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Re: Relationships

Postby Fivelives » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:50 pm

Arnock wrote:
Fivelives wrote:So I'm flying Spirit Airlines to Minnesota next Friday. I'm planning a move to Minneapolis (one of the suburbs actually), and need to scout out places to live and stuff.

From the yelp reviews on Spirit Airlines, I'll be lucky to survive the trip. But since all of the reviewers obviously survived theirs, well, I take them with a grain of salt. I don't think I've heard anything about Spirit in the news - does anyone have any experiences with them they'd be willing to share? Forewarned is forearmed.



I've flown with Spirit a few times, and don't have any complaints, but it's been a few years as well. Though I have heard that they've recently begun nickel and diming their passengers with a lot of hidden fees.


They don't hide any of their fees. They're really rather up-front with them, and I can respect that. As a pilot, I understand the concept of "gas + fare" as a minimum to transport people, and that's all that your ticket itself guarantees you, is a seat on the airplane from point A to point B with them.

Reading their yelp reviews though, holy shit. Especially the ones about maintenance on their planes and chronic inattention to punctuality. Since the reviewers obviously survived their trip, I take some of them with a grain of salt (and some airports suffer worse turbulence than others - every time I would have to transport someone to Phoenix during the daytime for instance, we had to fly near Sky Harbor airport and some of the worst turbulence conditions in the entire US. The "death drop" that we'd go through - where a helicopter hits turbulence and instead of just shaking a bit like a plane would, actually loses altitude - was INTENSE. On one occasion, we lost 1200 feet of altitude in a little over 2 seconds before our rotors could "bite" again and provide lift).
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Re: Relationships

Postby Delphineas » Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:13 pm

That point when fridge logic sets in and you realize you got scammed.
According to marketplace.gov I qualified for badgercare, but this wasn't good enough for me. Because, they have a monthly income cap of ~$980. I currently receive ~$600. As of now I am also looking for a job. Whether or not the job will make more than the income cap was irrelevant, as SSDI counts as income, so I would lose badgercare the month or 2 after I get a job.
So I gambled and purchased some insurance. One of only 2 plans I was eligible. I will freely admit that I fucked up and didn't understand what I was buying. (Lots of numbers got me confused.) But, assuming I don't get a job, i have absolutely no coverage. I pay $235 a month, with a 5000 deductible. Which, if one totals that out, IS MORE THAN MY YEARLY INCOME.
So, the part where I feel scammed, is how the FUCK was this the only plan I could get from the exchange?!?!?!
Oh, and I get no assistance for this.


Copy and pasted from facebook. I need to rant that bad, plus I may get some options here. The part where I got confused is My plans says it will pay 60% and I thought the deductible was the max I'd pay. Whoops.
So, I think I will cancel my policy, because fuck being $5000 MORE in debt. Mayo clinic already informed me that I would need to pay in full in advance to visit again. Which isn't as big a deal as it could be. A visit costs me ~1500 to program my neurotransmitter. While I HAD to go in january to fix my settings, my current ones are adequate.


It may be that I can get back on badgercare, even though that was supposed to be cancelled if I purchased insurance of my own. But if I can't, or even if I get a job, I guess visiting the doctor is just gonna be a nono.
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Re: Relationships

Postby Fivelives » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:33 pm

There are only 4 numbers you really have to worry about:

1) Co-pay. This is a (generally fairly small, comparatively) amount that you pay at the time services are rendered. Usually somewhere between $10 and $50, it's paid directly to the doctor's office at the window.

2) Deductible. This is the most you'll have to pay out of pocket for any one visit - before the insurance split.

3) Catastrophic cap. This is the most you'll have to pay yearly out of pocket before the insurance picks up 100% of the cost (after reaching this number, the deductible no longer applies).

4) Insurance split. Typically insurances tell you they pay a certain percentage of "approved" costs. The way this works is, the healthcare providers have what's called a chargemaster, who determines the amount of money charged for literally everything they can possibly provide and the insurance companies have a paymaster who decides how much the insurance company will pay out for anything. When a provider picks up patients from an insurance company, they agree to only charge what the paymaster will pay. Then the deductible kicks in, then the insurance split kicks in.

So say your hospital bill is $10,000. The insurance company paymaster they have the agreement with says "nuh-uh, we're only approving $5000". So your bill gets cut in half. Then your deductible kicks in - for easy napkin math purposes we'll say your deductible is $1000 - so you pay $1000. Then your insurance split kicks in on the remaining $5000, and your insurance company pays, say 60% of that. So your new bill is only $3000*, or roughly 30% of what it would've been without health insurance.

Further, if your catastrophic cap is only $3000, well guess what? Other than co-pays for doctor's visits and prescription re/fills, the rest of your healthcare for that fiscal year is billed at no cost to you beyond your deductible. The insurance company picks up 100% of it at that point.

So that's a really basic primer on how insurance company numbers work. Just understand that this is a teething process - insurance companies are now forced to pay 80% of their premiums on healthcare** (effectively capping profits+overhead at 20% of their income) and rebate the rest of the money to their clients, so all of the rates for insurance plans have skyrocketed. Once they get a good idea of how much load that is on their system and how much increased demand there is (there really hasn't been much of an increase in demand) they'll drop back down again. Because if there's one thing insurance companies hate worse than a lower bottom line, it's writing rebate checks to people.

Also, the government subsidized plans are going to help force the premiums down, too.

Delphineas, you probably should've gone with the cheapest option you could find - the one that only charges 2% of your countable income. Obamacare's "bronze" package, with an average deductible of $5081 and catastrophic cap of $6350 for individuals and a 60/40 split. I don't see any copay on it, but I'm pretty sure there is one (I have coverage through Tricare and Blue Cross/Blue Shield at free/pretty damn reasonable respectively so I'm not really familiar with Obamacare. Someone else also handles the billing).

* You can also call the provider's billing department and get that cut down by a lot. They'll grumble and grouse about it being a "one time only" thing, but supervisors in billing departments at hospitals (and, I assume, whoever handles the billing for private practitioners) are authorized to discount your end fee by up to 70%. Regular non-supervisory employees are authorized to discount your end fee by 50%. It really does pay to make the call and talk to them about your situation; reasonable payment plans already exist and haven't changed with the implementation of the ACA. Hospitals and providers alike don't mind doing this, because it counts as a tax write-off, same as the difference between chargemaster charges and paymaster limits. This was all something that was explained to me by my lawyer and the hospital billing department in 2011 after I got in a pretty gnarly car accident (back in 2009). I was getting sick of waiting for the car insurance payout, so I did the negotiating with the hospital on my own behalf.

** The way this works is, say an insurance company takes in a billion dollars in premiums for one fiscal year. They're required to spend at least 800 million of that on healthcare. If they only spend, say, 600 million, then the other 200 million has to be rebated to their clients at the end of the year. That's split up between every client they have though, rather than the people who just didn't use it. I would've liked that, but it would be an administrative nightmare to do - especially in a behemoth like a private insurance company.
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Re: Relationships

Postby Brekkie » Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:10 am

On the topic of insurance, I have a question.

I am dropping off my parent's insurance at my 26th birthday, which is at the end of this month.
Come September, I will be on my University health insurance.

But, for the two month intervening, what do I do? I keep wrestling with the various websites trying to buy insurance to cover the gap, but run into the problems:
-The insurance exchange told me I can't enroll because the "open enrollment period is over". What? I didn't need insurance before, I need it now. How are people supposed to buy insurance?
-When I go direct to the blue cross blue shield website to try and purchase the exact same plan, but directly, I keep running into errors because the application form can't comprehend that A)I haven't lost my insurance YET, and B)I only need two months of coverage, not a freaking year-long plan.

How do I solve this?
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Re: Relationships

Postby Nooska » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:06 pm

At this point I would get on the phone and call their customer service number and explain - I can't imagine they don't want to take your money (the risk is minimal from a time stand point).
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Re: Relationships

Postby Sabindeus » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:51 pm

Brekkie: not sure if this applies, but http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/health-plans/cobra.htm
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Re: Relationships

Postby Fivelives » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:15 am

Just need to vent a bit. Feel free to ignore this post and scroll down if you want.

First week of May, I spent in jail. In April of 2009, I wrote two checks in Clark County, NV, to businesses. Apparently businesses with an accounts receivable department often hold checks and deposit them all at the same time when they do their monthly accounting review. I was unaware of this.

In May of 2009 I switched from a regular bank to a credit union. I knew I was going to, but because of direct deposited paychecks, I left the old account open until I was sure that the new account was getting the direct deposits, and to ensure that everything had cleared on my old bank account. So the two checks (one for $250, one for $100) bounced on a closed account.

Instead of the businesses calling me to let me know "hey, your checks bounced" they reported me to the bad check division at the Clark County DA's office. The DA's office then set an arraignment date, but didn't notify me that I had to be in court, so bench warrants were issued for my arrest (which they ALSO didn't notify me of).

Fast forward to May 1, 2014 (5 years later, almost to the fucking DAY). I was taking my cousin's truck to the mechanic and decided to stop at one of the casinos in Laughlin for their biscuits and gravy special. At a stoplight, a bored cop ran my cousin's plates and they came back as invalid. Apparently, my cousin didn't get the title transferred properly when he bought the truck a couple of weeks earlier. So I got pulled over for a traffic stop, where they ran my license and it came back with outstanding warrants.

Since it was a Thursday, the judge was sitting and I should have been arraigned same day. Instead of that, the DA chose to reswear the warrants for felony theft, felony bad check passing with intent, and misdemeanor bad check passing with intent (it's an election year for the Clark County DA so felony convictions are apparently all the rage). So instead of getting arraigned, agreeing to pay the restitution + fine - which is fine by me, I DID write the checks after all - I ended up spending the next 5 days being shuttled back and forth between Las Vegas city holding and Clark County Jail.

However, I wasn't able to notify work that I'd be gone, so I got fired for no-call no-show for my entire work week. This requires some history to explain:

In August of 2012 I found out, the hard way, that I'm allergic to one of the compounds in marijuana (AZ legalized medical marijuana, which I qualify for because of a number of actually valid reasons, not least of which is fucking CANCER). I had my medical marijuana card, but smoking it gave me a horrible allergic reaction. I learned that there are two possibilities: I could be allergic to the plant material, or one of the cannabinoids in marijuana. So in August I tried some THC oil, because considering my seasonal allergies the plant material allergy seemed the most likely. Bad idea - I ended up in the emergency department of the hospital that I was currently doing my nursing clinicals in.

So I got kicked out of the nursing program at my school (Northern Arizona University), fired from my job with Guardian ambulance company (I was working as a flight paramedic, which requires you to maintain current pilots licenses. The FAA frowns on pilots that fail drug tests, go figure), and had to appeal. I managed to appeal and finish my nursing degree (albeit a semester later than planned) and leveraged my way into a job at the hospital that flagrantly violated HIPAA to report me with some conditions: I got hired into the Emergency Department, and the uniform rules regarding visible tattoos and piercings were waived. Needless to say, I wasn't the HR department's favorite person at that point.

So back to 2014.

I couldn't call my job to let them know that I wouldn't be there that week, so I got fired. Later, I was informed by an HR rep that I could "appeal, but [my] appeal is going to be denied". At the time, I was working regular shifts in the ED, and on-call shifts with the local area transplant coordinator/cardiothoracic surgeon (who is also a veteran and knows that I plan on going for my master's degree in Nurse Anesthetist, so he let me scrub in on his surgeries and assist as an OR nurse). Since the hospital I was working at no longer allows me to work there, I essentially got fired from both jobs.

Fast forward to last month. The Friday after Memorial Day, I find out from my battle buddy's sister that my battle buddy, Matt, died in Iraq a couple of months ago. It took her awhile to track me down to let me know. He left behind a wife and two children (a 3 year old boy and a 4 year old girl), and the survivor's benefits are barely enough for them to live on up in Minneapolis.

So here I am, jobless (living off the interest that SHOULD by all rights be rolling over into my retirement accounts, plus a tiny compensation payment from the VA because I got fucked over on my exit rating exam back in the day because Arizona), and trying to move up to Minneapolis. There are no resources to help veterans in Arizona - even our grantees have limited funding, because it's a fucking Tea Party state. We're all about supporting our veterans and troops... at least, until they need to suckle off of the collective teat of various organizations that should be getting government grants for situations just like this one.

Long story short: Fluff My Llama (that is what FML stands for, right?). I need to move up to MN to support my buddy's wife and kids, because I know that if the situation were reversed he would do exactly the same for me. I owe him my life twice over, the least I can do is support the family that he left behind. I even have jobs waiting for me at the MSP (Minneapolis/St. Paul) VA hospital as an RN and housing waiting for me. I've set August 5 as my go/no-go date for moving, but trying to find resources to assist is staggeringly difficult. There are resources to help me move to MSP ... but I have to be a MSP resident for at least 30 days before I can use them. Arizona doesn't have any resources available, and I can't afford the move on my own.

------------ End rant, continue normal conversation. --------------------
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Re: Relationships

Postby Nooska » Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:58 am

Wow, thats some tough sh*t.

Nothing insightful or interesting to add.
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Re: Relationships

Postby Ironshield » Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:58 pm

Wow, that is pretty heavy, thoughts, prayers and good feelings all heading your way!! Good luck with the move I hope they treat you a bit better going forward. After all not everyone on the planet is a massive <expletive deleted> so hopefully you'll get to deal with some decent human beings in future, lord knows it sounds like you deserve it!
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Re: Relationships

Postby Fivelives » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:57 pm

Update:

I shopped out my resume to the Mayo Clinic, UofM teaching hospital, and VA hospital in Minneapolis. I heard back from the VA hospital today - sure, they'd love to have me work there (the VA is pretty desperate for skilled nursing staff and actually does give preferential consideration to veterans when hiring), just not badly enough to pay per diem to move up there. They suggested I work locally here in the VA for 6 months and request a transfer.

Not gonna happen.

Still waiting to hear back from UofM and the Mayo Clinic, but it's probably going to be the same answer. There's a program where a nurse can get work in a new state before getting licensed in that state - assuming your previous license is in good standing - but Minnesota isn't one of those states. So between not being licensed to practice in MN yet, and both UofM and Mayo recruiting primarily from the UofM school of nursing, I don't think that's likely at all.

Damn. Overdraft hole, here I come again.
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Re: Relationships

Postby Skye1013 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:46 pm

Would it be possible to get a loan that'll cover the moving expenses so at least you can get up there and get started on a job?
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Re: Relationships

Postby Fivelives » Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:58 am

Skye1013 wrote:Would it be possible to get a loan that'll cover the moving expenses so at least you can get up there and get started on a job?

I don't have collateral, and my debt-to-income ratio is staggering right now, so no.
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Re: Relationships

Postby Fridmarr » Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:51 pm

Can you just start the process on getting an MN license? I know when my wife had to transfer her license, it was pretty trivial to do, as long as she paid the registration fee of course, and provide proof of her existing state license. I know some states also allow you to work with a temporary permit while that process is going through (though in her case it only took a couple of weeks). Does MN not have any such process?
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Re: Relationships

Postby Fivelives » Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:41 pm

https://www.ncsbn.org/nlc.htm

My license from Arizona isn't valid in Minnesota. I'll be flying up there after court in July to get residency established, then there's only a 30 day wait to apply for the MN license. It's only after you've applied for the state license (which requires residency) that you can get the temporary permit to get work.

The legislation to join the compact is pending in MN, but hasn't been passed yet. Otherwise I'd be able to start work there tomorrow if I wanted. If the VA hospital was willing to pay per diem for relocation, I'd take that job in a heartbeat - despite all the downsides of working in a VA hospital as a provider.
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Re: Relationships

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:21 pm

Well the compact would be handy, but it's not really an obstacle in and of itself. WA isn't in it either, and it's still trivial to get a license transferred here.

Bummer on the rest though. That residency and waiting period requirement is pretty much the most illogical thing I've ever heard of. Talk about shutting yourself off completely to out of state recruiting and the use of "travelers"...weird. I'm somewhat surprised such a thing exists.
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