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Posts Tagged ‘Insurance’

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Photo credit: NessieNoodle

It seems like health insurance costs keeps increasing every year. I rounded up some tips that can help you keep them lower. Please talk to your doctor before you go on a diet or change medications. 

When comparing policies, please remember to check the coverage offered, not just the premieums. You don’t want to be uncovered for a major illness because you have a horrible policy.

  • Don’t be a smoker: This habit can cut your life short and it has been linked to other health problems. This in turn leads to higher costs.
  • Exercise regularly: Try being active 3x a week for at least 20 minutes. You can lose some
  • Watch what you eat:  Obesity can increase your chances of diabetes, heart disease, and joint problems.
  • Get a hobby: Hobbies can reduce the stress that you feel. That in turn can help your mental health and enrich your life.
  • Go for generic drugs when possible: Some drugs are available in generic form at less than half the cost.
  • Do routine exams: It’s better to catch something early than to wait until it develops into something worse.
  • Try health clinics: If you’re pinching pennies, this could be a good option. With my health insurance, I pay $30 a month for birth control pills. By going to the university health clinic, I pay $40 for 3 months’ supply.  I save $240/year just by doing that.

It’s amazing how much health insurances charge. Try to mainatin a healthy lifestyle and it’ll reap dividends beyond money saved.

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Yesterday I was feeling under the weather. I noticed that after lunch my eye had started swelling. By the time I was in my last class I was struggling to keep the bad eye open. I would’ve left school earlier but my husband and I are down to one car due to a repair shop’s incompetence.

I had a hot compress on with epson salt last night to try and heal it, but by this morning it got worse. My eye was basically swollen shut. I also had a hard time sleeping because the pressure on my eye kept waking me up. I called my insurance company and they gave me the number to a specialist in the area. I had to go to an opthamologist to get this problem diagnosed.

While I was shelling out money today, I realized that things would’ve been worse without health insurance.For example, my copay was $25 , without it, I estimate it would’ve been over $100. The oral antibiotics without insurance would’ve cost $11.99, with insurance it was $3.66.The eye drops that helps with the inflammation would’ve cost $$73.99, with insurance it was $30.

Here’s a comparison of the costs for today’s visit:

(With Health insurance): $58.66
(Without Health Insurance): $185.98

It’s still a hit on a college student’s budget, but I can live with it. I’m grateful that we have health insurance through my husband’s job. I urge anyone who can afford health insurance to get it. If you can’t afford it, please check with your state health department and social services to see what is available for you.

I’m not saying that health insurance is perfect. There are a lot of things that have to be addressed with how the industry is handled. Not having health insurance, though, can make a tough situation even more difficult. If you want to look more into the HMO portion of health care try viewing Michael Moore’s Sicko. Overall, I think he did a good job asking questions and he certainly gave my friends and I a lot of food for thought.


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your_image.jpgI’m thinking that many people share our goal to retire comfortably without taking a vow of poverty now. It’s definitely possible, but sacrifices will have to be made. There’s no free ride, it takes work. The trick is to decide what you’re willing to cut back on so you can save for the future. That’s for everyone to work out on an individual basis, but there are some universal concepts to follow.Here are the tips to use:

  • Attack your credit card debt. This debt is the worst to have, as they typical have high interest rates.
  • Live like college kids for a couple of more years. I’m not saying eat ramen and spaghetti everyday, but learn to live on a little. It does feel good to get a good paying job compared to your college jobs. Don’t spend your paychecks on getting new furniture and fancier clothes. Instead use your better paying paychecks for family savings and investing.
  • Put money into your retirement fund(s). Have it automatically taken out and you’ll never miss it. Ten percent is good, but if you’re limited on funds, at least go for what your employer matches. It’s basically free money. Starting early in your life is to your advantage since you’ll be utilizing compound interest.
  • Pay your bills on time and keep an eye on your credit scores. A huge part of your FICO score is determined by your payment history. Don’t be late and check your scores annually. When you two decide to buy a house, the diligence will pay off with lower interest rates and a lower mortgage.
  • Automate bills and paychecks. It’s one of the best things to do and will make your life so much easier. Our bills are usually consistent and we have it automated. If the amount is different for a particular month, it just takes less than 5 minutes to change that.
  • Have health insurance. It would be a shame to lose all the money you saved because a hospital visit sucked it all up. The reality is if you don’t have any insurance you’re charged even more.  I’m not saying health insurance covers all bills, but it reduces it but a huge amount.

Well, that’s about it. It’s not rocket science, but it’s not a walk in the park either. Managing your money is an ongoing process. It’s up to you to decide if you want to build wealth or fight to stay on top of bills.If you enjoyed this post and want more, please subscribe to my RSS feed!

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Photo Credit: Nygtowl

To follow up on my post with free and low cost legal services, I included some tips that helped with the consultation about our car problem.

  1. Prepare. Practice ahead of time the way you’ll present your case. It helps your lawyer to grasps the big picture of the situation, so they can see how to proceed.
  2. Have paperwork organized. Have all your paperwork ready for the lawyer to review. Keep the originals and give them copies of everything that you have that is related to the case.
  3. Keep track of everything. Have a notebook and write down the time and summary of conversations that you’ve had regarding the case, whether it’s in person or on the phone. Give a copy to your attorney. This will help them see how far you’ve gotten, see what roadblocks you hit, and give a more detailed view of the case.
  4. Ask questions. This is a very big part of the consultation. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; your lawyer wants to help you. If you don’t understand something completely, please ask them to repeat it again. You want to be on the same page as your attorney.
  5. Follow their instructions. If you feel comfortable with this attorney and want to pursue this case, then listen to what they say. If you feel uncomfortable, find another attorney. It’s already a stressful situation, don’t make it even worse.

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Car Repairs Gone Bad: When a Shop Refuses To Pay Part Three

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It’s unbelievable how dirty companies will go just to try and avoid taking responsibility. For those of you who joining, please look at Part One and Part Two. We got a call from the insurance company that was basically said that they are not responsible for the water damage to the car. The agent’s reasoning was that it was an ‘act of God’. There was no flooding, though. The problem was due to:

  1. They never called us when the work was done. If they did, we could’ve picked it up before the rain. (We have the phone records to prove that was the case. We called them to see what was going on. It was also in the work order that they would call us when they finished their job.)
  2. They should have never taken our car completely off their property onto a city street. the shop has elevation, keeping it there would’ve prevented all this damage.

Well, they had no real response to that. Instead they now claimed my husband met with them last week, when that clearly wasn’t the case. The agent then switched and said they spoke on the phone. Hmm…funny that…it’s not on our phone records. It’s pretty pathetic how far people are willing to go just to save money.

Now, we’re expecting a letter from them, telling us their ‘decision’. I got to call my local news channel, because they asked us to give them updates as this unfolds.

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Car Repairs Gone Bad: When a Shop Refuses To Pay Part Duex

It’s been about a week since I posted about our car woes. Here’s an update of what’s been going on.

10145-w185.jpgBetter Business Bureau contacted us and informed us that they were investigating this and they need some more paperwork. I’m sending some more today as I now have some really g10145-w185.jpg10145-w185.jpgood pictures of the damage to the car.

 I went to my local news station and gave them the paperwork that I had acquired. They were very nice and were pleasantly surprised that I had organized everything. My reasoning was that they are busy and probably hear stories like mine all the time. If I did some of the legwork for them then maybe our story would stand out. I now send them updates (pictures, notes, contact information, etc) as soon as I can get them sent out.

Someone from the shop’s insurance company called and she said she was sending an adjuster to assess the damage.  Before we got it towed, we took some more pictures and it’s sad to see that there is still a lot of water inside the car. The car smells horrible and now I think there’s some mold growing. I really hope this gets resolved soon, because sharing the car is really inconvenient.

Anymore major updates, I’ll post up as soon as I can.

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My husband and I are having a bad week. Our car that we took to get repaired has an inch of water on the inside and doesn’t start. The repair shop is claiming they’re are not responsible, so we now have to figure a way through this. The agreement was for the shop to call us when they finished replacing the clutch, as it was expected to take longer than a day. We’ve been to this shop before and never had a problem with this arrangement. This time the did not call us on Saturday when it was done. Instead they took it off their property and moved it to a city street. The rain accumulated on the street and water got into the car. They say it was an ‘act of God’. We say it was their negligence of not calling us and then moving the car off the shop (which is elevated). It didn’t go well this morning, so here’s what we did so far.

1. Contacted BBB to file a complaint. I filed a complaint with my local chapter to get this on file. I tried to be as specific as possible. Here’s a snippet of what I submitted to them:

It was approximately an inch thick inside the car. The mechanic told my husband that the engine and clutch were fine and it merely had to be dried out. The car started and after no more than 1/4 mile from the station it died. The engine would not restart. Immediately my husband called the mechanic and they assured him that it would be fine if he let it ‘dry out’. Later, we tried to start it again (I had gotten off of work and went with my husband). It didn’t start. I called the shop( still 7/30/07), but the cashier said the manager and the mechanics were not in. I was told to check in the morning if I wanted it towed to their shop.

This morning (7/31/07) both of went to the shop to speak with the manager. He was belligerent and completely disregarded our concerns. First he said that the water would not cause the engine damage and then when I pointed out that there was still water in the car, he changed his reasoning. He said he’s not responsible because it was ‘an act of God’. After I pointed out that the whole thing could’ve been avoid by just calling us, he refused to answer anymore questions regarding his insurance. He was hostile and didn’t want to discuss anything further.

All we wanted was for them to tow our car back to their shop (at their expense) and fix the problem. Please contact us as soon as possible.

2. Called our insurance company. I basically had to answer the same questions, but it was much less stressful, believe it or not. The customer service representative was cordial. I’m not waiting for the claims adjuster to call back.

3. Contacted the local media. I’m preparing the paperwork necessary to submit this to one o our local news stations.

4. Keeping all paperwork and notes in one file. This incident has to be documented completely. We’re not taking any chances on this situation.

There’s a couple of other options that we are investigating and as they either come to fruition or not, I’ll post the results on the blog. Any suggestions, please leave them here.

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