California Obamacare Quoting Goes Live Tonight At 9 PM (PST)

I have been informed online instant quotes for 2018 ACA California health insurance plans will be live tonight beginning 9 PM PST.  For both agents and consumers, this will be our first comprehensive look at plan choices and rates.  

Take a spin to the link below and 'shop til you drop' for your complimentary quote.  Think of it as "Black Tuesday" for California health insurance.  Quoting both Marketplace (Covered CA) and off-exchange plans.  

Get My Quote Now


Diaversary: It Was 40 Years Ago Today

40 years with diabetes has gone by like "THAT!" 
I plan to hang with friends tonight and tomorrow night. Initially I wanted to throw a big 40th Diaversary party - but it's been a crazy quarter. So I've decided to celebrate throughout the year!
14,600 days ago, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. 
It was 40 years ago, today - THAT'S CRAZY. 

Also: 40 years - W.T.F. How the heck can my diabetes be older than me?! 

So what have I learned since I was dx�d way back in 77? 
A hell of a lot and quite frankly, too much for one post. 

Diabetes has taught me to appreciate and celebrate the good days - and to acknowledge the not so great ones. 
That it�s OK to laugh at diabetes and I strongly suggest that you do - and as often as possible. 
On the flip- side, It is also absolutely OK to cry because of diabetes and I encourage it.
Keeping �it� all inside is overrated and detrimental to our mental and physical health. 

It took me almost 40 years to realize that my parents weren't mad at me - they were upset at the number on the meter. Parents, keep your game face on - kids can't differentiate.  

I discovered that diabetes guilt can be an anchor around your neck that you didn�t even know you were wearing. Get rid of that accessory, ASAP - it holds you back and keeps you down. 

Diabetes is still teaching me to choose my battles and focus my energies on things that are important.

Diabetes proved to me that I was actually good at math. 

Four decades with a busted pancreas has taught me that there are moments when you feel alone with and because of your diabetes - but that if you have a d tribe - you are never alone. 
Find your tribe and never let them go. 

Finding the Diabetes Online Community has taught and continues to teach me that my diabetes isn�t better than yours - it�s just different... and in some ways, very much the same. 
So no matter what type of diabetes you have - I got your back. 
I will stand beside you and fight for you. 

I will listen and I will defend and I will not blame. 

Life and life with diabetes has showed me that you can do everything right, and still not get the results you want - but you have to keep trying. 

Life has reinforced the fact that there are worse things than diabetes.

Things like losing your parents and the people you love.

Diabetes has shown me that words matter - and that what you say and how you say it, does indeed matter. Choose your words wisely, check your tone often.

Diabetes was the catalyst for training and developing my voice, because diabetes forced me to speak up and speak out from a young age - even when it was the last thing I felt like doing.

Diabetes made me that realize that saying �I�M HIGH,� after checking my blood sugar, can result in shocked looks from strangers. 
Also: Obviously diabetes has been a huge influence on my twisted sense of humor. 

After 40 years of life with D, my empathy skills are dialed up to 11 - and that is the gift that keeps on giving. 

And during these last 40 years, I have learned that's OK to fall down - as long as you get back up. and that ssometimes getting back requires multiple attempts. 

Finally, 40 years of living with diabetes, but mostly because I am my mother�s daughter, 
I have learned that seeing the positives in life helps you get through life..  
And every year on my diaverary, I make a list of positives and based on the Diaversary number I�m celebrating. 

here's what I came up with this year.

40 Positives
1. The color of the sky 10 minutes before the sun goes down - it�s never the same canvas and it ALWAYS takes my breath away
2. Making homemade soup - it relaxes me and clears my head 
3. Eating homemade soup
4. Clean, crispy sheets
5. Swimming in the ocean
6. Salt water  - swimming in, floating on
7. Dogs - I love dogs and dogs love me
8  Photography. I love taking pictures. Photography makes me appreciate colors and expressions, and allows me to see the little things that I might never have noticed.
9. Super sweet strawberries
10. Halloween and dressing up in costume
11. Music 
12. Not many in the DOC know this, but I love to sing. I took voice lessons for years, and in college I used to rock out on the mike. 
13. Speaking of singing, SHOW TUNES are my jam
14  Hearing/seeing my nieces and nephews sing. I love watching them perform. 
It�s in the genes and it makes me happy 
15. Nailing carb count when it comes to a crazy difficult carb meal 
16. Christmas lights
18. Diabetes meet-ups - also MAGICAL 
19. The DOC. I�m damn grateful that I found the DOC in 2007 - you guys have changed my life and rocked my world
20. Diabetes technology - you�ve come a long way baby! 
Now, if we could just get the prices down!
21. My DOC and non DOC children. I don�t have bio children and that door is probably closing for good sooner rather than later- but I have amazing DOC and non DOC kids who enrich my life and make my heart happy. 
Littles, Middles, Teens, and College age. I love them, I learn from them, and I am so proud of them!
23. D moms and dads who have become my friends, substitute parents, and friends for life. 
24. The way certain shades of green make my eyes pop - Same goes for purple, turquoise, and yellow. 
25. Riding my bike on perfect day
26. Traveling - I love to travel - I need to do more of it
27. Jeans that make my ass look fantastic
28. My friends (diabetes and not,) who are family - I would be lost without them
29. Cupcakes make me happy, and for the most part - I can nail the carb count by eyeballing the circumference and thickness of the icing on the cupcake - It�s a gift, and a tasty one at that!
30. My family
31. When kismet happens
32. My parents. They are gone, I miss them terribly. 
I hate that they no longer walk this earth and the very thought of them brings me to tears. 
But I had them, they loved me, I loved them
33. Being an Aunt. No words except I love them all more than I love myself
34. Red wine, presecco, and Tito�s vodka - but not all in the same glass
35. Books. Books have been my friends since forever
36. City lights
37. Great sex and lots of it
38. The word MAGNIFICENT. It�s well� MAGNIFICENT. People don�t use the word �magnificent� nearly enough  - but I do. Learn from me. Embrace magnificent, say the word and use it often - And always let the world see how truly magnificent you are!
39. Indian Summer. Perfect weather, amazing colors and light - TRULY MAGNIFICENT, INDEED

40. Hope floats, even in the roughest of waters ~

Embracing Low Carb Dinners - And Trying Not To Over Bolus

If at first you don't succeed..... 
Since Monday (OK, really since Sunday, but that was because I had big lunch and didn't feel like eating much dinner,) night I�ve been consciously trying to eat low carb dinners for a multitude of reasons . 
Better blood sugars, trying to drop a few pounds, upping my veggie intake - all that stuff. 
Plus, low carb is easier to cook and requires less clean-up - at least in my kitchen. 
But while cooking/preparing low carb meals have been easy (tuna salad loaded with raw veggies, yogurt and fruit, eggs with 1/2 a baked sweet potato and lots of veggies, Bastard Homemade Chicken Soup,) I tend to over bolus for meals that are considered low carb. And then 9 times out of 10, I end up running low either a few hours after my meal, right before bed (and right after I've put my night-guard on,) or in the middle of the night - all of which negates the whole �trying to eat low carb dinners,� thing. 

So for the past 3 days I�ve been working hard on my bolusing skills for low carb.
As in actually looking up carb counts (which by the way - I�ve been freakishly spot on with,)  and not counting the carbs in my animal protein ( I always count the carbs in legumes or quinoa) at dinner. 
Animal protein is where I usually make my mistake when it comes to bolusing. 
As always, your diabetes may vary.

To be balls out honest, it was weird to see such a small amount of insulin flash up on my Omnipod PDM. 

On Tuesday night I had a meeting with myself and was like: If the 2.20 units don�t work out for my eggs,1/2 a medium size sweet potato, and green beans with hot sauce, no big deal - that�s what a correction bolus is for. 
Things went well. 100 blood sugar two hours later with insulin onboard, a very small glass of cranberry apple juice and a 130 bg blood sugar before bed.  

Cut to Wednesday morning, a blood sugar of 120 and no middle of the night lows. 

Wednesday dinner blood sugar was 111 and I made a tuna salad loaded with raw veggies and served with gluten free crackers. 
1.75 units did the trick and again - a little freaked out by the small dinner bolus - but I went with it. 
Went to bed with a bg of 135 and woke up at 116. 
And as I was drinking my coffee I may have uttered: WHO�S YOUR F^CKING DADDY, DIABETES?!

Pickings are officially slim in my fridge, and last night's dinner was a repeat performance. 
Eggs over medium, the other half of baked sweet potato, and the last of the green beans. 
2.75 units to cover my meal and 153 bg - all seemed right with my world. 
178 bedtime bg. 
hmmmmmm and interesting. I chalked it off as being tired - considered a full correction dose - but only gave 0.90 unit instead of the 1.50 correction because I was going to bed and I was worried going low. 
Sidebar: I don�t wear a Dex. I need to be careful with bedtime corrections  because nighttime is the right time for my blood sugar to drop.

Blood sugar this morning: 297

Clearly - diabetes was sending me a message and that message was: WHO�S THE F^CKING DADDY NOW, KELLY!!? 
And sometimes diabetes likes to f^ck with me.... because it can. 
Also, I should have known something was up when I woke up at 4:30 to go to pee and then couldn�t go back to bed.

This morning required a 6.25 correction bolus in the form of a shot and including insulin to cover the carbs for copious amounts of coffee. Then like we all do every damn day when it comes to living with our diabetes, I forged ahead. 

By lunchtime my blood sugar was 159. 
Current blood sugar: 131 as of 1 minute ago.

I was once again reminded diabetes is never the same disease two days in a row - and will prove that too you - and just when you think you�ve figured it out.

Diabetes can do whatever it wants - so can I. And want I want to do is to continue trying and fine tuning when it comes to managing my diabetes. 

And I�m going to take it one day... one carb... and one number at a time. 

Diabetes And The Little Things That Can Mess With Our Heads

It�s the little unexpected diabetes things that catch us off-guard...and can cause us to second guess ourselves in other ways and areas.
And we have to deal, acknowledge, shake it off and get on with the business of living. 
Sunday night with spoon in hand, I headed for the fridge, grabbed a yogurt and some clean red grapes from a chilled glass bowl, closed the door and headed towards the TV room  to watch one of my favorite shows, OUTLANDER. 
Claire and Jaimie were about to get together for the first time in 20 years (and through the time and space continuum, which made it more like 200 years,) and I didn�t want to miss a thing. 
SIdebar: If you�re not watching OUTLANDER on Starz, rectify that situation, IMMEDIATELY.

Fresh out of the shower after a day out in the sun -vanilla yogurt and red grapes in front of the TV were the perfect light and easy dinner.
15 minutes to Claire and Jamie �officially reuniting,� I�d bolused accordingly, I was giggling like a school girl, and my yogurt and red grapes were hitting the spot. 
10 minutes to Outlander, spoon in midair, half way through my yogurt and out of the blue, I realized that I hadn�t actually heard the fridge door close behind me. 

I put down my spoon, got up, went to the kitchen and saw that the refrigerator door was more than slightly ajar - the damn door was wide open! 
I went over and went in, checked in the produce drawer to make sure my insulin supply was still cold. And of course it was - it had only been like 5 minutes. 
But for my peace of mind I had to double check - insulin was too damn expensive to leave it chance. 
I closed the drawer, shut the door, and watched it close shut. 
And then I brushed my hand over the door handle and gave it a little pat.

CRISIS AVERTED. 5 minutes to OUTLANDER and all I could think was what if I hadn�t realized or wasn�t home to realize that I�d left the fridge door open. 
I didn�t care about the food - there wasn't much in there anyway. 
But the �what ifs� re: 4 bottles of insulin going bad had me hyper focusing on diabetes.

And diabetes was the last fucking thing I wanted to focus on. 
I took some deep breaths and did my best to shake it off. 

And I did. 

By the time the OUTLANDER theme music started, I was focused on a print shop in Edinburgh, Scotland, circa 1768 and on a reunion  20/200 years in the making. 
Claire & Jamie back together!
Photo Credit: Aimee Spinks/Starz Entertainment, LLC
Cut to yesterday morning, after locking my front door and just as I was about to walk to my car, my thoughts went back to the opened fridge door from the night before.
I took a deep breath, unlocked the door, went to the kitchen and did a quick double check that my fridge door was right and tight like a drum. 

It was. 

I ran back outside, shut the front door without a second thought..... until I was about to put the car key in the ignition and drive away - and then I wondered out-loud if I had locked the front door.

I let out a string of F-bombs, removed my seat-belt, and opened my car door. 
For the record, I had locked the front door.
But after the Sunday night insulin �could have beens and thank God it wasn't,� I found my second guessing and checking, again - because diabetes had messed with my head and my confidence - and for the third time in 24 hours. 

Yep - it was a Monday vibe for sure. Monday vibes and diabetes be damned, I put the key in the ignition and like Claire and Jamie, I forged ahead~ 

Unintended CSR Consequences? Super Cheap CA Bronze Plans for 2018?

With the removal of the cost share reduction subsidies by the federal government, and the resultant additional silver premium changes to cover the CSR in 2018, some interesting results are found on Covered CA (and likely all marketplaces).  

Quick Primer.  CSR (cost share reduction) subsidy is the subsidy used to reduce the share of cost on a silver health plan.  These are known as enhanced silver plans and the CSR helps reduce things like copays, deductible, out of pocket annual max and drug costs.  CSR is available to adults wit incomes in between 138%-250% federal poverty level.  These enhanced silver plans are expressed as Silver 73, Silver 87 and Silver 94.  Which one you qualify for depends on income level.

Note: families with children under 19 years of age can qualify for enhanced silver in California.  However, the children under 19 will not be entitled to enroll  in the enhanced silver plan with their parents  The income level for Medi-Cal (California Medicaid) is raised to 266% of the federal poverty level due to California Medicaid expansion.  

Here is a quote for a couple in their 40's living in Morgan Hill, California with an modified adjusted gross income of $39,000.

Go to shop and compare plans on Covered CA web site...

Input couple's zip code, income, number members in household...

Verify input and go to results...

First 5 Bronze plans after premium tax credit price at $2.00 per month for this couple, $1.00 for each.

Contact me to find out how much you can save in 2018!



Earthquake drill is Oct. 19 - are you prepared for the real thing?

The OIC is participating along with 1.2 million others in the Great Washington Shakeout statewide earthquake drill on Oct. 19. Washington state is no stranger to earthquakes, and the preparedness of our region has been a topic of much discussion in the media as of late.

Did you know?
  • In most cases, earthquake insurance has to be purchased separately. Check your policy to see if you are covered. Earthquake insurance is not covered by most homeowner policies and most insurers will suspend selling policies after a quake. 
  • Nonstructural failures have accounted for the majority of earthquake damage. This includes windows, partitions, veneers, piping, false ceilings, HVAC, elevators, computers, file cabinets, plumbing fixtures, etc.
Here are some tips to prepare for an earthquake:
  • Check your work area and home. Are bookshelves, dressers, china cabinets secured? If they fall over, they could block your only way out, leaving you trapped until someone can find you and rescue you.
  • Do you know where and how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity to your home?
  • Washington Emergency Management (EMD) is recommending that households have supplies to survive on their own for two weeks. FEMA�s page and the Washington EMD preparedness page has lists, plans, and other resources for preparing your home, family, car, and pets.
Learn more about earthquake insurance.

Adulting With Diabetes

"Adulting with diabetes," buying what you need (and have just run out of,)
with your Target GiftCard, instead of splurging on something you want! 
If you are an adult living with diabetes, you are �adulting with diabetes,� every single damn day - I get it and I applaud you for it. 
Some days it seems as if we adult with diabetes, more than others.
Take last Wednesday - I swear to Gouda, it seemed that the majority of my day was all about �adulting with diabetes,� at least that�s how it seemed to me. 
And I was proud of myself for dealing with it and #adultingwithdiabetes
We - every single one of us adults with diabetes, are "adulting with diabetes," every single day, every single minute of the year - and there are moments that we want and should brag/bitch about it.
Also: BRAVA and BRAVO to every damn one of us! 
Adulting with diabetes means NOT canceling your scheduled eye exam, even though it's happening on a beautiful Indian summer afternoon and you�d much rather be playing hooky outside than having your eyes dilated and all that goes with that, inside a crowded doctor's office.
And then continuing with adulting by stopping by the cable company to exchange your cable box (which you remember to bring with,) something you�ve put off doing FOREVER. But today is the day - even though you know that you�ll have to hook it with dilated eyes when you get home. 
After picking up said new cable box, you realize that Target is right across the parking lot from the cable company - and that you have a $20 Target gift card.
You finish up the 7 Tropical Fruit flavored glucose tabs in the emergency glucose tab bottle you always keep your car ( you're not low - but history has shown you that you will need the extra carbs for walking around Target,) and which you empty. 
And you save the bottle to use as a on-the-road sharps container. 

Then you decide to use that Target gift card on things you need, like windshield wiper fluid, cleaning suplies... and Target Glucose tabs. 
Not things you want or want to splurge on - like lipstick or new workout clothes.  
Sidebar: You score an additional 5% off said glucose tabs with Target�s Cartwheel app - and you don't go low in Target - thanks to the extra glucose tabs you downed in the parking lot.

Afterwards, you come home, sit in your driveway and down the rest of the water in your 24 ounce reusable water bottle -and put some much needed Windshield wiper fluid under the hood - before you walk in the door. 
 Speaking of walking in the door - you go straight to the fridge, put away the cheese and yogurt (have I mentioned that my latest yogurt obsession is OUI, by yoplait?) purchased at Target. You put away t\the cleaning supplies, then sit on your couch and hook up your cablebox � even though you can barely read the directions with your dilated eyes. 

When all is said and done and you�re ready to make dinner... adulting with diabetes, continues.  
You do this by adding more frozen green beans to your leftover almost Bastard Almost Homemade Chicken Soup because you know that you haven't eaten nearly enough fruits or veggies, today. 

Speaking of almost leftover Bastard Almost Homemade Chicken Soup � you actually choose to eat homemade chicken soup instead of of caving into your takeout Stromboli craving.

And then as you eat your fantastic soup loaded with green beans, you realize all the damn adulating with diabetes you've done today - and everyday - and you tell yourself: WAY TO GO, GIRL!

More "adulating with diabetes," moments as of late 

  • Calling up in dealing with care Centrix when it's the last thing you feel like doing 
  • Checking your BG before putting the key in the ignition  
  • Speaking of blood sugar, checking your blood sugar at an extended red light 
  • Choosing a glass of red wine instead of a beer because
  • Your Dr. told you that you should drink at least one glass of red wine and night, plus
  • You don't feel like doing any diabetes math and beer confuses the hell out of you when it comes to bolusing. *CLINK.*
  • Making sure you�re diabetes RX refills are filled on-time and no matter what. 
  • Dealing with all the stupid diabetes myths and trying to educate the masses with diabetes realities - and without losing your temper! 
 I could go on and on, but enough about me, I'm hoping that you have an "adulting with diabetes," moment you�d like to share. 

If so, tell us about it in the comments section (if you want, absolutely no pressure,) WELL DONE, AND YOU ROCK! 

Direct Primary Care A Growing Market Under ObamaCare/TrumpCare

Direct Primary Care, also known as 'concierge medicine', is gaining traction across the country.  DPC is primary medical care without insurance or other third party payer,

Direct primary care is essentially becoming a member of a primary care doctor's practice.  Monthly membership fees are reasonable and may include certain services at little or no additional cost.  

DPC doctors normally feature transparent pricing for services they provide.  Often services include telemedicine (Skype, e-mail, etc,,), longer and more thorough office visits and may even include house calls.  

Coupling a DPC membership with a lower cost, high deductible health insurance plan can provide for comprehensive coverage and lower premium costs.  This can also be used with a MedicaidPlus strategy (I will cover this in a future blog) to create even more premium savings.  

While expansion of DPC providers continues, there are still areas where no DPC providers are nearby.  For Santa Clara County residents, there are two options--Santa Cruz Direct Primary Care (Santa Cruz) and The Village Doctor (Woodside).  Use the mapper link below to search for DPC in your area...

Direct Primary Care Mapper (national)



Trump Administration Terminates Cost Share Reduction Subsidy Payments

On Thursday, in addition to issuing an executive order to make changes in health reform, the administration announced that the federal government would cease paying all CSRs immediately.

Cost Sharing subsidies are not the same as tax credit subsidies. 

Tax credit subsidies, which can be advanced, are applied to the premium payment on a health insurance plan purchased through the marketplace.

Cost Share Reduction subsidies are available to help lower the costs of services under the health plan,   CSR applies to things like deductible, co-pay, drug cost and out of pocket annual maximum.  All CSRs are in the Silver metal tier and, depending on income level, can be at 73%, 87% or 94% reduction.  

In California the CSR is available to people who have income between 138%-250% of the federal poverty level (see chart).  

In response, health insurers have increased the premium rates for all indiviudal & family Silver tier plans to make up for the loss of funding.  

Those enrolled in Enhanced Silver plans will not see any real change in cost share and in tax credit subsidy.  Those who do not qualify for tax credit subsidy and enroll in Silver plans will see a marked increase in premiums for 2018.  

Kaiser Health News links to various news articles



New Medicare cards are coming starting in April

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will start mailing redesigned Medicare cards to beneficiaries in Washington state aft...