Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Seniors told of rate hike,
Kaiser says

Question: I am a senior. In December, I received my monthly bill from Kaiser. My monthly premium was raised $10.80 -- to $82.80 from $72 -- without a word of warning. No notice at all. When my rent goes up, I am notified well in advance. Why should Kaiser be exempt from that requirement? What Christmas spirit.

Answer: Kaiser Permanente Hawaii notified all its Senior Advantage members about changes to its 2003 rates and benefits last October, according to spokeswoman Jan Kagehiro.

"The notification followed all Medicare requirements, including content, format and mailing deadline date," she said.

Without knowing who you are, it's difficult to say why you did not receive any notification, she said. Kagehiro suggested you call Kaiser's Customer Service Department at 432-5955 (Oahu) or 800-966-5955 (neighbor islands) for a copy.

She also encouraged all Kaiser Permanente members to inform the company when there is a change in mailing addresses to make sure notices are received in a timely manner.

Meanwhile, a new state law went into effect Jan. 1 giving the state insurance commissioner authority to review proposed hikes in health insurance rates, rejecting them if they are too high, too low or discriminatory.

Q: I hear parents of students at Le Jardin Academy pronouncing it "Lay" Jardin. I thought the word is pronounced like "look" without the k. It seems silly to have a French name for a school and then not say it right. Does the school have an official pronunciation?

A: The "e" in "Le" is weak and pronounced "uh."

Adrian Allan, headmaster of Le Jardin Windward Oahu Academy, acknowledged that many people tend to say "lay," as "les," which designates a plural.

"The big mispronunciation is to call it 'lay jardeen' or something like that," he said.

Jardin, meanwhile, is pronounced "zhar dan" -- the "j" sounding as the "s" in leisure and the "in" as a nasal vowel with the "n" not said.

"Le Jardin" translates into "the garden."


To those who helped me on Saturday, Jan. 11, at Sandy Beach when I drove my truck into the sandy area and got stuck. What a predicament I was in. Two police officers kept me company when two young men from Hawaii Kai came by to help get my truck towed out with their vehicles. I didn't get their names, but I really appreciate their help in rescuing me from an embarrassing situation. Only in Hawaii does help come, and from many guardian angels at that. -- An Embarrassed Lady


To the lady in a white compact sedan who brazenly bulldozed her way to get to the entrance of the H-1 freeway near Punahou School. We were all stuck in traffic and patiently taking our turns, but she cut ahead of the car in front of her at a four-way stop, then proceeded to the freeway entrance, where she cut off people in the merging lane. She then muscled her way onto the freeway. This lady needs to have a lesson in common courtesy and learn to live in society. -- No Name


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