On How to Get Health Care While Uninsured

@fonduewho Hurm. Even if it's not the same provider (Independent Health out of Buffalo), that sounds exactly like 'em. I am glad to hear that hassling such a company from in-network produces results! I've had some comically bad experiences with them. Like the time they sent me to a gynecologist's office (the doctor had moved to Georgia a year ago, the building was torn down, and IH billed me for a neurologist's visit). Or the time the phone number they provided for an oral surgeon connected me to an auto detailing shop. Or the time they bumped me off the list by accident when they added my stepmother, and I only discovered I magically had no insurance when I tried to go to the doctor. Grah. I've heard the Catholic Health system of WNY is also pretty bad.

Posted on June 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm 1

On In Defense of the Flip Phone

Okay, this is how techno-inept I am: I am STUNNED to learn that smart phones allow you to receive messages longer than 160 characters. I just figured folks with iPhones were verbose! I used to claim that I was holding out for one device that could play my music/read my email/connect my phone calls/let me write notes/do GPS-things. Now that smart phones *can* do all that, I'm waiting for them to become affordable. I suspect this means I will never have a smart phone.

Posted on June 7, 2012 at 2:55 pm 0

On How to Get Health Care While Uninsured

Fantastic and educational article. Does anyone have experience with having really shitty insurance that's useless unless you live, say, within a 50 mile radius of one sad Rust Belt city? I'm still on my dad's company plan, since kicking in my share is cheaper than anything else, and it would help if I got hit by a bus or gave birth or something. But I've lived 900 miles from home for two years and don't have any sort of GP. So should I just act like I'm uninsured? It would be nice to know what to do if I got a UTI or if I decided to get this suspected-hypoglycemia thing checked out.

Posted on June 5, 2012 at 5:31 pm 0

On Our Parents, Our Money, Ourselves

I still don't KNOW if my blue-collar parents were good or bad with money. I remember accidentally seeing my father's paycheck lying on top of the microwave one day in middle school. I didn't see any numbers, but the idea that I MIGHT have made me feel a bit queasy. The subject was taboo with a vengeance (my mother threw a fit over FAFSA and student aid forms-- horrors, having to disclose your yearly income!). These days I'm bewildered: were they generous with what little they had or cheap with their surplus? Were we still making mortgage payments? Were our very occasional vacations extravagances or paid out-of-pocket? How much debt are both carrying? I know in general how many thousands each makes, but I have no idea where it goes or why. And as a young adult, I procrastinated looking at college tuition bills, loan interest rates, and my bank account balance EVEN when they were manageable. That got me into some very scary trouble with a state collections agency. Now I'm rigorous about knowing bills and balances. And damn it, I'm going to talk to my kids about finances, whether we're scraping by or flush when we raise them.

Posted on May 31, 2012 at 2:29 pm 0

On Only Up From Here

@chic noir Wait, what? It has to be because I used to live in crappy small towns with crappy small banks that had no other way to lure in customers than offer free checks. Or maybe the first box of checks was free and I never went through 'em all?

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm 1

On Only Up From Here

@chic noir Wells Fargo is the worst at ATM surcharges. And they make you buy your own checks (haha, buy checks? No). But ridiculous banking contortions, Logan. I have been there. Hiking two miles in a WNY blizzard to beg to cash in a CD early so I could buy books for that semester particularly stands out.

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 5:24 pm 1

On Reader Mail: What's a Smart Thing to do with My Tax Refund?

Helpful post! I'm especially pleased to be assured that Ally Bank is legit. I don't know why, but part of me believes that any wholely-online institution is magical and liable to evaporate like the morning dew, taking my money with it. Irrational!

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 3:40 pm 1

On Girls and the Hot Mess

@Emma Peel That's exactly it, and because I am a bit slow on the uptake, I'm only realizing now how well this ties in with Mike Dang's article from the other day. The opposite of Hot Mess doesn't have to be Square, right?

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 12:22 pm 0

On Girls and the Hot Mess

Oh, lady, you got it. The Hot Mess is always pushed on us as being photogenic and cute and somehow loyal to our generation. I'm in my twenties, married, financially responsible, and free of debt. But since I missed out on it, I long for that illusory life where I can drink and spend and slack as much as I want, even though I know that the myth is shit and that the lifestyle would make me miserable. Then, there's the Actual Hot Mess (not charming) and the Hot Mess as Acted Out By Actually Together People (cripplingly charming). Many of the blog-ladies on the internet seem to fall into the latter category.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 7:38 pm 5