Anthem Discontinuing Individual Grandfathered Health Plans Early 2018

Anthem Blue Cross California notified agents this morning that they intend to discontinue 200 individual & family grandfathered health insurance contracts effective 2/28/18.

Grandfathered plans are those health insurance plan purchased prior to 2010 and still in force.

To reduce the administrative burden of maintaining multiple products/contracts, we will be discontinuing about 200 grandfathered plans/contracts, many of which only have a few members. This change will impact around 14,000 members and some of these members may have other Anthem options to replace their plans.

As of today, the specific products and contracts are unknown.  I was told we should expect more information by mid-December.  

For those on grandfathered plans, be aware that Anthem is only selling individual health insurance (EPO) in areas 1, 7 and 10 (Santa Clara County, Stockton area and northern Counties).  Those in other rating areas will need to change insurers and find new coverage (and move to ObamaCare).

I will add an update once specific affected plans are disclosed by Anthem.  



Classic Pecan Snowball Cookies

Classic Pecan Snowball Cookies are the perfect classic treat for your holiday cookie platter. They are buttery, melt in your mouth shortbread like cookies with chopped pecans.



1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (measured correctly - spoon & sweep method)
3/4 - 1 cup finely chopped pecans
More powdered sugar for rolling cookies - about 1/2 cup


  1. Preheat oven to 350�F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer or using your hand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and slowly add flour and mix until just combined. Fold in chopped pecans. beating at low speed, scraping bowl as necessary, until well mixed.
  3. Roll dough into 2 tablespoon sized dough balls. Place on prepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Repeat until all the dough is used up. *I recommend chilling the dough for 30 minutes in the fridge so the cookies stay round but you can choose to bake them right away if desired.
  4. Visit Classic Pecan Snowball Cookies @ for full instructions.

Comforting Beef Barley Soup Recipe

A simple beef barley soup made in the instant pot (pressure cooker). The beef is tender, veggies are perfectly cooked, and the barley is al-dente. It�s seriously the simplest, most delicious soup. And it�s healthy too!



1 � pounds stew meat
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons oil
10 baby bella mushrooms, quartered
3 cups mirepoix (just a combination of chopped onion, celery, and carrots)
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups low sodium beef broth (or vegetable)
1 cup water
2 bay leaves
� teaspoon dried thyme
1 large potato, shredded (using a food processor or grater)
2/3 cup pearl barley, rinsed


  1. Season the stew meat with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot or in the instant pot over medium-high heat. Add � the stew meat and brown on all sides for about 2-3 minutes total. Remove meat to a plate and repeat with the second batch and the second tablespoon of oil.
  2. Add the mushroom to the pot and brown the mushrooms for 1-2 minutes or until they start picking up the brown bits left behind by the meat. Remove the mushrooms to the same plate as the stew meat.
  3. Visit Comforting Beef Barley Soup @ for full directions.

Fight fraud: Guard your Medicare card

If you have Medicare, you can protect your identity and help prevent health care fraud by guarding your Medicare card just like you would a credit card. 
New Medicare cards will be mailed starting in April 2018.

Identity theft from stolen Medicare numbers is becoming more common. To help combat fraud, Medicare is removing Social Security Numbers from cards and replacing them with a new, unique number for each person. The new cards will be mailed starting in April 2018 and should be fully distributed by April 2019.

In the meantime, here are some important steps you can take to protect yourself from the identity theft that can lead to health care fraud:
  • Don�t share your Medicare number with anyone who contacts you by phone, email or in person, unless you�ve given them permission in advance. Medicare will NEVER contact you (unless you ask us to) for your Medicare number or other personal information.
  • Never let anyone borrow or pay to use your Medicare number.
  • Review your Medicare Summary Notice to be sure you and Medicare are only being charged for actual items and services received.
If you�re looking to enroll in a Medicare plan:
  • Remember there are no �early bird discounts� or �limited time offers.� 
  • Don�t let anyone rush you to enroll by claiming you need to �act now for the best deal.� 
  • Be skeptical of free gifts, free medical services, discount packages or any offer that sounds too good to be true.
If someone calls you and asks for your Medicare number or other personal information, hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

To learn more about protecting yourself from identity theft and health care fraud, visit or contact our SHIBA program at 1-800-562-6900. SHIBA is Washington state's Senior Medicare Patrol, the fraud-fighting unit of the federal program. 

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcakes (Bourbon Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting)

A soft, moist pumpkin cake is lightly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, mace and ginger; topped with a brown sugar toasted pecan crumble prior to baking; filled with a pecan pie filling; and frosted with a brown sugar bourbon cream cheese frosting!

Yield: 14 Cupcakes


For the Cupcakes:
1 � cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon (slightly rounded)
� teaspoon nutmeg
� teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon mace
1/8 teaspoon cloves
� teaspoon kosher salt
� cup light brown sugar, packed
� cup granulated sugar
� cup unsalted butter, melted*
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
� cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
2/3 cup buttermilk

For the Crumble:
� cup unsalted butter, melted
� teaspoon vanilla
� cup light brown sugar, packed
� cup all-purpose flour
� cup toasted pecans, chopped

For the Pecan Pie Filling:
1 egg
� cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon salted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
� cup chopped pecans

For the Bourbon Brown Sugar Frosting:
� cup unsalted butter, cold
8 ounces cream cheese (not whipped, not light, and the best you can find)
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 teaspoons Bourbon (to taste)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

*Melting Butter: I melt my butter in the microwave in 10 second intervals on 50% power until almost all the butter has melted. At this point I remove it from the microwave and stir or swirl the bowl until all the butter has melted. I do not like when the cream separates from the butter.


Make the Crumble:

  1. Stir the vanilla into the melted butter. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir with a fork until all the ingredients are equally moistened. They should hold together and then break into crumbles when squeezed in your hand. If it is still too dry you can add melted butter 1 teaspoon at a time, but be careful not to make it too moist or it will be greasy and not crunchy/soft like it should be.
  2. Also note that if you chop your pecans too big, they will impede the crumbles from forming.

Make the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350� and line 14 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners. I use two standard paper liners per cupcake.
  2. Visit Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcakes (Bourbon Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting) @ for full instructions.

Instant Pot Wendy�s Copycat Chili

This Instant Pot Wendy�s Copycat Chili is delicious and so easy to make! Dinner is ready in less than 30 minutes!

Serves: 8 cups


1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 lb lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
1 package McCormick's Chili Seasoning
1 cup water
1 15 oz can Ranch Style Beans
1 15 oz can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 15 oz can RoTel Original
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Set your Instant Pot to Saute and vegetable oil and minced garlic to the pot.
  2. Once the pot is hot and oil is simmering, add ground beef.
  3. Once browned, add chopped onion, bell pepper and celery to the beef.
  4. Visit Instant Pot Wendy's Copycat Chili @ for full instructions.

Super Easy See�s Fudge Recipe

This See�s Fudge Recipe is the easiest, most foolproof fudge recipe ever! It is never gets grainy and comes out perfectly every time.

Servings: 48 pieces


16 oz. milk chocolate (I use two 8 ounce Hershey bars broken into pieces)
24 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use the Guittard brand)
1/2 c. butter
1 jar marshmallow whip (7-8 ounce jar)
4 1/4 c. sugar
12 oz. evaporated milk


  1. Combine chocolate bars, chocolate chips, butter, and marshmallow whip in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine sugar and evaporated milk. Bring to a rolling boil over medium heat. Stir constantly for 4 minutes.
  3. Visit Super Easy See�s Fudge Recipe @ for full instructions.

Easy Lasagna Soup Recipe

An easy cheesy and comforting Italian lasagna soup that tastes like your favorite lasagna.

Serves: 6


1 lb lean ground beef
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 (14.5 oz) cans italian style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 jar (24 oz) marinara sauce
2 cups reduced sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
2 cups lasagna noodles, broken into small pieces
� cup ricotta cheese
1 cup Italian blend cheese, shredded


  1. Boil the broken lasagna noodles per package directions.
  2. In a dutch oven cook the ground beef until browned and no longer pink.
  3. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
  4. Visit Easy Lasagna Soup @ for full instructions.

Strawberry Milkshake Cupcakes Recipe

These Strawberry Milkshake Cupcakes are bursting with strawberry flavor and are so soft!

Servings: 18


1 (16.25 ounce) strawberry cake mix
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (see note for substitute)
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
1 (3.4 ounce) box dry instant strawberry pudding mix or 1 (3.0 ounce) box strawberry jello mix
1/3 cup strawberry milk drink mix (such as Nesquik)

1/2 cup butter , room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup strawberry milk powder (such as Nesquik)
3 1/2 - 4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream or milk (may not use all of it)

For topping:
strawberry candies or gumballs


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 18 muffin cavities with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs, dry pudding mix, and strawberry milk drink mix together with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes or until blended. Distribute the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling until about 3/4 cup full.
  3. Bake for approximately 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist - not wet - crumbs. Cool completely.
  4. Visit Strawberry Milkshake Cupcakes @ for full instructions.

Fall Detox Vegetable Soup Recipe

We all need a reboot every now and then so why not kickstart your clean eating this season with this Fall Detox Vegetable Soup? Made with 9 different vegetables, this soup will help you glow inside and out!



1 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large sweet potato (about 2 cups), chopped
2 cups peeled butternut squash, chopped
2 cups cauliflower florets, chopped
2 cups sliced cabbage
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
6 cups vegetable stock
2 tsp Italian seasoning (or a mixture of dried parsley, basil, oregano etc..)
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
2 T freshly chopped parsley


  1. Heat up a large pot over med-high heat and add olive oil.
  2. Throw in onion, carrot and celery and cook for 3-5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  3. Add in garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Visit Fall Detox Vegetable Soup @ for full instructions.

Mini Chicken Pot Pies Recipe

These mini chicken pot pies are ridiculously easy. Seriously� they only have 4 ingredients! And you can make them from start to finish in about 30 minutes. Serve them with a little side salad and it makes a quick and simple weeknight dinner!



� cup chopped leftover chicken (or 1 small fresh chicken breast, fully cooked)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup mixed frozen vegetables (peas, carrots, corn and green beans), defrosted
1 package refrigerated biscuit dough


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Combine the chicken, mixed vegetables and cream of chicken soup in a medium bowl and stir well.
  3. Separate each of the biscuits and place them into the compartments of a greased muffin tin.
  4. Visit Mini Chicken Pot Pies @ for full instructions.

You can substitute the refrigerated biscuit dough for refrigerated crescent roll dough if you prefer. Just cut out circles or squares of the dough to put in the muffin tin. Biscuit dough gives it a salty and firm texture. Crescent roll dough will give it a sweeter and softer texture.

Sweet Potato Cranberry Pecan Stuffing Recipe

A whole new take on stuffing! This Sweet Potato Cranberry Pecan Stuffing is a little bit sweet, a little bit savory, and the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas table!

Servings 6-8


4 c. dried bread cubes
2 c. cubed sweet potatoes
1 c. apple juice or cider
1 c. fresh cranberries
3/4 c. pecan halves
2-3 chopped green onions
2 Tbsp. fresh minced sage
4 Tbsp. butter melted
1/4 c. Truvia Brown Sugar Blend


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine bread cubes, sweet potatoes, apple juice, cranberries, pecans, green onions, and sage.
  2. Stir to combine, then spoon into a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
  3. Visit Sweet Potato Cranberry Pecan Stuffing @ for full instructions.

Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms Recipe

With a soft dark chocolate cookie base and peppermint kiss, these Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms will be the most beautiful cookie on your Christmas plate!

Servings 34


1/2 cup butter 1 stick, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar packed
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
34 Candy Cane Kisses unwrapped


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream butter and both sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy. Mix in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until smooth. Add the dry ingredients a little at a time while mixing on slow until combined. Mix in the milk until smooth.
  4. Visit Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms @ for full instructions.

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

This slow cooker chicken tortilla soup makes a healthy and gluten free dinner that can be thrown together easily during a busy week! 

Servings 8 servings


1 � lbs chicken breasts
16 oz. jar salsa
5 c chicken broth
1 T cumin
1 t chili powder
1 t paprika
1 � t salt
� t pepper
� t garlic powder
1/8 - � t cayenne pepper
1-15 oz can black beans rinsed and drained
1-15 oz can whole kernel corn drained
3 T lemon or lime juice

Tortilla chips
Sour cream
Green Onions


  1. Place chicken breasts on the bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Pour salsa and chicken broth into the slow cooker and make sure to pick up chicken breasts so some liquid gets underneath them.
  3. In a small bowl, combine cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Toss to combine.
  4. Visit Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup @ for full instructions.

Boston Cream Cupcakes Recipe

Vanilla cupcakes filled with pastry cream and topped with chocolate ganache. If you love the flavors of Boston cream, you�ll love these!

YIELD: 18 to 20 cupcakes


For the Pastry Cream
1? cups (320 ml) heavy cream
3 egg yolks
? cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 2 pieces
1� teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Cupcakes
1� cups (248 grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup (198 grams) granulated sugar
1� teaspoons baking powder
� teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into 12 pieces
3 eggs
� cup (180 ml) whole milk
1� teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Glaze
� cup (180 ml) heavy cream
� cup (78 grams) light corn syrup
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
� teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Make the Pastry Cream: Heat the heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat until simmering, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the cornstarch and whisk until the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 15 seconds.
  2. When the cream reaches a full simmer, slowly whisk it into the yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thick and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla extract until the butter is completely melted. Transfer the pastry cream to a small bowl and press plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  3. Make the Cupcakes: visit for full directions.

Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup

This Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup has all the flavors of our favorite Enchiladas, no rolling required! It�s an easy recipe to whip up on a busy weeknight.

yield 4 -6 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces fire roasted green chiles
3 cups shredded chicken
1 cup salsa
10-ounce can green chile enchilada sauce
32 ounces low-sodium chicken stock
8 ounces shredded cheddar and/or jack cheeses
4-ounces cream cheese
2-3 corn tortillas

Garnish (optional):
Sour cream
Tortilla chips


  1. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, 4-5 minutes or until soft. Stir in garlic and cook for 30-45 seconds. Add green chiles, chicken, salsa, chicken stock and enchilada sauce.Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to low. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Visit for full instructions.

Sutter Health Destroys Evidence In Antitrust Case

LA Times is reporting that health giant Sutter intentionally destroyed 192 boxes of documents that were being sought in a lawsuit.

The lawsuit accuses Sutter of abusing its market power and charging inflated prices.

I�ve pushed the button � I�m running and hiding. � �Fingers crossed� that I haven�t authorized something the FTC will hunt me down for.
� Sina Santagata, Sutter executive assistant 

The United Food and Commercial Workers and its Employers Benefit Trust initially filed the case against Sutter in 2014. 

Read the full LA Times Article



#WaybackWednesday: Diabetes And The Energizer Bunny

A #WayBackWednesday pic that will hopefully make you chuckle!
I shot this pic from a rooftop terrace on the upper WestSide, Thanksgiving Day, 2011.
1. It reminded me of people with diabetes, because we keep going.. and going...and even when we don't feel like it.
2. Also, I immediately checked the status of my pump batteries...just in case! 
Sidebar: I originally posted this picture on the blog in December, 2011.
Just like people with diabetes, the Energizer Bunny keeps going...
and going...and going.

Cranberry Rosemary Cheese Spread Recipe

This Cranberry Cheese Spread is sweet and savory and filled with all kinds of good things, like cream cheese, goat cheese, dried cranberries & apricots and just a dash of honey for sweetness.


8 ounces room temperature cream cheese
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
pinch of salt (optional)


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine cream cheese, goat cheese, honey and a small pinch of salt on high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Visit for full instructions.

Pecan Pie Bars

The Best Pecan Pie Bars - this easy recipe includes a simple shortbread bottom and a one bowl mix and pour topping.

Servings: 36 cookie bars


1� cups all purpose flour
� cup sugar
� cup cold butter

For the top layer
? cup firmly packed brown sugar
? cup +1 tbsp flour
4 large or extra large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
� tsp salt
1� cups corn syrup dark is best
2 cups roughly chopped pecans no need to toast the pecans


  1. This recipe uses a 9x13 baking pan. In this recipe I think it is best to line to lightly grease the pan and line it with parchment paper so that you can lift the entire batch out of the pan after they have cooled and cut them on a cutting board. With cookie bars like this, which have different textures in the different layers, this enables you to have a more precise feeling for how to cut them well. More about that a little later in the recipe.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F for aluminum bake ware and 325 degrees F for glass bake ware.
  3. Mix together the 1/34 cups flour and � cup sugar. Rub the butter through the flour mixture until it is well incorporated and resembles a dry coarse meal. (You can pulse the butter into the flour mixture using a food processor if you prefer.)
  4. Press the crumb mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and bake for 20 minutes. The edges should just be starting to brown. Remove from oven and pour on the topping while still hot.

To prepare the top layer of the cookie bars

  1. Visit for full instructions.

Chicken Bacon Garlic Alfredo Roll Ups

Chicken, Bacon, and cheese all rolled up into perfect portions and topped with the BEST homemade garlic alfredo sauce! One of the best meals that you will make!

Serves: 8


8 Lasagne noodles
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (I used rotisserie)
1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Garlic Alfredo Sauce:
� cup butter
1 pint heavy whipping cream (2 cups)
4 ounces cream cheese
� teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
� teaspoon salt
� teaspoon pepper
1 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse the noodles with cold water and lay them on a paper towel to remove excess water.
  3. In a medium saucepan add butter, heavy whipping cream, and cream cheese. Cook over medium heat and whisk until melted. Add the minced garlic, garlic powder, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Continue to whisk until smooth. Add the grated parmesan cheese. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for about 3-5 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Line the bottom of the 9x13 inch pan with 1 cup of the alfredo sauce.
  4. Visit for full instructions.

Diabetes, Labs, And Taking A Beat Before Clicking On The Link.

Back in early August, when I was dealing with a nasty viral infection that made me break out all over and feel like crap; required a slew of lab work and forced me to finally signed up for LabCorp�s patient portal. 
Bottom line it made communicating with my GP's office easier, especially since the staff was in rotating vacation mode, which resulted in unreturned phone calls re: my labs. 
I�ll admit that it was cool to see years worth of my lab work online, at my fingertips, and organized in one place by date and doctor.
In August I thought it was great. But last Wednesday? Not so much.
Cut to last Wednesday afternoon. 
3pm, me deep in thought and working on a project that was due on Friday.
I took a break, opened my email tab and immediately focused on the Subject Line of an email from labcorp, letting me know that my labs were available online.
All I needed to do was click on the portal link and sign in. 

I knew if I clicked on the link,I would be either happy... or I wouldn�t - because of my A1C.
Clicking on that link would take me down the rabbit hole of numbers that I didn�t have the time or mindset to go down.  
And at that moment, I knew I was reaching the brink re: my diabetes numbers breaking point. I took a beat, told myself my Endo appointment was the next morning and I would go over my results with Dr. J.
Until then, I was going to give myself a break so I could assess and be proactive at my appointment - no matter what. 

It wasn�t easy to ignore the email.... at first. 
Seriously, (like for the first 20 minutes,) I kept toggling back and forth between screens. 
But slowly, I forgot about it, except for when I didn't - but I never clicked on the link.  

Cut to Thursday morning at my Endo�s office. 
I sat in the exam room with a slightly elevated blood sugar and a normal blood pressure of 120 over a number I can�t recall. 
Dr. J walked in, said hello, shook my hand and stated: The good news - your A1C didn�t go up.......It�s exactly what it was last time you were here.

And at that moment I was so glad I'd stayed above ground and hadn�t clicked on the link and ventured down the diabetes rabbit hole of numbers and what-ifs. 
I would have lost focus and been upset for the rest of the day. 

I wasn't thrilled, but I ready to talk it out and make some changes. 
Sidebar: I know a 7.4 A1C isn't terrible - it's not.
But honest to God I really thought that I'd made strides since the beginning of August. 
I'd started on the Omnipod, (and really like it,) I'm taking less insulin per day, (by at least 10+ units,) and I thought my A1C would have reflected that. 
I was expecting it to be 7.0 or lower and not stuck in an the same a1c moment - and I told him that.

I was frustrated with myself and with diabetes - and I knew Dr. J was too - even though he remained calm and kept his game face on. 
We talked it out. Dr. J asked me what changes I�d made that led me to believe my a1c would be lower.
I told him about cutting back on my daily insulin intake and how I�d been trying to eat healthier. 
He asked if I�d been sick or dealing with anything that might have contributed to my A1C.
I explained about the viral infection that had me down for the count for parts of July and August... but it was November 18th. 
I was grasping at straws and we both knew it. 

He asked me if I thought I was getting enough exercise.  
I was honest. I told him that needed to do better in that department. 

And then he asked if I�d downloaded the Glooko app on my phone so I could download  my Omnipod PDM�s info, and share it with my Sorceress of a CDE, Cheryl - so she could work her magic on my basal rates, carb ratios, etc and assist me in getting unstuck. 
Sidebar: Insulet (the company that makes Omnipod,) and Glooko have been data management partners since last year - the Glooko cable and instructions are included with your first PDM and first pod order  - and my cable and instructions were still in the box. 
�Cheryl�s really knows what she�s doing,� he said. 
And he's totally right, Cheryl does know what she's doing. 
She and I had discussed me getting my data to her via Glooko when she was training me on the Omnipod. 
I told her I would - and I talked about doing it. 

But I didn't.

I needed to revisit and reconsider.
Calmness prevailed and Dr. J pointed out the positives in my labs - and I love that he always points out the good. ALWAYS. 

And then I blurted out to Dr. J how I�d ignored yesterday�s email - and he looked a little surprised and asked me how come. 
Me: I knew that if I clicked on the link and it didn't take me to the number I wanted to see - I wouldn�t be able to concentrate or get things done. I�m always dealing with numbers - I knew I was seeing you this morning. I needed a break, so I took one. 

Dr.J: OK, fair enough. Set up the Glooko, share your PDM data with Cheryl; make an an appointment with her for December. I'll be right back, I�m going to see if we have any insulin samples for you.

When he came back with insulin in hand, I'd downloaded the app to my phone and was willing to try it out. 
Because I am going to tackle those damn basal rates with my CDE. 
I am forging ahead.
I am keeping the promise I made to my healthcare healthcare team.
I am going to keep the promise I made to myself. 
And we'll see how it how it goes. 

HealthNet Traditional PPO & EnhancedCare PPO For California 2018

When it comes to HealthNet individual & family health plans, things can get a little tricky.

HealthNet has offered their traditional PPO plan in selected areas of California for a few years now.  This PPO is a broad-network plan.  In areas where it is available, the network exceeds that or competitor Blue Shield.  The new EnhancedCare PPO is a smaller network PPO plan introduced in certain regions for 2018.

In 2018, HealthNet has made some changes so I want to cover them here.

Traditional PPO (off exchange only)
HealthNet's traditional individual & family PPO plan for 2018 will be available in the following regions:

Region 2  Marin, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma counties
Region 4  San Francisco County
Region 5  Contra Costa County
Region 7  Santa Clara County
Region 8  San Mateo County
Region 9  Santa Cruz County
Region 10 Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tulare counties
Region 14 Kern County (partial)
Region 15 Los Angeles County: ZIP codes starting with 906-912, 915, 917, 918, 935
Region 17 Riverside (partial) and San Bernardino (partial) counties
Region 18 Orange County

Region 19 San Diego County

EnhancedCare PPO (off exchange)
HealthNet's smaller network EnhancedCare PPO plans for 2018 will be available in the following regions:

Region 3  Placer,(partial) Sacramento and Yolo counties
Region 15 Los Angeles County: ZIP codes starting with 906-912, 915, 917, 918, 935
Region 16 Los Angeles County: ZIP codes not in Region 15
Region 17 Riverside2 and San Bernardino2 counties
Region 18 Orange County

Region 19 San Diego County

The Traditional PPO will not be available on Covered CA in 2018.  The EnhancedCare PPO will be available on exchange in the following areas:

Covered CA EnhancedCare PPO (subsidy-eligible)

Region 3 Placer,(partial) Sacramento and Yolo counties
Region 15 Los Angeles County: ZIP codes starting with 906-912, 915, 917, 918, 935
Region 16  Los Angeles County: ZIP codes not in Region 15
Region 17 Riverside2 and San Bernardino2 counties
Region 18 Orange County

Region 19 San Diego County

Certain areas may also offer HealthNet's EPO, HSP and HMO plans.  



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...