Friday, November 11, 2016

Aetna is not discontinuing my Medicare HMO plan for 2017 and Lenny is a moron.

Hello, bon jour and howdy from Texas, where your favorite blogger is attempting to cope with a week of monumental horseshit and unexpected disappointment. And I’m NOT just talking about the results of Tuesday’s election, either ... I’m also talking about my brand new Medicare health insurance plan with Aetna, which imploded yesterday after I contacted eHealth Medicare — the Internet broker that set me up with Aetna two months ago — to find out if any other plans had cheaper Part D drug co-pays because Sam had a couple of unpleasant cash register surprises at Wal-Mart’s pharmacy on Tuesday.

Ironically, I got an email ad from eHealth Medicare yesterday morning reminding me that Medicare is having an annual open enrollment hoo-hah through December 7 and this is a great time to check out other options as soon as possible. Here’s what happens next.

I START WITH A PEEK AT EHEALTH MEDICARE’S WEBSITE and discover they’re no longer selling any Aetna Medicare plans for 2017, barely two stinking months after they sold me an Aetna Medicare HMO. What the fuck?

I CALL THEIR 800 NUMBER AND SPEAK TO AN EINSTEIN NAMED LENNY. He tells me that Aetna has actually discontinued my Medicare HMO for next year so I’d better choose a different health plan immediately. While I’m busy having a brain hemorrhage — why didn’t Aetna ever notifiy me about any of this? — Lenny tries to sign me up for the WellCare Dividend HMO ... and then he tells me that my primary care physician, Dr. M, who I’ve been seeing for seven years, doesn’t accept WellCare so I’ll also have to hook up with a new doctor at a new clinic. Now I’m also having a nervous breakdown.

I TELL LENNY TO STOP EVERYTHING so I can call Aetna to find out what the hell is really going on here, and Aetna tells me they’re definitely NOT discontinuing my Medicare HMO plan for 2017 and Lenny is a moron. Unfortunately, however, I also learn that Dr. M will no longer accept my Aetna HMO starting January 1. I seriously consider blowing my brains out. I don’t want to change doctors and I don’t want to go to a new clinic because I love the Baylor Family Health Center. It’s literally 90 seconds from home, they’ve got a great facility with a lab, x-rays and a semi-competent phlebotomist, and my bariatric wheelchair for big butts fits inside the exam rooms. I really don’t need all this tsouris right now and I’m getting despondent.

AND THEN I HAVE A STROKE OF AMAZING LUCK. I do a Google search for other Medicare advantage plans here in Texas and the first ad that pops up is for BaylorScott&White Health. BaylorScott&White? HOLY CRAP! About a month ago I remembered seeing a new logo on the Baylor Family Health Center’s patient portal website … I’ll bet Baylor merged with an established health insurance company! So I call them.
Sure enough, BaylorScott&White offers two Medicare health plans and Dr. M (naturally) accepts both because she works at a Baylor clinic ... so I sign up for their Vital Traditions HMO. It’s got a $0 monthly premium (that’s not a typo ... I really mean ZERO), it’s free to see my primary care physician, my prescription drugs are all low-tier with excellent co-pays, and the plan also includes: 1) a free annual eye exam with $125 every year towards a new pair of glasses; 2) a free annual hearing test with $2,000 towards a hearing aid; 3) discount wheelchairs; 4) some free but useless basic dental care that I don’t need because I wear dentures; and 5) a free health club membership that’s even more useless than the dental benefit due to I’m a housebound old coot with mobility issues.

And so that’s what I’ve been doing for the last two days. My brain is so damn fried right now you wouldn’t believe it.

Yep, you guessed it ... I’ve got a few more FABULOUS FREE FONTS for you! I’m nuts about all of these, to tell you the truth, although my absolute favorites are “Emellie,” “Sond” and “Brilliant.” Download links will appear below the graphic and be sure to share these with your friends and relatives because who doesn’t love fonts, right?

Incidentally, one of these days I’ll have to purge a lot of the fonts I’ve loaded onto my iMac because I have thousands now, and lately they’re all starting to look alike, anyway. When I design greeting cards for The Howdygram Store, for instance, it takes fucking FOREVER to decide which fonts to use because there are just too many of them. But this is really an excellent addiction ... especially with that orangutan moving into the White House.

Lately I’ve forgotten to show you the new free graphics and background textures I’ve been collecting from various sources online. Pictured below are some idiotic-looking Christmas illustrations by a designer in Siberia (seriously), a nice collection of seamless cardboard backgrounds, 10 decent marble backgrounds (I’ve got others that are much better than this), seamless watercolor dots in various color combinations and two dozen really beautiful high-resolution nature photos that I can use for my greeting card designs. I actually think I’ve got more new backgrounds than this but I can’t remember where I put them.

I’ve been trying to distract myself from national events by designing my new line of holiday cards for The Howdygram Store. Three samples appear below for your possible interest. I’ve uploaded about a dozen designs so far and still have another dozen to finish as soon as possible. For those of you who give a crap, Hanukkah starts on December 24 this year.

It’s 11:15 a.m. and Sam is on his way home from the dermatologist right now. He said the doctor took biopsies of several “areas of concern” on his body, such as raised dark moles and strange skin irritations that don’t seem to heal up. Sam also showed him all kinds of annoying skin tags. We’ll have the biopsy results within a week; the skin tags will be dealt with during Sam’s next visit due to nobody wants to get stuck with 200 needles on the same day.

This seems like the perfect time to wrap up my post, take some drugs and transfer my body to the family room for a nice movie. Thank you for reading this, okay? Tell your friends.

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