Thursday, September 13, 2012
I had to bite my tongue
My wife and I had a pleasant journey to Corpus Christi this morning, and it's always a relief to hear the GPS lady say, “you have arrived at your destination." We anticipated some rain but we just got scattered showers on the way up there.
Our company decided to turn over their retiree healthcare plan to a company called Extended Help who will help us with the transition. They even set up a free seminar with the company. I admit that I had a little anxiety because change is hardly ever easy.
As we entered the Holiday Inn hallway, I noticed an old friend and a couple of other people with him as he was pointing at me and laughing. In the five or six seconds, it took to approach him; lot of things were going through my mind," did I have egg McMuffin on my chin or was my fly open?" It was a relief to hear him say," there is one of those Obama voters who is responsible for us being here." As we were going to our seats my wife asked me “what’s this plan have to do with Obamacare?" I just shrugged my shoulders, sat down and started looking around the room at faces that I recognized but couldn't place a name to. I estimated the crowd to be about 150 to 200 people, but some were from Corpus Christi.
When the speaker said “good morning" you could have heard a pin drop because everyone in the room was anxious to hear every word she said because this was an introduction to a very important decision, we had to make. We all wanted to get all the information we could, before we signed up with the new plan.
As it turns out, we had nothing to worry about because it's a simple choice between a Medical Advantage plan and a MediGap plan. The plans may be less expensive than what I'm on now, but I will be required to fill more new paperwork. That’s OK because this company is getting paid by our company to take me through the most economical steps. She advised us to use a land line or a freshly charged cell when it came time for the processing because the complete interview would take one hour or more.
We did learn that the government would not let us be denied for pre-existing conditions, and that the plan will have no lifetime caps... The instructor told us that these plans had nothing to do with Obamacare, which drew a lot of laughs from the skeptics. At the beginning of the seminar, we were handed cards where we could submit our question for the instructor. Three of the seven cards that were submitted asked if this plan had anything to do with Obamacare. On our way out, another old buddy of mind wished us a safe trip and then said, “I don't believe for a minute that this has nothing to do with Obamacare." And that's just it," you can lead a horse to water, even stick his nose in it, but you can't make him drink."
On our way back and as we were approaching I-37N, we could see that it was going to rain, but we never anticipated that we would be driving through a big downpour. For the next 15 miles or so, the cars around us, we're not traveling more than 45 miles an hour. Many cars were parked on the emergency lanes, and I thought of that but looking for a place to exit was more dangerous than remaining in the middle lane and plowing ahead.
We had already forgotten our little excitement until we got into downtown Refugio, when out of nowhere we heard the loudest siren ever. I didn't know what it was, I assumed it was a tornado warning, and I didn't know what actions I was supposed to take, so I just kept driving forward. I wasn't alone, because people were just milling around filling their cars, going into restaurants, and doing their business as if the siren never went off. Refugio needs to go digital.
Up until three years ago,I didn't think we had that many skeptics or naive people. I used to laugh at the preposterous tales and say to myself “no one will believe that." Oh yes, they will!