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About plansrme

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. But let's also note that it took her SIX MONTHS (in Canada) to get into a gynecologist for her highly symptomatic cervical cancer, and that her pap smears were done, and read (and, critically, misread) by, GPs, not OB-GYNs. Perhaps the Canadian medical system ought to share some of the blame.
  2. I appreciate that you are trying to help your friend, but you keep referring to "backwoods Georgia" when (1) Jonesboro isn't any such thing, and (2) seriously--on what Smokey and the Bandit movie are you basing your perceptions? The police in Jonesboro are no more or less likely to screw up a domestic violence complaint than the police in any other jurisdiction anywhere in America. Even if it were rural, which it is not, rural law enforcement hardly has a monopoly on DV successes or failures. I find it bizarre that your friend has been locked out of her house without pants but that both of you think the better course of action is to forgo help from all local law enforcement and turn, instead, to a massive community of strangers on the internet.
  3. Have you done any practice GREs? You might do better than you think, especially on the verbal section. I picked up a GRE practice book a couple of years ago and was surprised that the verbal section looked easy. I would be lost on the math without some serious review, but I am confident that I could pull out a solid verbal score. Also, does it have to be a Master's right away? Could you take some undergrad classes first to show your current level of readiness?
  4. Have you tried "hidden city ticketing"? Here is one explanation, although I am sure there are better ones out there. It only works if you are booking one-way, so your situation is ideal to give it a try. I never ended up using it, but I ran some searches once several years ago and found massively cheaper deals. It might not work if you have to check luggage, either; but for enough savings, perhaps you could ship her stuff instead.
  5. I double the meatball mix of this recipe, divide it into thirds, and freeze each third flattened to about a half-inch thickness in a Ziploc bag. Flattening the meat makes it thaw faster, and freezing as a slab instead of as meatballs seems to keep the texture better. When it thaws, I cut or pinch it into small meatballs per the recipe. The sauce is half an onion, a T of Italian seasoning, a large can of whole tomatoes and a cup of tomato sauce, so super-easy and fast. Serve it over gnocchi (refrigerated is way better than the stuff on the pasta aisle). Gnocchi takes maybe 5 minutes to cook. I've tried multiple freezer meals over the years, and this is the only one I keep in constant rotation. Once the mix has thawed, it is maybe 20 minutes to the table. When I had more kids at home, I also made and froze baked ziti regularly, and it was great, and I still recommend it when you need to feed a crowd. I got out of the habit, though, because my recipe dirtied every pot and required mixing in a storage bin because none of my mixing bowls were big enough. But it did freeze well and could be baked from frozen with no loss of quality. If it is to their taste, the Pioneer Woman's chicken spaghetti recipe freezes well. It has cream of mushroom soup, so if you're anti-canned soup, it's not the one for you. Also, it makes a ton, so you would want to split it up for a small family, but it's tasty.
  6. Are you signed up for their emails? I feel like when I was, I got discount codes roughly every 12 minutes. Also, if you linger too long over something on their website, and they have your phone number, they will call you about it and offer you a discount (this is something that sounds like an exaggeration but is not, although it may only work after you've ordered something). If that doesn't work, put something in your cart and leave it there, and that is sure to provoke a code.
  7. FP is a good program, and it has nothing to do with any post-FP investment advice DR may give. If going to the program is an incentive to get on board with his mindset, then go for it. DR used to be on the radio here during my drive time, and his callers' stories of getting out of debt were inspiring. And if nothing else, his pointing out to some callers that they have an income problem, not a debt problem, is something that needs to be said more often. Families in debt frequently focus only on the size of the hole and ignore the size of the shovel. His oft-repeated advice to get a weekend job delivering pizzas or pick up a couple of shifts waiting tables is something I don't hear very often from others in his field, but he features story after story from families who paid off enormous debt with income from their side gigs. All that to say that there may well be issues with his post-FP advice, but I can't imagine how you could really go wrong with the FP principles.
  8. I was going to say almost exactly this. If you'd spent much time shopping at Kohl's, you would know what marbel and I are talking about--it is a mess. I'm sure their retail employees are no more or less competent than those at any other department store, but something about the way Kohl's runs its stores provokes errors. It's why I don't shop there any more. Really, your clue ought to be that they can't tell you where the card was used. In this day and age, i don't think that should be very hard!
  9. Yes. Nothing in ACA requires plans to offer a network or for the insurer to negotiate a discount if you use the network. ACA does limit the deductible and OOP maximum, and the lack of a discount for using in-network providers just gets you there faster. Over the course of an entire year, there may well be no difference in what the OP pays under this arrangement versus what she would pay with a network discount, but it would push bills towards the first part of the year.
  10. I've researched multiple health shares recently, and none of them will cover a pre-existing condition immediately; some will not ever. A coupe of health shares, though, actually have networks (Altrua? maybe? something like that? I don't have my notes here), and if participation gets you access to the provider's cash price, perhaps it would be worth it. OP, in addition to your deductible, there is an out-of-pocket maximum that you will hit. Once you hit the OOP maximum, the plan will pay 100%. The OOP can't be higher than about $8,000 per individual or $16,500'ish per family, so there is an end. I agree with everyone else, though, that paying rack rate with no network discount is highly unusual. Nobody pays rack rate. It is not illegal, but it is very, very unusual. I work with employer plans for a living and have never seen this before. Best of luck with negotiating with the provider or insurer.
  11. My social '16 graduate still talks about her party fondly, although at the time, she thought I was going a wee bit overboard with the decorations and planning. We had it on a Saturday afternoon before graduation. She coordinated times with her circle of friends so that her besties' parties were not right on top of hers. We had tacos catered by Willy's and made homemade milkshakes, and I had someone make a fancy cake with her soon-to-be-college's colors. We displayed her graduation t-shirt quilt and decorated tables (inside and out) with her college's colors with some things I bought on etsy. I spread everything out in the house, but the kids all congregated on the patio. We set two tubs of cold soft drinks and water on the patio. But back to the milkshakes--I borrowed a vintage commercial milkshake mixer, bought extra mixing cups to fit it (Amazon), and rounded up dozens of small canning jars and a supply of smoothie straws. I pre-scooped vanilla and chocolate ice cream and pre-crumbled the mix-ins. Then I had 4 or 5 recipes displayed on a menu board. We hired a neighbor kid to man the milkshake machine, but neighbor kid had the nerve to come down with strep on the day of the party. His mom stepped in and made milkshakes non-stop for over 2 hours. Kids lined up for milkshakes and second (and maybe third--they were mostly swimmers) milkshakes. I ferried pre-scooped trays of ice cream from the basement freezer to the milkshake station, but otherwise, I was free to mingle with the guests. Some of the kids still talk about milkshakes. No one talks about the cake (which was lovely) or the Mexican food. So, my advice is to go all-out on a fun dessert. I loved her party and had a great time. It was a fun mix of family, friends, coaches, swimmates and neighbors. I placed no limit on invitees. As it turned out, the real money was in the decorations, and that was going to be the same regardless of how many people we had. We went to several of her friends' parties, and everyone did something a little differently, but we loved them all. Well, except one, that was in a park, and everything was too spread out. There was no party energy because we were all too far away from each other.
  12. Following so I can make a list also. My movie tastes sound similar, and I watch so few movies that I am at a loss when it is time to pick one on Hulu or whatever. I've recently started donating platelets which, if you've never done it, involves having both arms hooked up to needles for two solid hours. You can't look at your phone, you can't read, you can't do anything but watch a DVD, but the Red Cross, helpfully, has a huge selection of DVDs from which to choose. My first time, I picked an old George Clooney movie that was awful and made the time crawl by. I was in agony. Yesterday, I picked Quills--seriously, WHAT WAS I THINKING? It was horrid and full of all kinds of stuff I do not want to watch in a movie. I was sucked in by the Oscar nominations and Kate Winslett. I am planning ahead and bringing my own movie next time, so this list will be helpful. P.s. If you've never donated platelets before, the mom of a leukemia patient I know made a very persuasive case for it. Our donor center has 7 AM appointments on Sunday, so my plan is to skip church every two or three months and donate platelets. I think God will give me a pass, because giving platelets is not fun.
  13. I appreciate your posting so much of your (his) story here. Who knows how many other families you are helping by being so forthcoming? Have you read the book Brain on Fire? It reminds me of your experience, not necessarily that the symptoms are the same, but my big take-away from the book is that the author would have been toast if her family had not advocated for her when she couldn't. You're doing that for your son, and I am sure he will appreciate it when he is on the other side.
  14. I had something similar happen (well, not the "we won't see you," but "you owe us something from 4 years ago that we've never billed you for") when our pediatrician changed billing companies. At the time that I supposedly did not pay, the practice would not let you go back before paying your co-pay, so am 100% confident that I paid the bill in question. And then, for years, they never told me otherwise until, one day, the new billing vendor did. It's been so long that I can't remember the resolution, but I do remember wondering how I was supposed to prove that I had paid. It was longer-back than I keep payment records, which is how I know it was at least 4. I took over a small business this summer and found out that the now-former office manager had sorely neglected her duties for a solid two years. I wrote off anything that she had not tried to collect on the grounds that, if we have not tried to collect it in two years, we have no business doing so now.
  15. Do you believe her, i.e., that she typed excerpts from the kids' pamphlets and displayed her own typed excerpts? I know I am jaded because I have had multiple teachers and administrators lie to me, but that seems like a lot of work for her.
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