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  • Glenn Miller

Blog # 2, 03/15/21

Updated: Apr 6, 2021

Blog # 2, 03/15/21

Do you know why Teddy Roosevelt is on Mt. Rushmore with Lincoln, Washington and Jefferson?

· When I was in grade school, the city library would send out boxes of books to the elementary schools in my town. There was a series of “blue books” that were all biographies written about the early settlers and politicians and businessmen who brought America from the “back woods” to the nation it is today. I devoured these books and one of my favorites was about “Teddy” Theodore Roosevelt.

· I admired him because he was born (1858) with severe asthma, which was basically untreatable in those days. It was debilitating, repeatedly experiencing nighttime attacks with a sense of being smothered to death, which terrified him and his parents.

· Teddy was energetic and mischievously inquisitive. Zoology was an early interest, and any animal would do.

· Teddy discovered that heavy exercise gave him strength and helped to overcome his asthma, outgrowing it in his teen years. Getting manhandled by two older boys on a camping trip led him to hire a boxing coach to teach him how to fight and strengthen his body.

· Teddy was homeschooled by his parents and tutors and in 1876 he entered Harvard. His father advised: “Take care of your morals first, your health next, and finally your studies.” Two years later Teddy’s father died suddenly, devastating Teddy. He later said of his father, “My father, Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. was the best man I ever knew. He combined strength and courage with gentleness, tenderness, and great unselfishness. He would not tolerate in us children selfishness or cruelty, idleness, cowardice, or untruthfulness.” A different time, it was.

· Teddy studied biology intently and was already an accomplished naturalist and a published ornithologist. He read prodigiously with an almost photographic memory. He also participated in rowing and boxing at Harvard. He graduated 22nd of 177 in his class. In 1882 Teddy published The Naval War of 1812, praised for its scholarship and style, and remains a standard study of the war. Teddy had married in 1880 and had a daughter in 1884, but his wife died two days later, the pregnancy masking a kidney issue.

· His father left him an inheritance of $125,000 ($3.3 million in 2019 $) and Teddy got involved in New York State politics, concentrating on anti-corruption efforts. After a few years Teddy retired from politics and bought a ranch in North Dakota. He wrote about frontier life for several national magazines and published three books about his experiences. He organized ranchers to address problems of overgrazing and began the Little Missouri Stockmen’s Association. He felt compelled to promote conservation and started the Boone and Crockett Club, whose goal was conservation of big game animals and their habitats.

I’m going to leave Teddy off for now, will resume on my next issue.

· Just as Teddy Roosevelt worked hard to overcome his youth asthma problems, so do we seniors have our issues to deal with: it seems my new favorite saying is “getting older isn’t for cowards.” And I don’t like that. But it seems truthful. The issues we are challenged with covers the gamut, and some have multiple issues. I want to address a couple things. The first is dental coverage.

The typical dental plan’s age range is 19-99, has a maximum annual benefit ($1,000 or $1,500), an annual deductible ($50 or $100), and coverage at 100% for Diagnostic and Preventive Services (no wait time), 80% for Basic services (like simple extractions and fillings, (also no wait time), and then 50% for major services (one year wait required). From Mutual of Omaha the premiums would run $29.29/mo., $56.91/mo., respectively. Delta Dental, IHC and Moda are similar.

· Then I went back to an old carrier I did a lot of Med-sup business with back in 2007-2010. I am going to recommend the United Commercial Travelers of America plan. And here is why: 1) they are priced similarly, 2) they also provide vision and hearing benefits on the same plan, 3) they offer first dollar coverage or a deductible, and the kicker? 3) They offer 60% coverage the first year (one year wait on major benefits), 70% the 2nd year, 80% the 3rd year and 90% the fourth year. 4) There are max benefit choices of $1,000-$1,500-$2,000-$2,500, and 5) If you don’t need a lot of dental but could utilize the vision and hearing one year, it really becomes a very flexible product that can meet multiple needs. For example: a $1,500 annual benefit for the 60-74 age range with a $100 deductible is only $47.76/mo. , and $49.60 for ages 75-79.

· I know my wife about 10 years ago had braces and a lot of work and it ended up running $17,000.

· It always seems like we can put off dental service. But for each of us, there is a varying point of no return where inattention can cause discomfort and even serious infections going beyond our teeth and gums. Obviously, there is a difference in routine care and the dentist identifying an issue early which avoids discomfort and cost. And that is the most valuable benefits of a regular plan. Let me know if you have interest in a dental plan.

I have several other items I would like to mention:

1. National Advertising for Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans. Joe Namath was a great Quarterback in college and the NFL. But methinks he is stretching the truth a little when he advertises a plan with no premium and no co-pays. And even a return of part B of Medicare cost. In OR and ID Medicare subsidizes the MA plans between $700-800/mo. Back east where costs are higher that subsidy might be $1,000 or more per month. It gives these national companies some wiggle room. Within a region, most plans that are $30 or less a month are going to be equal. They will emphasize a couple benefits but may be leaving another area short. I’m not saying they are bad, but you just need to be sure the needs you have are being met. The downside is that most of the plans will have a $4-6,000 annual max out-of-pocket, or more. I’ve never had so many questions about this subject as last Fall.

2. Two years ago, Medicare created what it calls Open Enrollment and it lasts from Jan.1st through March 31st. Basically, it is for people who have Medicare Advantage plans, with or without drug coverage. During this time, you are free to change your old plan for another, with or without drug coverage. You can also return to original Medicare A&B and get a drug plan if you don’t have one. If you have a Medigap plan and a drug plan, or not, this is of no help to you. If you have questions about this, let me know.

3. There are many benefits for those impacted by the fire in Phoenix and Talent, or the wildfires last summer. Or the pandemic. Basically, they address additional enrollment times.

4. Some favorite quotes:

· We all fall. It’s how we get up that matters. Unknown

· Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. Dale Carnegie

· More failure has been caused by indecision than by poor decisions. D. Hardy

5. Covid-19: From an AARP publication, the three most dangerous conditions related to Covid-19 are 1) Obesity, 2) Diabetes, and 3) High Blood Pressure. Often, these issues are found in the same individual, as one issue also contributes to the others. I don’t think we are talking about people who are 20 lbs. overweight, have been diagnosed diabetic but don’t take insulin, or have a single medication for blood pressure. When these multiple conditions do exist on a serious basis, extra care needs to be taken to avoid the virus.

6. Some were interested in my story about “ear wax” in my last blog. I did go to a local Urgent Care office to get my ears cleaned out, and now I continue using my daily washing routine in the shower and it’s like I got new hearing aids. 😊

7. For those with investments in the market: Except for the drop during the Covid-19 surge last Spring, this market has been in a long upswing. There are many reports of euphoria from buyers. Although it may feel like it can go up for ever, it never does. Be careful. Use trailing stops to get you out of a downturn so you keep most of your gains. If you are scared, consider fixed annuities or real estate. The rage now is crypto currencies. Whatever you do be careful. Yes, I said it twice.

8. Some favorite verses from the Bible:

· 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

· 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Jeremiah 29:11

I have been disappointed that this second blog has taken so long. I really hope to do better in the future. I had a need to update my email addresses too.

If you have any concern about anything read here, check it with your physician. I am not one, but I would like to share things in the future that I have done that help me.

Thanks for your attention, I appreciate it. And if you have something specific you would like me to discuss, please let me know. God bless you and yours and thank you for your continued business, it’s always appreciated.


Glenn Miller Ins. / email at / website at: / (541) 941-3084 / 2505 W. Thiers Dr., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815

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