@jacqui I read your comment and bought this immediately!
I am glad that you have a doctor who is at least somewhat familiar with the insurance issues (so often, practitioners focus on care and leave the insurance stuff to their back office staff, which is understandable but problematic for patients who don't know those folks.) Because the ACA was only politically feasible if it preserved the existing private health insurance market, all of the problems endemic to that system are still there. But they are magnified because no so many more people are going into the individual market; before the individual mandate, market reforms like the bar on pre-existing condition exemptions, and the creation of discounts via advanced premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, the individual insurance market was a pretty rough place, and not a realistic option for most people, who would instead just be uninsured. However, what's happening as this shakes out is that we have required everyone to have comprehensive insurance, required the government to help certain people pay for insurance, but held on to the old mechanisms for providing that insurance. It's like tearing down a crappy old building because it was constructed on a sinkhole, but having to rebuild on the same foundation. One of the ways that insurance companies were able to lower premium costs on the federally-facilitated and state marketplaces despite having to provide much more comprehensive coverage and much more transparent cost-sharing schemes (i.e., the metal levels that tell you how much you pay in deductibles, copays, etc.) is to narrow their provider networks. That's part of what people are running into now. Healthcare.gov and state exchanges also have out-of-date provider directories (Meaghan, that's why they always tell you to call to double-check the website, even though it's ridiculous and our generation assumes we can *rely on information published online*) but insurance carriers have always done a terrible job of updating that stuff. I have coverage through my job and I still have to call to double-check because the provider directories are usually wrong by a few months into the year.
@LookUponMyWorks @Lily Rowan @ kellyography You are all awesome! Thank you for not shaming me for being a Luddite/cheapskate.
I need an US version of the phone entry. I also have a slide phone; it is old and useless and my life/work efficiency would be far better with a smartphone. But it is so much easier to pay almost nothing to stay on my family's plan, a la college. I have no idea where to begin! Do I really have to spend $100/mo on a phone? Can I just buy a phone without a contract and save money longterm? OH GOD. (I need to go back through Billfold archives to see if someone has already given me all the answers.)
I ended up overspending on eating out, per usual. Estimated $15 for a snack Saturday night; instead got a sandwich and two beers and so spent $20. Estimated $35 for brunch on Sunday, and ended up covering the tip for two of us, so it was closer to $45. I actually thought the damage was much worse, but I guess I am used to DC brunch prices! Went only $1 over on groceries.
I just want a whole series of quitting stories!
Friday: Nothing! I am not even tempted to go out for a coffee break. Not at all. Not one little bit. Sigh. Dinner at my parents' house tonight, and because we will be drinking the wine I gave them for Xmas, I'm okay with not bringing anything else with me. Saturday: Working during the day, then maybe a drink or quick bite with my man friend when I pick him up at the train. $15? Sunday: Moving to a city where I have no friends has cut down my brunch expenses and my happiness. Two of them are visiting me and we are gonna mimosa it up. $35? Plus $40 for groceries for the week.
Every year, I think carefully about a consumable or event-based gift I can get for each of my family members - tickets, a donation, a bottle of nice wine, etc. And I get it and then the weekend before Xmas my stack of printouts looks so pathetic and freak out and decide I need to go out and get "just a little something for them to unwrap" and it all goes haywire. In summary, I spent like $200 on yoga pants for other people this weekend.
@sherlock My two siblings and I also always had a different sandwich! There was pretty much a weekly rotation (i.e. always tuna on Fridays because we were Catholic), but I can barely remember to go to the grocery store enough so I don't eat popcorn for dinner more than once a week. I am one person. One adult, allegedly.
@honey cowl Yep! Non-profits vary so much. They are corporations with special tax designations ... not necessarily awesome places to work. I have worked at ones that are fantastic and ones that made me miserable. I've certainly never worked 35-hour weeks, but I'm a lawyer and don't expect to have a schedule like that. I like my job now a lot, but I'd say I work about 55-60 hours most weeks and make maybe half of what a first-year lawyer at a big firm makes. I tried that kind of work and it made me very unhappy, and decided it wasn't worth it, just as I did when I worked at a bad non-profit making 30% as much.