February 14th, 2012

Today's adventure in healthcare - the insurance edition

First of all, I am very grateful to have health insurance. I do not take it for granted for one minute. Much like my attitude to all things that lead me to use that insurance, I am in denial about the insurance itself.

Until last year, I rarely even used it. I paid my co-pay for my annual visit to the doctor and paid the paltry sum that my generic drugs cost over what is covered.

Last year I had some cysts removed from my head. And then, in October, the pneumonia that brought out all the breathing issues and started me down the slippery slope.

My insurance has a $2,000 annual deductible but we also have a Heath Reimbursement Arrangement that reimburses us for $1,500 of that. I got reimbursed for some for the head thing last spring. So I'm thinking I'm off the hook for anything out of pocket (except co-pays) through 1/31 of this year (the end of our calendar benefits year). So last night I got a bill for $1,028.61. I *think* this should be covered but I'm lacking the necessary paperwork to make it happen.

So today will be chase down paperwork day. I need to call the Health Reimbursement Arrangement people and the insurance people.

Last night I set up a spreadsheet for tracking this year's stuff so that I won't get tricked again. Already I'm confused. The insurance website shows that I've already accumulated $585 towards my deductible this year and yet there are only 3 claims this year and they are all small co-pays. ayeyeyeyeye.

Today this will all be noodled out and I will move on with my life. At least I have the money to pay the bill and wait for the rest to settle out. That is a true luxury.

No will power at all. None.

I bought a Kindle Fire. It arrives today. I really enjoy my Kindle but I hate hate hate that dumb e-ink. Even with a light (that is a PIA) it is hard to see in restaurants where I enjoy using it the most.

I might not keep the Fire. It is heavier than my Kindle who's lightness is one of the sexiest things about it. But, I'm going to give it a go and see.

I've often said, when talking about my addiction to tech toys that at least it's not a drug habit but, I'm wonder if that would be better. At least a drug habit would not require so many cables. And when I tire of using a particular drug, it would not take up closet space and make me feel guilty about buying it and not using it.

Oh well. The Fire should be here about the time my weekly conference call ends.

So my day is - assuming work still slow - insurance, insurance, insurance, swim, listen and then play with new toy.

From elsewhere...

This entry was posted on Google+ and automagically ported here. All of it, including maybe links and photos can be found at this link (https://plus.google.com/110340962945642622580/posts/hWuRY5Mhmom)

I just spent 3 hours digging through websites and forms and calculating and noting and scanning and emailing and finally I think I not only have the current insurance/claims/bills all sorted out, filed, paid and organized, I have a plan and a process for the rest of the year. My brain feels like it's just spent a day at the mental gym.

initial impression... wow

I've been thinking a lot about the good old days and how I do not miss them one teensy weensy bit. I don't miss paper books, I don't miss TV's without remotes, I don't miss having the World Book encyclopedia being the only general resource book at my fingertips ... but also I don't miss plugging into a modem and hoping for the whine after the hiss. I don't miss mag cards or removable disks of any size. I don't miss cables and having the wrong one. I don't miss electronics that when they finally arrive and you have to charge them up for a day before you can touch them.

I love love love getting a device that knows my name out of the box. With all my books already on the shelf. I love getting a device that takes one tap to load in all my audio books. My tunes are there and Pandora is just a log in away.

And it came with a 70% charge so it was ready to go. It doesn't even have a USB cable. I just logged into my network and boom, I'm in biziness.

When I first pulled it out the box I was really shocked by how heavy it is. At least compared to my Kindle. But, after hold it for a while, I realized I was being silly. It's not heavy. Ad it's the perfect size. It feels good in my hands.

One thing that bugged me about the Kindle besides not being able to see the type was no clock. The Fire has a nice little status line at the top that gives you the time and battery life and other stuff.

It's snappy. Nicely responsive. And it just looks nice. LJ looks very nice on it, for instance. And it sounds good. I figured I was going to have to get a speaker for my audio books (or use headphones)... nope. It's not a boombox but it's plenty loud enough to listen to while I play a game. The interface is really intuitive. Much more so than the Nook, for instance. I'm trying out a subscription to the LA Times and it looks VERY nice.

I bought a refurbished model and saved myself $20. It came with an adapter cable and that was all. It's all you need. The box is bigger than it needs to be but not outrageously so.

I'm getting a very sinking feeling that this sucker is not going to be returned as planned.
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