My Health Care Plan part 1

There’s lots of talk about what is going to happen to healthcare. People are losing their plans. People aren’t signing up for Obamacare. People can’t sign up for Obamacare. The list goes on and on. As I have considered what I will do, it’s less about Obamacare, price or any of that. I’m thinking about my privacy for one. I also wonder how I can simplify this whole mess.

The way it stands right now. The government wants to be involved in my healthcare. The health insurance companies want a piece of the action. Employers are involved whether they want to be or not. We could stop there or we could include short term and long term insurance companies as well. The problem is that as each of these entities get involved they take a piece of the control away from the individual and invade their privacy.

I want to be in control of all decisions related to my healthcare.

So what’s a guy to do? My first thought is to eliminate everyone that I can. Each one of these have an interest in getting you to use them. And supposedly there are benefits to using them. The problem is how much you have to give up when you do. This became very apparent to me earlier this year as I stopped working for health reasons. To qualify for the short term disability and long term disability benefits I needed to fit myself into their definition of disabled to get benefits. The problem was that I wasn’t disabled. I just had a condition that I needed to get help with before I could get back to work. Based on that, I wasn’t going to get benefits. Whether I needed them or not. So I needed to involve the lawyers. What?!! That’s another layer. Another Expense.

I want to be in control of all decisions related to my healthcare. If you follow what I’m going to say in the next few paragraphs you’ll see that this process is going to go well beyond healthcare. Vacation. Retirement. You name it. I’m taking control

So where does this leave me in the healthcare discussion? If I take insurance, government and employers out of or at least reduce their influence to the minimum in the equation what does that do to me? First of all let’s talk about insurance.

Insurance is to take care of those things that you don’t expect to happen. In that scenario it works. You don’t expect to wreck your car but when you do it’s too expensive to fix on your own. That’s a good use for insurance. If you need to change your oil, that’s not a good use for insurance. Same with healthcare. If you break a leg. You probably can’t pay for that yourself. Especially the way that healthcare and insurance deal with it today. So you need insurance to pay for that. If you’re going to get your annual blood test. You shouldn’t use insurance. That doesn’t make sense.

The doctor won’t be ordering unnecessary tests because I won’t let him.

High deductible insurance plans work this way to some extent but not all together. Once your deductible is met you can start using the insurance to pay for maintenance issues.  The first step in my plan is to get the health insurance company completely out of my maintenance issues. So if I have eliminated them from that portion of my healthcare, I am already winning. I don’t have to ask them if they’ll pay for something that I should be getting. The doctor won’t be ordering unnecessary tests because I won’t let him. Etc. I’m in control. I can negotiate with the doctor on what healthcare is needed and what it should cost. If I eliminate the employer out of the equation, which I probably already have because of eliminating the payment of routine office visits with insurance. Then I get out of the control of the office plan.

So this is a start to my new Health Plan. Stay tuned for the next part where I talk about coverage for the unexpected and how to deal with Uncle Sam.



A Day in the Life

29 years and 60 some odd days ago. I was home on leave from the Navy. Denise had come out to Long Beach to welcome me home from an 11 month cruise. Much of that being spent off the coast of Beirut Lebanon. Shortly before coming home I had asked her to marry me.

A few days before our wedding, I went to the local barber. He was an older fellow that I knew of, but really didn’t know. I had told him that I needed to get a good cut because I was getting married that weekend.

He proceeded to cut my hair and was telling me that he too was going to a wedding over the weekend, at the Baptist Church for a friend of the family. But he sure didn’t know who the guy was.

We got a chuckle as we figured out it was the same wedding.


Work, Life and me. A new perspective

Now that I have broken the work addiction, I find that I have a whole new perspective about things. During a 7 month hiatus from work after hitting a wall with my Fibromyalgia, I had time to reconsider important things in life.

Why wait? That was one of the questions I considered as I was navigating the path to healing. I initially was thinking that I had come to a place where I was disabled by my Fibromyalgia. According to current medical information the disease is not progressive. It doesn’t get worse. Knowing what I learned at the Pain Management Program, I disagree with that. There is a well known downward spiral in chronic pain and depression. Narcotics and opioids can cause a hypersensitivity that actually increases the level of perceived pain.

I didn’t take narcotics or opioids but I found myself in a downward spiral of pain and depression. At that point I thought the best thing for me to do was to get myself declared as disabled, get some benefits from my long term disability insurance and Social Security and buy an RV. Take it easy. Give my body a break. And in some senses that thinking was correct. In others it was very wrong.

It was time to focus on me and the purpose of my life. Especially what that purpose was ‘not’.  That’s the focus of my thinking over the seven months that I was working through the issue of hitting the wall.  While I was on one path of learning that I could overcome Fibromyalgia, I was also learning what I wanted in life. What are the important things.

First I understood that it’s not all about work. Work doesn’t define me.

I also learned that I should have more control over the safety valves in my life. For instance. Long Term Disability insurance. The more I can provide for periods of not working myself, the less I have to depend on others. I don’t have to justify the reason I’m not working to anyone else. I can set the criteria for not working and taking time out for myself.

I know there’s a point where you can’t provide indefinitely for yourself. But you can live in a manner where you’re not a slave to your possessions and you have a rainy day fund that can take care of a lot of issues. You don’t need maintenance plans, Aflac or short term disability insurance. You’re self insured. That takes a lot of pressure off.

I also didn’t need to respond to the pressure that other people put on me because of their unhealthy attitudes about life. So many people are run ragged in their work, they stress over things that have very little to do with them. They are work issues. Leave them at work. Leave the burden for them ‘at work’.

I often felt that I had to do things because of other peoples expectations. If I had a long day and there were activities planned for the evening. I didn’t think I could just say no. In the past couple of months I have exercised my right to say no. I also found that it wasn’t just what I thought other people expected but what I expected. I put many ‘shoulds’ on myself that I could let go of.

So much of the pressure is off. I now know that I don’t have to work until a certain age in a certain type of job that will guarantee a certain type of retirement. I can let it go. I can work and relax the way I want to. I can buy an RV and travel. Work for six months and then stop. I don’t buy things I don’t need, I look for the real blessings in life. If I find that I’m not enjoying a part of my life I think why not. What’s stopping me. What is it that prevents me from enjoying that thing or that person. I need to critically consider whatever it is and if I need to get rid of it. Such a freeing way to think. I’m looking forward to the next few years and how I can improve my enjoyment of life.



Beam me down Scotty!

I’v been working on trying to get decent Over the Air reception for my TV over the past couple of years. First, I’m pretty cheap and just hate paying for the Dish service. Most of the shows we watch are on the top 3 and Dish doesn’t transmit some of the secondary channels that are available over the air.

My first try was actually pretty good. It was a multiple bow tie configuration that was highly directional. I really needed to build two of those and link them together. It seems like you can get most of the channels in one direction except for channel 3. I should have kept this one because it was a little more involved to build, but I gave it away and never built another.

My  second attempt was only half hearted. I was trying to build a dipole type antenna that should have been omni-directional.  I was going to make it from scratch and do all of the scientific measurements to make sure that it would receive the appropriate signals but I got lazy. I went to my shed and found some tomato cages that I wasn’t using and tried to circumvent the science.

This final attempt seems to be the prize. The original design comes from Taiwan where I understand their TV signals are near the same frequencies as ours. It’s made from a 7′ piece of copper wire that I formed into four 4.96″ diamond shapes.  You can see the wires for the top and bottom intersections cross over each other and are insulated from each other as well. The center intersection doesn’t really cross over but bend back to start another diamond without touching. This is the point where the connection is made to the antenna cable.

The designs that I have seen on the web always show a 300/75o
hm balun to make this connection but I just connected the 75ohm cable directly to it and it seems to work great. I probably should look up the reasoning for that. I’d hate to blow up my 50″ Plasma.

So the only thing left now is to get easy access to a TV guide and something that can do DVR like functions. I’ll save that for another post.


Three day weekend

Took Friday off to finish painting the house. A project we started early this spring!

My biggest learning experience was that a good 3″ brush will bEat out a roller or pad anytime. I had also been somewhat scared of heights, never mind the occasional vertigo. But as I practiced on my new Keller ladder I found it Quite enjoyable.

But now the project is nearly finished. Just a few cable wires to reattach and the new shutters to put up.

Next is power washing the deck and touching Up the stain! Whoop Hooo!