“That’s it,” the 85-year-old retired state employee recalls saying after the latest surgery. “I’m not doing any more operations. Of course, there’s hardly anything left to operate on.”
Yet, Riley considers herself lucky. Her health insurance covered the procedures and never sent her a bill. The state helps with her monthly premiums.
That leaves more of the Olympia retiree’s state pension and Social Security income for spending money. Riley can hire out the household chores and yard work she no longer can physically manage, go out to eat with friends once in a while, “and still have a little bit of money left over just to put away. But it’s getting thinner and thinner.”