Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Senior's Point of View

Balanced Care works with Medicare beneficiaries in the states of NH and Maine helping them with Medicare Supplemental, Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans, and Medicare Advantage Plans.      It happens to be one of the aspects of my work that is very gratifying.   

Medicare changes every year and with these changes comes frustration on the part of our seniors.   It is normal for me to walk into a home and see their kitchen table full of paperwork from both Medicare and insurance companies.     It is also normal for me to see a beneficiary in tears because they can't make any sense of what they need.      

To help you understand what our seniors go through, I thought this poem entitled "A Senior's Point of View" would help.     I hope it helps you to understand their confusion and frustration.      

A Senior's Point of View

In a few short months
I'm about to turn sixty five
And with everything I've gone through
I'm just glad to be alive.

Everyone told me that I'd be happy
To sign up for Medicare
So a visit to the Social Security office is in order
Catch me if you dare.   

About a month later
I receive my Medicare card
Parts A and B are covered
understanding what this means is just plain hard.

I begin to read the booklet
that Medicare sent to me
I can't understand a thing
Except that there will be a fee.  

Because I've been through surgery
and take prescription drugs
Medicare won't cover these
I'm scared now and really just need a hug.  

Part D or Medicare Advantage
is a way to help me out
so I call insurance companies
because now I've also been diagnosed with gout.  

Lots of information is coming through the mail
Each insurance company sends me piles of paperwork about their plans
I now have a table full of stuff
That gets blown around by the fan.   

I'm more confused than ever
and don't know what to do
I'm told to go online
Which only frustrates me and makes me feel like gobbly-goo.  

A friend of mine tells me
that she knows of someone to call
She'll help sort it all out for you
And make you feel like she's catching you as you fall.   

I meet with Terri Trepanier
Who's business is Balanced Care
she's a broker, consultant, and educator
and working with her is like going to a fair.   

Admist all the paperwork
she gets to know me and my needs
It is obvious to me
working with her is not about greed.   

It's about making sense of Medicare
And managing my costs
It's making it less complicated
So I'll never again be lost.   

If you have a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle that is struggling with their Medicare choices, please think about Balanced Care.      We are in the insurance business, but most importantly, we are in the people business.     

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"I Want My Mommy Now"

Not only is October National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but it is also National Dental Hygiene Month.    When I was thinking about dental hygiene,  I couldn't help but think of my son, Andrew, when he was just four years old and going to the dentist for the second time.  

On the way to the dentist office for his cleaning, he assured me that he wouldn't need me to go into the office with him while he had his cleaning.    I could wait in the waiting room because he could now do this "all by himself".   I hesitated as I watched my big boy walk into the room with the dental hygienist and felt proud of this big accomplishment.   About twenty minutes later, I heard this blood curdling scream from inside the dental office.     Loud and clear, I heard, " I want my Mommy now!"    Everyone in the waiting area heard this and looked at one another as I said, "That's my son".   I got up and walked into the office where he was.   

Andrew was standing up on the dental chair and when he saw me, he literally leaped into my arms.     The dentist wanted to do a flouride treatment at this visit and Andrew wanted nothing to do with it.  At the time, the flouride treatment looked like a long tube with a small flame coming out of it.     It didn't hurt at all, but the looks of it scared him and talking him into it would take an act of Congress.    Still in my arms, the dentist showed Andrew on my finger that his Mommy could do it.    He showed him on the hygienist finger.    The harder he tried, the more he protested.   The dentist let me know that he never had a patient that he couldn't talk into having something done.  That is until Andrew.   

We put it off for another visit and on the way to the dentist, Andrew assured me that he was a big boy, but I could go in with him if I would feel better.      He didn't say, "I want my Mommy now" in those specific words, but I heard him loud and clear.      The best part is he had the treatment done and I was right there with him watching another milestone take place.          

Monday, October 8, 2012

Why Blog?

I started reading blogs in December of 2010.     In reading them, I found that they brought me joy and hope each time I took the time to read them.     When my website was in the process of being done, I was told that I should blog to help out with Search Engine Optimization.     With lots of help from Amy Spainhower, she helped me to understand the importance of this and together we looked at websites that I could blog and add posts to regularly.    

With the website just about done (it's always a work in progress), I do regularly add posts that have to do with business.    Although this is educational and brings a lot of information to the table, it can't always be personal.     With this said, I thought it would be important to start this blog in order for you to get to know me as a person.     As I often say, insurance work is sales, but most importantly, it's about people.    

I live in Rochester and work from my home office when I'm not meeting with clients in their homes, their businesses, or in local coffee shops.    My husband, John, and I have been married for 28 years and together we have two grown sons, Michael and Andrew.      

                                                              My husband and I

Andrew was married the end of June and we were thrilled to welcome a new daughter in law, Christina,  into our family.

                                              Andrew and Christina on their wedding day

                                                                        My family 

Simply put, I'm a wife, a mother, a mother- in- law, a sister, a sister-in-law, and a woman that loves her business.     We have struggles just like everyone else, however, we have more blessings than I can possibly count.     My hope is that this blog helps you in realizing how special you are to the world, to your family, to the business, and last but not least, me.    

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October 2, 1984 2:15 AM

My work as an Insurance broker is one that I love and look forward to every day, but the best job ever came in the beginning of February 1984.      A positive pregnancy test told me that my husband and I were expecting a baby and my job as a Mother had now begun.    

My pregnancy had complications when at my first appointment, I was told that I was much too big for a six week pregnancy.  The doctor was convinced that I was either carrying more than one baby or that there was something else in my womb causing me to look  further along than I was.  He immediately ordered a ultra sound that same day.   The ultrasound showed that I wasn't carrying twins, but had tumors growing in my uterus right next to the baby.  The hormones that a woman's body produces during pregnancy were causing the tumors to grow at a rapid speed.  The doctor told me that it was a miracle that I ever became pregnant.      Needless to say, the tumors would have to come out, however, because I was expecting this precious miracle, I didn't want to jeopardise the pregnancy.   I would be monitored closely for the next ten weeks to make sure that the tumors didn't rupture and the baby wasn't in any danger.   After these ten weeks, the baby would be able to survive surgery and the tumors could come out.     

Three weeks later, I awoke to terrible pain.   I immediately called the doctor and set up an appointment.    My worse fears came true as the tumors were rupturing endangering the baby's life as well as mine.     The doctor asked me to consider terminating the pregnancy as I would have to have emergency surgery the next day.     I remember my Motherly instinct so well that day.     I told him that if it was a miracle that I became pregnant, then I would leave the rest up to God and let him work his miracle.       I came out of surgery and immediately asked about the baby.    I was relieved to hear that everything went well.      

At my two week check-up after my surgery, the doctor wanted to see if he could hear a heartbeat. The doctor listened and began to smile.    I will never forget the moment he told me the heartbeat was strong and he now believed that I would carry this baby to term.      

On October 2, 1984, at 2:15 AM, our oldest son, Michael Claude, was born healthy and the best job as that of his Mother was now in full swing.    It may seem strange, but each year, at exactly 2:15 AM on his birthday, I wake up and relive that moment of watching him come into our lives.      I don't plan on doing this.     It just happens.       

Michael has grown up to a wonderful young man who I continue to admire each day.    He began my journey as a Mother and I pray he knows the joy he has brought me.