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In These Otsego Hills

October 3, 2013

Late sweethearts knew in kindergarten

It is with sadness that we note the passing of Wanda Richards. We have known Wanda, as well as her late husband Bill, since we moved to Cooperstown some thirty years ago. And we always enjoyed our many conversations with them. 

However, the one story we always liked the best was the one that Bill told about how he and Wanda met in kindergarten. And he knew on the spot that she was the girl for him, deciding then and there that they would one day be married. We admit that we know a number of high school sweethearts who eventually married. But we think Wanda and Bill Richards were the only couple we have known who started out as kindergarten sweethearts. To Wanda’s family and friends, we extend our sympathy.

Not long ago we received a newsletter from our Medicare supplemental insurance company that, to put it mildly, struck us the wrong way. We did not mind reading about high blood pressure, the ways to prevent and signs of a stroke or even the recipe for healthier pumpkin pie. However, we were truly annoyed by the fact that the newsletter stated quite clearly that the newsletter was for insurance members with hypertension.

Now we realize that in order to process claims, health insurance companies have to be given a patient’s diagnosis. However, we do not think that means said insurance company should in any way contact its members based on that information. After all, we did not hire the insurance company to play doctor. We hired them to provide insurance coverage. Thus we called to complain.

When we explained our concerns about the newsletter we were told that it was just a generic newsletter that was sent to all of its members. This response prompted us to than ask why the newsletter said it was specifically for members with hypertension. The response to our question was a very long pause, followed by an offer to remove us from the mailing list of all such newsletters. We thanked the person who handled our call and trust we never receive another such newsletter. Of course, little did we know at the time that this particular health related mailing was just the beginning of problematic health insurance mailings.

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In These Otsego Hills
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