had some time the other day to explore the site and spent several hours reading about my options and the many different plans. I already knew I wanted to go with traditional Medicare and a Medigap policy. The Advantage plans are enticing due to their low cost and all the extras thrown in, but from everything I've read, they work well until you really need them, like with a surgery or major illness. Also from what I understand, if you went with a cheap Advantage plan early on but later wanted to switch to traditional Medicare, they would look at your medical history, pre-existing conditions and all that, and maybe charge you accordingly. And maybe decline to accept you. So I went ahead and even picked out my Medigap plan (Plan G, with Cigna) and my drug plan (Wellcare), and at least for this year, my monthly cost would be $395, which feels doable, although prices will rise each year.

I still have another 8 months, but it's nice to feel prepared. When we get closer to my 65th birthday, I'll check in with an insurance agent just to ensure my choices make sense for me.



3 Responses to “December Doings”

  1. Dido Says:

    Your Medicare choices sound good. Since you have a diagnosis of MS in your records, you should do the traditional Medicare/Plan G Medigap now while there is no underwriting. If you chose Medicare Advantage and wanted to switch later, there's a very real risk that you would not be able to with that diagnosis on your records.

    I'd also go with the appliance repair person first, since you suspect the problem is with the dishwasher itself. When my refrigerator went back in August, I called in an appliance repair person and it was worth the cost of the service call to feel sure that I was making the right decision.

    Congrats on the board election and on getting more involved in your community!

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    I can always count on you for sound advice...THANK you. Although ironically, I've had no issues with the MS since 2005. It's been benign for many years now. So is there underwriting involved with any kind of subsequent switch, regardless of whether you're going from traditional to Advantage, Advantage to traditional or Advantage to Advantage plan?

    I need to empty out the entire cabinet below the sink and see if I see anything obvious. I did look for leaks with a flashlight, but that was with all kinds of stuff in there.

  3. Dido Says:

    Yes, after the initial enrollment period, when you have "Guaranteed Issue," you face the possibility of underwriting if you switch--and if you enroll in Medicare Advantage and then want to switch to Traditional Medicare, you face the possibility of higher premiums on the Medigap Supplemental Insurance.

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