Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday Stuff

Dental Update

Unfortunately our insurance agents may not be as knowledgeable about our PPO as they could be ~ Humana Representative, March 27th, 2008

The above isn’t an exact quote, but it is the gist of what I was told by the human I finally reached at Humana this afternoon. Unfortunately, as a former insurance agent, I already knew that! During the months I worked for Liberty National Life Insurance Company as an agent selling life and health insurance, I received no training and very little information on the policies I was selling—other than how to “entice” (my word) people to purchase them.

I may also add that none of the several books that Humana has sent me since I enrolled with them through the Social Security Administration says that I have no dental coverage. Rather, the book that lists the in network providers has a long list of available dentists and dental specialists. So… if there is no coverage, why in the hellacious ways of the U.S. health insurance industry are they listed?

After my conversation with the Humana rep, I decided to attempt to obtain my need met via another channel. I undertook the long process of calling, pushing buttons, and being placed on hold that it takes to reach my Veterans Administration primary care nurse practitioner. Of course, when I did get through, I wasn’t permitted to speak with her directly; I was able to speak with her nurse. The result was that a referral will be made to the VA dental clinic and I will be informed of the appointment not later than (NLT as we used to write in the army, which is also my initials) the beginning of next week

Introducing Vaughn

As I have previously written, Vaughn has replaced Tasha as my VA homemaker since Tasha gave birth to her son. Yesterday Vaughn gave me permission to share with you his photograph (below) as well as his “celebrity look-alikes that we obtained yesterday. As with my look-alikes, we had problems recognizing the similarity between him and them.

Becoming Serious About the Oppression in Tibet

I wonder why the nations of this crazy world do not say to China “Either back off from Tibet or our athletes will not attend the Beijing Olympics?”

A Buddhist Prayer for Peace

May all beings everywhere plagued

with sufferings of body and mind

quickly be freed from their illnesses.

May those frightened cease to be afraid,

and may those bound be free.

May the powerless find power,

and may people think of befriending one another.

May those who find themselves in trackless,

fearful wilderness—

the children, the aged, the unprotected—

be guarded by beneficent celestials,

and may they swiftly attain Buddhahood.


  1. Nick
    In my other life I worked for a large insurance company in the accounting department and when an Insured made the statement " I am gonna contact the State Insurance Commissioner" we began to do back flips to get the settlement done. So friend, maybe you should use the statement on Humana and see what happens.
    Excuse my French but all the nations should grow some BALLS where China is concerned.
    Glad Alex has his favorite food on hand.
    One of the plagues of our country is TO BE SICK AND HAVE TO DEAL WITH AN INSURANCE COMPANY.

  2. LADY DI TN: Excellent idea! I had not thought about contacting the Insurance Commissioner. Actually, I should have since I’m still a licensed agent (at least for another few months).

    As for having the balls to confront the Chinese, I have though about that a bit and have concluded that the “new”, almost capitalistic China has more power than the old militaristic China. The corporations of the world want to do business with the Chinese and therefore won’t risk pissing them off. And, as Herbert Hoover (I think) said, “The business of the United States is business.”

    Alex has been in kitty cat heaven since being able to again chow down on his favorite grub. Unfortunately, I don’t think I purchased enough of it. At the rate the furball is consuming it, he’ll need more in less than a week.

    Peace, my friend.

  3. I really liked the Buddhist Prayer. It could easily be adapted for any faith.

  4. THOMAS: Thank you, Thomas. You’re right about the prayer. I’ve found that many prayers can be used by many religions. As an ecumenist, I cherish those prayers.

  5. The VA dental direction sounds promising. Good thinking, Nick.

    Vaughn, yeah, he's a dead ringer for John Edwards. Same hair stylist and everything.

    Now I'm curious as to your look-alikes. They must be somewhere on this blog.

  6. A couple of things:

    1) Tyler Hansbrough?
    2) Bonus Secret of the Universe revealed right here in your comments section: Insurance is a racket.
    3) To show support of the citizens of Tibet, I will not be participating in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

    Have a nice day!

  7. It seems to me that the ideal way for us here in the United States to protest the Olympics would be not to tune into any part of the Olympic coverage on TV and tell NBC that we will be doing so. I really look forward to the games but should something like that take hold I would certainly forgo watching. A powerful group like NBC and other such media might be able to make a big hurt on the Olympics (if they were motivated to) that might even make everyone think twice. I just know that hitting people in the pocket book seems to real get peoples attention.

    I know someone who looks a lot like Vaughn. But I tell you, I do not know about the look a likes. But I would not mind including Serena Williams and Danny Glover in the group.

    Good luck on the work around for the dental work. That is just so wrong that they do not back what you were sold. And I must say I am confused. I looked at their site and I must admit both PPO options I saw seemed to cover some Dental work. They were careful to not spell out what however. To bad that my friend that works at Humana does not have any pull.

  8. Oh no, I just read a Medicare document that seemed to say you have dental coverage unless you really need it. So basically, SOL. It appears to be hell to get older in the USofA.

  9. Vaughn reminds me of someone and I just can't put my finger on it! Very handsome! :) That's wonderful that Tasha gave birth to a baby boy! Congrats!!!

    It's a shame what's happening in Tibet,... prayers being said and heard from all over the world.

  10. About the Olympics: instead of a boycott, I would like to see American athletes raise a fist in the air from the victory podium as a show of solidarity with the people of Tibet- much like the Black athletes did at the Mexico Olympics in 1968.

    And of course, skip the opening ceremonies.

    What I'm aiming for is allowing the athletes to compete while removing the propaganda value from the hosts.

  11. LOL. The celebrity look-alike chart was funny!

  12. Cheers to Vaughn for being a "helper" in a World that seems to be going ape crazy ass backwards in the caring dept!

    And my best to you as always!

    Cheers from NC! ; )

  13. I hope your dental problems are taken care of quickly Nick. And I'm with Thomas on the's really quite wonderful.

  14. Are you telling me that you don't see the obvious resemblance between Vaughn and Julie Louis Dryfus? (He said, tongue firmly in cheek)

  15. It seems, Rev Saint, that Humana with a forked tongue, one coming from their salespersons and the other coming from their benefits people. I think that is rather normal for American businesses these days.

    I am sure that Vaughn is quite helpful to you. May I also suspect that you are teaching him some theology, history and peace and justice positions as you always do when around people?

    The Buddhist Prayer for Peace is quite powerful. I am impressed especially with the phrase “May those who find themselves in trackless, fearful wilderness—the children, the aged, the unprotected…” As you are well aware, add “the widows” and “the sojourners” and one has the “vulnerable ones” that the Hebrew concept of “God’s justice” requires society to protect. It’s a shame that our society further oppresses these vulnerable ones.
    I appreciated and truly enjoyed the video.

    Thank you, my dear friend.

  16. Hi Nick!

    Enjoyed the video. I agree with your views on Tibet. Loved the Buddhist prayer too.

    Kulpreet Yadav

  17. Nick, you have to be one of the most patient and persistent people I have ever come across. A good lesson for all of us.

  18. Vaughn is a quite a difference. and I do not see the similarities in his look-alikes, but oh well.

    Good luck getting an appt. via the VA.

  19. Vaughn is a dead ringer for Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Amazing. Cheers Nick!!

  20. Dude. its posts like this that make me happy to be in OZ. I have spent the past four nights sleepless (literally) from dental pain. Tonight I have been to a dentist and treated, and after my insurance paid up, I was left with a gap of $25 to pay.

    Our insurance companies have to state exactly what they pay.

    They do get quite finiky though. They only paid $70 out of $210 because $110 of that went to fitting, grinding and coating of the lenses. When it said in the PDA that they covered lenses and frames, they meant that literally. Bastages.

  21. good luck with it all. i never really know if insurance companies are worth it, they have so many loopholes. although, my pet insurance is VERY good - it's paid out about £1,500 for all the scrapes willow gets into.

  22. Serena Williams - yep that's exactly who he looks like :) Doesn't look like he'll have any problems lifting those oxygen tanks though!

  23. I hope your dental problems are fixed and righted soon! And...uh... Julia Louis-Dreyfus? Interesting.

  24. SAN: I’m hoping the VA will do the job, I’m also thankful that with lots of work to keep any food from this unwelcome space between two filled teeth, the pain isn’t nearly as nasty as it was.
    Vaughn took that look-a-like thing home Wednesday to show his mom and siblings. I’m looking forward to hearing what they have to say about it.
    There is a link to my look-a-likes in this blog post. (I don’t look like any of ‘em).

    BABA DOODLIUS: 1) That question mark belongs with all of ‘em! 2) Ain’t no secret: insurance companies screw more of their clients than just about anyone—except, maybe, lawyers. 3) I didn’t know birds participated in the Olympics!

  25. BARMAN: Sounds like a good idea regarding media coverage of the Olympics. However, back when the U.S. boycotted the Moscow Olympics, the TV coverage by the U.S. networks continued. I mean, like, money is money, no matter what its source. Right?

    The Humana PPO is supposed to provide additional coverage that Medicare doesn’t. That is supposedly to include dental. As I (now) understand the plan, I am to receive all preventive dental treatment at no additional costs and other procedures at a cost of 25% of the charge. There is nowhere that I’ve found that says that root canals are excluded.

  26. Vaughn is a big man. Perhaps he should have words with the insurance company! Hope you are okay.

    Crystal xx

  27. I have a secret crush on Alan Richman *sigh* I see Vaughan is a look alike for him.

    Maybe I'll have to come visit on your cleaning day ;)


  28. Nick, you and I have more stuff in common all the times it seems!

    I used to work for an eye dr in StL and I was the insurance guru. As you know, dental and vision are sometimes almost considered "luxuries" in the insurance world. So I hate all the hoops you have to jump through!! I learned quick and knew how to make the system work for my dr's paitents and I hope you find someone just as knowledgeable and they can help you too.

    Vaughn was so nice to let you share his pic with us!

    have a wonderful weekend!

  29. He looks like Alan Rickman about as much as I look like Raquel Welch.


  30. Hey, Vaughn looks strong AND cute!