January 7, 2011

Why Aging and Insurance Companies Suck

We don't want to think about aging or death, but sometimes it becomes necessary to do so.

Yesterday, I learned a lot about aging and all because I became concerned and then involved with the state of my father's health.

My brother text'ed me on live chat while I was on Facebook.  "Dad isn't doing to well," he wrote. "Mary called and said dad couldn't get out of bed this morning."

My dad is in his 80's, but he was active up until a few years ago, and since Christmas, his aches and pains building. As a family member who lives in a long distant state, I let time pass by because my family is always in my heart and my daily thoughts, I think they are always with me. In my mind's eye, my dad is still robust and strong.

When texting, you have to get to the nitty gritty fast. I learned some detail that sent me into action and spent the day via Internet and phone contacting agencies and people in my dad and stepmother's locality. The situation with my dad was draining my stepmom and my immediate family.

They needed respite, and they needed direction. Mary still works full time at the age of 74 because of insurance coverage for my father. Neither chose Medicare and this shocked me. My youngest brother lives close by dad, and his family is the rock for Dad and Mary but they didn't know what could be done either. There were other things I learned that didn't sit right with me, so I got all my older brothers involved because we needed to move fast, each of us from our long distance residences.

I set everyone on a course of action and last night, they were able to print out many of the forms they needed and gather the supporting documents. My father is a WWII veteran and is entitled to VA benefits, this will help tremendously. I contacted another agency who simply needs to have a doctor's prescription and then can set-up in-home care for my dad. They are also on their way to Social Security with all the forms they need even though this could be completed on-line but time is of the essence.   

I know that life is vulnerable, and as you grow older, there are many things to look forward to besides death and taxes. Then there is medical insurance and all the other insurances we have, which supposedly give us piece of mind.

It came down to this for me, the Insurance Company told my step-mother, they would only cover the cost of in-home care if death was imminent for my dad.

My Pennsylvania Dutch grandmother was right, "Too soon we grow old and too late we grow smart."                                                                                                       

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