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In These Otsego Hills

October 3, 2013

Late sweethearts knew in kindergarten


A few days later we received our annual copy of Medicare and You for 2014. In it we read a letter from Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Marilyn B. Tavenner, Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Included in the letter was the following piece of information:

“Starting Jan. 1, 2014, millions of people without Medicare will have access to quality health insurance through the new Health Insurance Marketplace. This means that your family, friends, and neighbors who don’t have health insurance now will have what you love about Medicare, the piece of mind that comes from being covered.”

And while we think efforts to make health insurance both available and affordable to all is a good idea, we can but hope that navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace proves to be less stressful than trying to navigate Medicare. Granted, we had no problems with our reading of Medicare and You. It was in the information from our supplemental insurance company and our Part D insurer that gave us pause.

In the letter from our supplemental insurance company we read that they had, “...filed a request for approval to adjust 2014 community-rated premiums with the New York State Department of Financial Services,” adding that, “if our filing is approved by NYSDFS, the change in premium rates for your plan as of March 1, 2014 will be 58.73%.” 

 Ouch! Such an increase in one year seems somewhat over the top although we must admit that when we signed up for the insurance we thought the premium was on the ridiculously low side. However, we think to ask for an almost 60% increase in one year is on the ridiculously high side.

On the other hand, the premium increase for our Part D prescription plan insurance was only $1.60 per month. But co-pays, which in some cases in 2013 were nothing, will increase rather dramatically in 2014. Added to these increases are the fact that co-pays will be less if one uses either a mail-order pharmacy or a preferred network pharmacy, of which, as far as we can tell, there are none in Cooperstown. It seems all preferred network pharmacies are large chains, such as Walmart and Walgreens, which might well result in a major hit for local pharmacies if people find they need the savings afforded when using a preferred pharmacy. And this would seem to be a possibility that would not in any way be good for our local economy.

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In These Otsego Hills
  • Visitings with the Widge, Mare Bear This past week we found ourselves enjoying a delightful visit from the Ohio Ellsworths. And while our daughter-in-law Annie had to attend a conference at Hamilton College during part of the visit here, we greatly enjoyed our time with them. We were, of course, quite surprised to realize how much the granddaughters, The Widge and Mare Bear, had grown since we last saw them at Christmas. Obviously, their parents had not put bricks on their heads to retard their growth.

    July 24, 2014

  • Thoughts on traffic and roads We recently enjoyed a brief visit from Jon Battle, one of our late husband's college buddies, who always enjoys visiting Cooperstown and passing howdy on the front porch. And while the front porch is not as welcoming as it used to be since there are no chairs on it, we were able to pass howdy from the comfort of our family room. And during the many subjects that we covered in our conversation, the topic of potholes came up.

    July 17, 2014

  • Potholes and oversights bring bumps We have received a number of comments regarding our discussion on potholes in last week’s column. And most of them were in agreement that the potholes are indeed a problem.

    July 10, 2014

  • Potholes need place on village agenda We have long thought that the concepts of perspective and priorities have the ability to present problems for people. As we are inclined to say, getting one's ducks all in a row is often difficult. And as we have learned about issues currently under consideration by the Village of Coopertown it does make us wonder about their ducks.

    July 3, 2014

  • Summer unofficially begins with ice cream Although summer officially arrived this past weekend, we have long thought that the kick off event for the summer season in Cooperstown is the annual Ice Cream Social sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church on Pioneer Street.

    June 26, 2014

  • Splitting logs gives splitting headache We are happy to report that Woodside Hall is continuing with its presentation of programs which are open to the public. This evening at 6:30 p.m., they are hosting Glimmerglass Festival designers Troy Hourie and Erik Teague who will discuss their role in the company's summer production of Strauss' opera, "Ariadne in Naxos: Unplugged."

    June 19, 2014

  • Summer right for driving in the streets We have realized, having consulted our trusty calendar, that next Sunday is Father's Day. And thus this past weekend we were online looking for an appropriate printable Father's Day greeting card which we might send to the wee-we. Since we have been somewhat housebound this year, we have discovered the convenience of printable holiday cards. We used them rather successfully, we thought, when we sent them to the granddaughters for both Valentine's Day and Easter.

    June 12, 2014

  • June musings XXXXXXXX Difficult as it is to believe, it seems we have made it to June which always seems to be a fairly busy month. And this year is no different. In fact when we turned to our calendar to June we were stunned. We always hope to find we are entering a month in which we have little, if anything, planned. But when we turned to June, we quickly realized we were faced immediately with three meeting as well as four follow-up appointments with four different doctors at Bassett. And much as we would have liked to simply move right on to July, we decided that was really not an option. So we are plowing ahead with June.

    June 5, 2014

  • Presidential reading replaces viewing ince we knew we were not in a position to take in any of the festivities surrounding the president's recent visit to the Hall of Fame, we decided we needed to celebrate in another way. And, as luck would have it, we are currently reading the recently released biography, "James Madison: A Life Reconsidered." What better way, we thought, to mark the current president's visit by reading about a former president's life. It seemed perfect. Besides, it gave us a reason to spend the day with our nose in a book.

    May 29, 2014

  • Best not to push luck on spring This week we note that the Literary Discussion Group meeting, originally scheduled for today, May 22, has been postponed until Thursday, May 29 at 2:30 p.m. in the Village of Cooperstown Library. William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" will be the topic of discussion at the rescheduled meeting.

    May 22, 2014