New decade, new TARDIS.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the worst year in a long, long while was capped off by discovering that my car had been wrecked and towed without my knowing about it. I finally got the pictures I took at the junkyard up for the horror and edification of all and sundry. Long story short, my car was indeed totalled, undrivable, time for an insurance payout. As usual, Captain Corner Case strikes again and everything was way the hell more difficult than it ever really needed to be. Where should I start?

I went around to my neighbors …

Read more...

Have insurance companies sunk to new lows?

As you may or may not be aware, insurance companies have some pretty manichean arbitrary criteria to decide whether or not a particular procedure, treatment, or medication are covered, or to what extent. To give you an idea of how they operate, I discovered the hard way a few months ago that my insurance company (no names or they'll probably turn around and drop Lyssa and I like a bad habit, knowing those fuckers) informed me that a particular treatment "should not" cost $190us, but "should," in fact, only cost $71us. They then informed me that they would pay only …

Read more...

Insurance company gets spanked for asking doctors to spy for them.

Last week an article broke in the LA TImes that the insurance company Blue Cross of California was asking doctors to report medical conditions to them that could be used as grounds to cancel customers' insurance. It is true that under certain circumstances insurance companies are legally permitted to terminate insurance contracts if the customer doesn't report certain pre-existing medical conditions on the forms, but this particular arm of Blue Cross was fined last year for cutting people left and right from their rolls, to begin with. Since the California Medial Association, the public, and the government of the state …

Read more...

It's plain to see where this man's priorities lie.

George W. Bush has vetoed only four bills during his terms in office, which is unheard of for any President of the United States. The first three involved two bills that would have expanded stem cell research and withdrawing troops from Iraq. Unfortunately, the latest bill that he's shot down was SCHIP, the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which would have renewed and expanded mandates that would made it possible for families that aren't poor enough to get Medicaid but can't afford health insurance to get coverage for their children. The bill would have added an additional $35bus of funding …

Read more...

Adventures in automobile insurance.

Yesterday afternoon my automobile insurance bill from Progressive came in, after wondering when it was going to arrive and whether or not it was going to get there before my policy expired partway through June of 2007. After opening the envelope to see what the damage was, I promptly wished that they'd taken a bit more time before mailing it out.. they were demanding $1274us to renew my six-month car insurance policy, with a minimum down payment of $515 to renew the policy. Seeing as how I'd been paying between $600us and $700us for insurance prior to that (they'd never …

Read more...

More tales from the dentist's chair.

I was privileged to open my week with another trip to the dentist's chair for a routine workup, a checkout, and my bi-yearly (I think that's right - twice every year) cleaning which had taken a back seat to my last root canal. Much of the morning was taken up with bitewing x-rays and many long minutes spent under a water spike, which uses a thin stream of water moving under very high pressure to remove buildup and tartar from one's teeth in all those places that toothbrushes never quite seem to hit on a daily basis. While it wasn't uncomfortable …

Read more...

One of life's little mysteries - insurance.

Lyssa and I are having new and exciting adventures in the world of health insurance this week. Lyssa needs to see a specialist for her eye, but unfortunately the nearest one to us doesn't work with her insurance company, and the out of pocket expense is more than either of us can front right now. Her appointment this morning wound up being a wash.. well, more like a spray of snow and slush on the roads because the state of Virginia, ever prepared for the snow, only cleared and salted the major roadways of the area, but no others.

In …

Read more...

Happy day-before-Yule, everyone.

It's been an interesting trip back to Pennsylvania, to say the very least. Lyssa and I finally got the TARDIS loaded up and set course for Pittsburgh around 1130 EST/EDT yesterday morning, stopped off for a quick lunch at the local deli, and then headed for the northbound beltway for the long haul.

I'm very glad that I was able to talk Lyssa out of driving home on Friday night because driving conditions were so bad in the DC area. Between the rain, the darkness, and all the headlights of people trying to do last minute shopping it really …

Read more...