Thursday, February 4, 2016

Medicare Advantage



Should you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan?

No. No. A thousand times NO! The most important reason is that you lose the ability to get a test done very quickly.
An example:  your doctor sees a mass on your chest x ray. He would like to get a CT scan of your lungs.  If you had traditional Medicare you could go right away and have it done.  If you have a Medicare advantage plan (it should be called disadvantage)  your doctor has to have an employee try to get authorization from the insurance company you decided to trust with your health.  The employee may begin it that day, it might be several days.  If the employee calls, and goes through many prompts, it may begin the case, then 4 days later they send a fax asking that records be faxed to a certain fax line (that they will not give you ahead of time).  It can take from one to 21 days to get approval.  At times the request is denied.


Some companies have the doctor call and speak to another doctor (usually some one with no background in the organ system being treated. )  

Some companies say the authorization can be done online. The web pages change 4 times a year, and many times don't work.

You lose the ability to get prompt diagnostic testing and your treatment can be delayed.

You lose the ability to go where you want for the treatment. Mayo clinic does not accept medicare advantage plans (probably because it is so costly to try to get approvals and at times they refuse payment for services.)  They will not even see you for cash.  

You have created a great deal  of extra work for your doctor.  You have given a company an opportunity to make money by creating obstacles to you receiving medical treatment. .You end up being the loser. Ask yourself, how does this company make money?  The answer is not pretty.

If you keep traditional Medicare and buy a supplemental plan (BCBS, Mutual of Omaha, my favorite)  you have no authorizations to obtain, everything is paid for.  No lengthy phone calls and frustration for your physician or you.

Sitka Alaska







Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Greek Fish


I plan to add photos in the future!  This dish is visually appealing, easy, and the best fish dish I have ever eaten!  I made it with boneless, skinless, pacific cod fillets that were individually vacuum packed.  The topping amount was perfect for two large fillets.  I was out of my usual cooking wine, and found a bottle of Yellow Tail Sauvignon Blanc. The sauce was delicious.

3-4 lbs fish (red snapper, or cod fillets)
2 teaspoons salt
2 grinds of the pepper mill
1 cup chopped green onions
2 T olive oil
1 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 t grated lemon rind
2 t oregano
2 T lemon juice
1/2 cup crushed tomato basil wheat thins
2 Tablespoons margarine
3/4 cup  white wine
1 lemon sliced
i medium onion sliced
2 small tomatoes sliced.

Preheat oven to 350. Wash fish and pat dry with paper towel. Sprinkle fish on both sides with salt.
Spray 9x11 pan with non stick spray.

In a small skillet, saute green onions in olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Stir in parsley, lemon rind, oregano, pepper, and lemon juice.


Spread half the onion mixture on the bottom of the pan. Place fish on top and spread remaining mixture on top.  Put crackers in a sandwich bag and crush.  Put crumbs in a cup and top with 2 T margarine and microwave for 20 seconds. Stir to mix margarine and crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs on the fish.  Spray lightly with olive oil (or drizzle if you don't have a sprayer.) Pour wine into the pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

Slice the medium onion and saute in olive oil.  Slice the lemon and two tomatoes.  When the 15 minutes is up remove the fish from the oven and place lemon and onion slices alternating on top of the fish.  Top with the tomato slices.  Spoon some of the pan juice over the fish and return to the oven.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes uncovered.  Check that the fish flakes .  Will hold for 10 to 20 minutes at low heat if necessary.

Great with Spanish Rice A Roni prepared with canned diced tomatoes.

Best desert I've had in years

At a recent office meal some one brought this desert.  I said, "This is the best desert I've had in years!"  About a half hour later another person tasted it and said exactly the same thing.
It is a great pot-luck dish as it is made the day before. I did not ask the name of it, thinking I would always call it the best desert in years!

Spray 9x11 pan with non stick spray.
Line the bottom with whole graham crackers
Mix:
2 boxes vanilla pudding with 3 1/2 cups milk. Mix for 2 min.  Add 8 oz fat free cool whip.

Pour half of this mixture over the crackers. Put another layer of crackers. Pour  the rest of the mixture over the crackers. End with a layer of graham crackers. Put in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Melt:
2 chocolate squares melted
3 Tablespoons milk
3 Tablespoons margarine
2 teaspoons white karo syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla

After melted stir together and add 2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar.
Spread on the top layer of crackers. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

Friday, June 13, 2014

We took the train to an outlying area north of Berlin called Wannsee. It reminds me of Michigan, with rivers and lakes.  Our destination was another historical site, a beautiful villa that was bought by the Nazi SS.  It was here that the extermination of the Jews was planned.


The bike ride to the villa was very pleasant. We passed by several yacht clubs.  It reminded me of Gull Lake with larger lots and homes.




Autumn introduces me to upscale shopping in Berlin.


We had a  lovely dinner with friends near Victoria Park.  




Thursday, June 12, 2014

This is part of the summer palace complex in Potsdam.  There are several palaces, fountains, and extensive gardens, used by Fredrick the Great. We also visited the site of the Potsdam Conference, where Stalin, Truman and Churchill resolved problems at the end of World War II.



Our main interest in visiting Berlin was seeing a piece of our daughter's life.  We are managing to see quite a few historical sites also.

We took the train to Potsdam, then rode our bikes around.  This is a display of a few of the bikes parked at the station.  Moms have little carts attached to the bikes with 2 or 3 children in them.