Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ms Sparrow commits insurance fraud!

Yesterday, I went to my Cub Pharmacy to pick up a prescription for blood pressure medication. My doctor prescribed it over a year ago. At the time, she ordered me to take one pill a day but to start out with half a pill a day. If my blood pressure exceeded 130/80, I should take a whole pill, otherwise continue with one half.

The half dose worked fine, so I kept splitting pills. I was getting a three-month supply of 90 pills for my three-month insurance copay of $30 a month or $90. That was a dollar a pill. When I split the pills, it actually provided medication for six months.

Three months ago, the pharmacy tech asked to verify the information in their system and I explained that I was splitting the pills per doctor's orders. She corrected the dosage information they had shown.

When I picked up my new bottle of meds, I had only 45 pills but the copay was still $90. I said that wasn't right as I was now paying $2 a pill. The pharmacist explained that the copay applied to the daily dosage not the number of pills. She said splitting the pills actually constituted insurance fraud!


I don't know when that changed, but I remember that doctors used to prescribe higher doses so patients could save money by splitting pills. There's no more compassion for people on fixed incomes, I guess. While the cost of meds goes up, Social Security benefits are frozen for yet another year. That wouldn't be so bad if the electric bill didn't jump $24 a month and gas prices at the pump are at an all-time high (and on and on).

So anyway, I am now on the straight and narrow path with Health Partners and a little poorer for it,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Soaking up nature all over the place

I thought the bear at the picnic table was so cute, but I watched an Animal Planet show about people who feed wild animals. This elderly woman had fed bears until she had hordes of them coming to her wilderness home. Finally, one of them killed and ate her--so don't start feeding your neighborhood bears!

I also watched a PBS Nature show about crows last night. I knew they were intelligent, but was still surprised at all the things they can figure out. They are watching us and can even recognize individuals. I had once jokingly told a friend that all the crows chattering in the trees in the block around us were talking about her--now I'm not so sure they weren't!

The robin migration seems to have ended. I haven't seen any for a few days. In fact, it's eerily silent outside.
Even the squirrels have slowed down in their fall harvest. All the black walnuts are gone from the tree and they've gone back to raiding the neighbor's garbage pail.

There's a church several miles from here that sells pumpkins in their parking lot every year. After Halloween, there are always some broken ones remaining. We stop and pick up a few to toss into the wooded lot for our resident squirrels. (We used to feed them on our patio but the Condo Assn fined us for it.)  I'm just so grateful for that lovely lot in so many different ways.

I snitched this picture from a blog last year because it was so cute. Crows and squirrels are fairly tolerant of each other, but the crow in the picture is a fake.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Stoking up for winter

Could I have some service please?

I haven't turned the heat on yet but the days are definitely getting colder. The squirrels are dashing madly about burying and reburying their little treasures. We haven't had any wild turkeys hanging around and there's been only one possum so far. (Happily, no bears!)

Flocks of migrating robins stop by to plunder the tiny crabapples on the trees by my patio. Most of them seem to be young ones on their first migration. They're giddy with the adventure of traveling to new places.  They flutter back and forth playfully chirping about all the fruit and fun.

My favorite bird, the cedar waxwing, has also arrived, but the flock is smaller than usual this fall. They descend on the trees timidly since they are smaller than the robins. I often hear them before I see them--they make a high-pitched keening sound that alerts me. With their muted colors they'd be easy to miss otherwise.

We had a kestrel (aka sparrow hawk) haunting the wooded lot next door this summer. I had seen it once, but really took notice when it killed a sparrow right outside my "office" window. I heard a strange bird sound and looked out to see a flurry of sparrow feathers from beneath the larger bird. It was gone in a flash. That explained why there aren't a huge number of sparrows around. There's a pair of prolific sparrows who are brooding in a nest under the overhang of the garage roof all summer long. It's kinda sad that they're going to all that trouble just to produce offspring for the kestrel to eat.

Of course, we'd be overrun with sparrows if the weren't eaten. I'm just thankful there aren't any human "sparrow hawks" to prey on plump bloggers like me! LOL

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Of laughing and loving

I lost my mojo several months ago and have been slogging along trying to get it back. Thanks for all your inquiries and good wishes. It means a lot to me.

In this morning's Sunday paper, I read a quote from Ricky Martin (boy singer). He said that his mother thinks LOL means "Lots of Love". She tweeted him recently that his grandmother had died--lol.

It made me laugh.