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Navigating Health Care

May 15, 2016 2 Comments

rose is a rose

rose is a rose

In order to navigate the tricky changing tides of health insurance coverage today we need experts. Since I switched to Medicare this year I went shopping last year for referrals for a good agent. I found Karyn Damschen of Retirement Navigators who helped direct me to the plan that works best for me.  I am extremely pleased with my coverage and my care at iora primary care.  Karyn is such a star Medicare expert that I carry her cards with me to pass out when I meet anyone who needs a health care insurance agent. Who, in my opinion, needs a health insurance agent? Absolutely everyone who has a choice in the matter.  If coverage by your employer is set, you probably would not benefit from a consultation with an agent.  All others need to be advised by those professionals who spend their time keeping current with regulations and changes in the market.  The market becomes more complex all the time.  The result for consumers is an unsettlingly confusing set of offers from which to choose.  After the coverage is in place we cross our fingers and hope anything that happens to us will be covered by our policy.  To make the best of this frequently changing situation I feel really great that I have Karyn representing my best interests and keeping me informed about all my options.

Recently I received the news that my primary care physician is leaving the brand new practice.  First my personal paraclete (health coach) from iora called to explain the change and transition.  The next day I got a call from the fabulous Karyn at Retirement Navigators who was busy calling all her clients who were effected by this situation.  She was ready and willing to change providers within the limits of my Medicare policy, or do anything I might want, in light of the new circumstances.  This was evidence to me that the front line of my health care system, my agent and my paraclete, are the best.  They spend all the time needed to match my needs with the best available medical care.  They have specialties and expertise in the insurance system that the doctor does not, and should not, be bothered to learn.  Although I liked my first doctor, I love the new system iroa is pioneering here in Tucson. The team approach has worked very well for me so far, and I expect that it will continue to evolve with a different doctor.  I am pleased with the choice I made to use iroa.  I have no wish to change because I like it now and think it will only improve with time.

Do you have a health insurance agent, gentle reader?  It is worth the time to find one to represent you.  They can read the map and keep you on the road to the best health care available to meet your needs.

rose is a rose

rose is a rose

My Very Own Medicare Paraclete

January 6, 2016 3 Comments

Haley in the greenhouse

Haley in the greenhouse

I am excited to have lived long enough to make it into Medicare. I have expert guidance and very good luck in my choice of providers. Iora Primary Care recently opened very near my home.  I will go to my first appointment next week, but yesterday I met my new Paraclete.  Her name is Haley and I like her a lot.  She will be my helper/guide/uplifter at the medical practice.  We visited the Tucson Botanical Garden yesterday while getting to know each other.  I am an enthusiastic new patient of this brand new model for Medicare Advantage clients who are insured by Humana.

Haley has experience in different kinds of yoga and fitness.  She is assigned to me as a coach.  The problems with using the word coach are various.  For one thing everyone and their dog is a coach now.  It is impossible to know what the term is supposed to mean in each case.  Also coaching implies some kind of external pressure rather than helper by one’s side.  We tried out the word paraclete on some people we met at the gardens.  It does sound exactly like parakeet, and nobody knows what it means, so it is high comedy.  We met the botanist in charge of the butterfly greenhouse, whose first language is Italian.  He was able to guess the meaning, but I think it will be an uphill struggle to get this word into common use.  Religious people use it to connote Holy Spirit.  I like the idea that Haley is my personal Paraclete, provided and paid for by Medicare.  Whatever we call her she is the bomb.  This was worth the wait.

Haley in the greenhouse

Haley in the greenhouse

Haley at the Gardens

Haley at the Gardens

Haley at the Gardens

Haley at the Gardens

Iora Health, the Zappos of Primary Care

October 22, 2015 6 Comments


I am in luck that a new model for Medicare patients has come to my neighborhood.  Today Iora Primary Care opened a new practice very close to my home.  My health insurance agent told me about this new practice that operates in a revolutionary way.  I was invited to the ribbon cutting this morning that was well attended and very festive.  Dr. Rushika Fernandopulle and some of the senior staff of the company flew out to Tucson from Boston, the site of the home office.  The day had started with a heavy downpour and thunderstorm, but the weather cleared in time for an excellent party, some brief speeches, an official proclamation by the mayor of Tucson, and a ceremonial ribbon cutting to launch the business.  A fine time was had by all.  I sat down with Dr. Fernandopulle later this afternoon to learn more about our new local health care option.  He has some great ideas.

His model was born partly from frustration in his American practice of primary care and partly from experience working around the world.  By observing what works well with low or no tech he has crafted a system that takes advantage of good relationships first.  The team approach makes the best use of both the patient and the doctor’s time.  The office has a casual feel to it, and all the employees I met are enthusiastic about their jobs.  I think Rushika is right that the synergy of culture is what distinguishes this medical practice from all others.  I am very pleased to be given this choice for my Medicare coverage.

Rushika

Rushika

Julie

Julie

healthy spread

healthy spread

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