The Cost of Things: Getting The Flu When Your Insurance Sucks

Thanks to my newfound pioneer attitude, my response to grogginess and an incipient cough was to take two Advil and a bracing three-hour walk through snow-encrusted Prospect Park. Here’s what that cost me.

Prudie on Having a Starving Artist for a Partner: DTMFA

Talking to the Person is almost always better than Talking about the Person, especially when the Person's behavior is the problem.

1 Thing: Endless Summer Edition

Thursday is a great day to do that 1 thing you don’t want to do but also don’t want to continue thinking about doing.

Summer is nearly over and I missed all of it. We’re going to the beach next week, though, as soon as lower hotel rates hit post-Labor Day. How do you take a baby to the beach? My guess is, “Not easily.” Okay but my 1 Thing has nothing to do with that, just wanted to share.

I bit the bullet and picked up the phone to call about one of the pediatrics bills I’ve gotten in the mail from when I had birth done to me. The woman on the phone said her name was Bunny. “Hi Bunny.” I told Bunny my account number and name and held my breath.

“Oh you have one of those Obamacares?”

Act Healthy, Get Cash Back?

Is it worth overcoming one's objections to fitness trackers in the first place, getting the gizmo, hooking it up, letting your health insurance company monitor how many steps you take, and then receiving your reward in the form of a gift card to an evil empire?

Obamacare Winners and Losers

WINNERS: 10 more million Americans who have health insurance, large swaths of whom are “people between the ages of 18 and 34; blacks; Hispanics; and people who live in rural areas,” according to the New York Times. All groups who have been having a particularly hard time in this economic climate.

Young people have fared substantially worse in the job market than older people in recent years. Blacks and Hispanics have fared worse than whites and Asians. Rural areas have fallen further behind larger metropolitan areas.

WINNERS: The poor and people who sympathize with them. “People with the lowest incomes tended to benefit the most from the law.”

LOSERS: People who find any kind of redistribution of wealth distasteful. As Vox puts it,

Obamacare is becoming a huge weapon in the fight against inequality. … for those who live in low-income areas, Obamacare has made a world of difference. The uninsured rate for residents of poor counties fell by 9 percentage points, from 26.4 percent in 2013 to 17.5 percent now. … What we’re seeing now is Obamacare as an equalizer, giving lower-income Americans access to the benefits that have been held out of reach. 

LOSERS: Democrats / people who like government, since the continued backlash against Obamacare means we’re going to wake up on November 5th to a Republican controlled House and Senate. I mean, on some level, sure, enjoy Congress, guys, it’s all yours! But it’s a definite setback to those of us who enjoyed getting the occasional progressive piece of legislation to the President’s desk. Like, you know, the ACA.

Do 1 Thing Before 1 Thing Does You

Thursday is a great day to do that 1 thing you don’t want to do but also don’t want to continue thinking about doing.

The most important “1 thing” I have to do is mail the first premium checks to Babygirl’s new health insurance, as well as Fella’s and mine, so that we will be all covered as of September 1st. Related 1 thing: don’t get hit by anything heavy in August. These days, Babygirl only leaves the house in bubble wrap.

Also I have so much reading to do it’s like being back in one of my history seminars! At least it’s fun reading I will probably enjoy, including Roxane Gay’s new essay collection Bad Feminist and Anya Ulinich’s new memoir-y graphic novel Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel, both of which I got to pick up from a local bookstore. Yay, supporting small businesses! Yay, supporting living authors! Then I will generate income by writing reviews and use it to defray the cost of Babygirl’s health insurance. At my current rate, 3-4 reviews = 1 month of coverage. Everyone wins.

What’s your 1 thing?

The Costs of Mental Illness, With & Without Insurance

When it comes down to "if I eat out tonight with my friends I can’t afford the pills I need" you spend a lot of nights eating on your meal plan instead.

A Non-Grouchy Oscar Update!

LADY ON THE PHONE: Is this Ester? ME: Yes? Subtext: Unless you have anything stressful to tell me.

Do 1 Thing Baby Just Do 1 Thing

Thursday is a great day to do that 1 thing you don’t want to do but also don’t want to continue thinking about doing.

My one thing is to cook! Which we haven’t done in so long that I’m kind of embarrassed about it. The cooking itself will be about as low impact as I can make it. Fresh Direct delivered the ingredients for a gussied up version of tuna noodle casserole, and while taking care of my active and witchy toddler I managed to do the chop-chop prep work. All I need to do now is grate some cheese, probably while watching old episodes of 30 Rock, cook some pasta, mix, and bake. I can do that, right? Right.

My 1 Thing will be good for me in the long-term because Omega-3s are apparently proven stress-reducers, along with leafy greens, eggs, and dark chocolate. I need that fortification, because after going through the entire process of applying for health insurance on the Marketplace, this is the notification we received: