On 1 Thing Is Gonna Melt All This Stuff

My 1 Thing for the last [embarrassing amount of time/like 2 years/oh my god] was setting up a Roth IRA and buying an index fund. What made me do that yesterday, FINALLY, was ... reading about that dude with 13 kids! Good God. My new 1 Thing is going to be filing the set of state taxes that I have to actually mail, because I am opposed to spending a third of my refund on TurboTax.

Posted on March 27, 2014 at 3:39 pm 1

On I Got a Better Job, But I'm Afraid My New Insurance Won't Cover a Scheduled Surgery

The most likely problem is that your doctors/orthodontist are not in the new insurance company's network OR that there is a different cost-sharing (deductible, coinsurance) requirement under a new plan, so that it would cost you more. I think it's less likely that your new plan would determine that the same surgery is not medically necessary/not covered. I second the recommendation to work with the HR person at the new job to see if BCBS covers your docs and what the deductible would be. The new job wants you, so you have leverage right now to ask hem for help with this, esp. if it's a dealbreaker! Good luck.

Posted on March 12, 2014 at 9:41 pm 0

On The ACA and My Obstetrician and Me

@jacqui I read your comment and bought this immediately!

Posted on March 4, 2014 at 1:47 pm 0

On The ACA and My Obstetrician and Me

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.

Posted on March 4, 2014 at 1:38 pm 0

On Purchases Made in Hope of Self-Improvement

@LookUponMyWorks @Lily Rowan @ kellyography You are all awesome! Thank you for not shaming me for being a Luddite/cheapskate.

Posted on February 3, 2014 at 2:47 pm 1

On Purchases Made in Hope of Self-Improvement

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.)

Posted on February 3, 2014 at 1:37 pm 1

On Monday Check-in

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.

Posted on January 13, 2014 at 11:03 am 0

On Interview With A Former Coworker Who Went to Lunch and Never Came Back

I just want a whole series of quitting stories!

Posted on January 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm 3

On Friday Estimate

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.

Posted on January 10, 2014 at 1:51 pm 0

On Monday Check-in

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.

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 11:17 am 0