So, … Dang Nabit AT&T! More Funny Math

I’m on automatic pay aka AUTO Pay and rarely check my bill.  I get all the automated notifications of course but more often than not, things simply go through.  Then while on vacay last week I have the opportunity to pay closer attention to “stuff”.  That’s when I see where our cell phone bill increased by $30  month.

Come to find out AT&T changed our plan without our consent.  Oh but they “notified” us two prior statements ago.  And this was AT&T being good stewards of our account as the UN-REQUESTED upgrade was completed by the loyalty team.  They did us a favor!!  Ugh.

After a fairly lively chat I am offered a VALUE plan which is $5 less per month than the upgraded plan with the only difference being we no longer get the AUTO pay discount because the VALUE plan is already deeply discounted.

Huh?  What?  Take two.  Funny math about to ensue.

The old plan was $85 – $10 AUTO Pay discount or $75 a month and let’s not forget $20 a line to activate or some such bullshit.  And why not price at $75 and be done with it!!

The upgraded plan moves us from 3G to 4G/5G (when it becomes available) for $95 – $10 AUTO Pay discount or $85 a month and let’s not forget $20 a line to activate or some such bullshit.  And why not price at $85 and be done with it!!

The VALUE plan I was offered as consolation costs $80 per month for 4G/5G (when it becomes available).  No AUTO Pay discount. BUT still $5 less than the $85 for upgraded with discount.

I have it on good authority that under the old 3G plan we did get speeds of 4G LTE already but I guess they’re taking that away.  My non-technical mind seems to think these air waves cannot be contained really.  I wonder if with our 4G phones we’d still be hitching a ride on the faster 4G waves even under the old plan.  Which they offered to retroactively put back btw.

For Pete’s sake!  How did we ever LIVE without SMART phones?  What should we do? Take the old plan back?  Go VALUE? Leave well enough alone?  Which is what I did because B doesn’t care. Which is what they are banking on because I am a Luddite light.

End rant!  FIN!

As always, more to come.


So, … More Funny Math of the Heathcare Insurance Variety

We are blessed to have health insurance.  I have no idea what’d we do without.  Crazy scary to be uninsured.  Despite being one of the fortunate ones, I believe our system is broken.  I take no political stance here; only going to give you some examples.

B had his five year routine colonoscopy screening.  Here is the breakdown of the charges:

  • Amount billed
    • Surgical Center = $2100
    • Member rate = $2063
    • Plan pays 100% or $2063
  • Amount billed
    • For Doctor = $575
    • Member rate = $375
    • Plan pays 100% or $375
  • Amount billed
    • For anesthesia (doctor and procedure) = $1190
    • Member rate = $474.50
    • Plan pays 100% or $474.50

Grand spanking total = $3865 with plan paying $2912.50 and $0 out of pocket since screening is a perk of having the insurance.

Am I complaining?  Nope. Well, yes!  And I have to ask, what is the true cost?  Did someone get shorted $952.50?  Or is the true cost $2,912.50?  My guess is neither and there in lies the problem.

We are playing with people’s lives.  Those who can afford testing, medication, etc and those who go without.  Criminal I tell ya!  How’d we begin to pony up $3865 as a no insurance patient?  The answer is sad.  People don’t.  They skip preventive, they cut back on medications, they sacrifice … that’s the word.  Sacrifice.  I said I would not be political but it’s shameful.

One more example before I go. My emergency office visit.  Here I found out I was nearly normal.  

  • Amount billed
    • For doctor = $258
    • Member rate = $98.07
  • Amount billed
    • For CT with contrast = $1084 plus $50 for iodine
    • Member rate = $553.34 plus $12 for iodine (bet I can find iodine on shelves for $1.99)

Stop it Jilly! But no!  I wanna know!!  What’s the real cost?  Is it $1392 or $663.41?

In this case, I had not met my $2700 deductible.  Therefore the plan pays nothing.  I was billed onsite for $607.10.  Had to pay before they’d treat me.  When things came out in the wash, I owed $565.34.  I called again to find out where the difference was and a request to credit my card was made.  I will have a credit in 7 to 10 business days versus the 30 to 45 days if I had allowed the system to reconcile things on its’ own timeline.

I paid the doctor $98.07 out of HSA funds since I did’t understand the whole big red boat thing anyway.  I surely won’t get rich from healthcare tax deferral.  A – I do not put in enough and B – the interest is only a dollar.   Would be years before I use these funds to get my yacht.

Well we’re moving on up, to the east-side, to a deluxe apartment in the skkky iiii  … we finally got a piece of the piiiiieee. 

I’d laugh if it wasn’t pitiful.  And my family and I, we are the fortunate ones.  I had a credit card with no balance to drop the charges on.  I hate like heck that’s what it took but I am grateful I could.  Why should I even care about anyone else?  Oh but I do.  Cue the haters.  I can take it.

As always, more to come.

So, … I Learned Something New

Thanks to Dan over at No Facilities I became aware that WP has such a thing as a spam folder for comments.  Maybe I already knew but I forgot.  As I forget easily these days.  Spam comments can affect your stats. Means I learned something new.  I will eventually figure out how 49% lower = 33% reduction.  Ah all math is funny math.  🙂

The only stat I follow is my consecutive days streak notification – today makes 313 days of posts in a row.  Otherwise stats don’t mean much to me since I am not a monetized blog.  I only come here to read the articles.  Wink wink.  Actually the pictures are pretty good too.  No one will likely get my veiled reference.  But I am giggling all the same.

Anyway, marching on … I looked right now finding 101 spam tagged comments from the last few days.  Some of them came from fine folks I know.  I will slowly approve those as I wade through the list.  The remainder came from ads – need a new phone, wireless ear buds, air fryers or electric tooth brushes.  Apparently someone out there thinks I NEED these things.

Wonder what else I am missing?  Might be time to spruce up the place again.  Comb through my WP functionality.  Summertime fun time!!

As always, more to come.

So, … She Gone and Done Did It

What are you talkin’ ’bout Jilly?  You gone and done did what?  Or are you just rambling and spouting local expressions?  Next thing we know you’ll be saying “that dog don’t hunt”.

And what’s all this got to do with the price of tea in China … right Jim?

Completely unrelated to #SLS but since the reference was made, I linked back there.  Sometimes only music calms me.  And I need calming right about now.  My whoa began in 2010.  If whatever “this” is was going to kill me, I’d be dead by now.  That’s nine … count ’em nine looong years.

Over time my symptoms morphed ever so slightly.  Lately there is no ebb to the flow.  Which pushed me back to my doctor for a CT With Contrast.  The results were so fantastic that I had to scream!!!!!! NOT 😦

When the nurse called me with all negative; she also said I didn’t need to go back in two weeks but they could refer me to a gastroenterologist.    Harumph!!  Down that road we’ve already been.  That was negative too!!!!!!!!!!!!

You’re still wondering what she done did?  I read my lab results.  This time the report said “results are essentially normal”.  WTF!  Just essentially so …  I maybe splitting hairs here with synonyms but essentially means approximately!  More or less so!  In my anxiety ridden mind, I read in other words NOT completely normal.

Now I am doing my own research.  Seriously! On the words from the report.  I have a hiatal hernia.  Multiple kidney cysts (they have been there forever, not changing and not “supposed” to hurt) and some new thing which is a mile long latin word consistent with pelvic congestion syndrome.   I also want to sign up for that new TV show along the same vein of “Mystery Diagnosis”.  Someone needs to help me crack the code.  

While I’m waiting for my 15 minutes of fame, I’m taking the following steps:

  • No eating after 7 pm
  • Up water intake
  • Quit caffeinated beverages.  I have all but given up my beloved morning coffee.  I had knocked back to one cup on Sundays having breakfast with B but that’s been months ago.  Nixing tea is next step except for the herbal/green variety which might actually help.
  • WALK or get some freaking form of exercise!!!
  • Eat smaller meals more slowly
  • Sleep on an incline if can find a wedge … though some of my sources say that can hurt more than help.  Damn you Google and your conflicting sources!

I’m very confused.  But I’m trying a hodgepodge of home remedies.  I refuse to give up!!

My rational mind knows it’d be malpractice to not help me.  I also fully recognize that essentially normal was a poor word choice.  I admit I’m known for MSU.  Still everything hurts.  If anyone has a hiatal hernia with treatments that work, share them here in the comments.  <insert disclaimer of I won’t hold you to it – pinky swear> :).

As always, more to come.


So, … Superstition

Every time we drive over a railroad track, we lift our feet. I’ve even taught the kids to do this and they accommodate me with no questions asked. Why do we do this?

I have no idea. I know every single solitary time we do though. Much anxiety comes from forgetting. I tell myself to look up the mores later so we can understand the old wives tale. Then I promptly forget.

As luck would have it, I’m reading my April free book of the month “Cold Waters” by Debbie Herbert. A girl is picked up from the bus station and as she is driven through her hometown, they drive over the tracks and up go the feet. The hands touch the roof as well. The girl who’s name is still unknown says she knew the driver would too. Why? The book says:

You couldn’t be too careful. I mean, nobody wanted to die young when you could have prevented it by merely lifting your feet.

Who knew? Now we all do.

Do you have any superstitions? If so, what’s the origin?

As always more to come.

So, … Funny Math of the Healthcare Variety

Ugh!  I am a broken record.  I know.  But I am pissed and sad.  Truly a crisis.  And I am immune … sort of … and I feel guilty.  I am a HAVE not a have not.

Here is what went down.  Thoughts free-flowing as they come to me.

B has no steady job.  He was “off”  today.  I left for work like usual and barely into my day, he calls me.  He is easily bored or so I assumed that was why he was calling.  Tells me hey we got work again starting next Monday.  Me “oh honey, that’s good” all  while thinking I guess self employment is ebb and flow/feast or famine.  I need to chill.  I vaguely remember those three years.

B –  don’t know what I will do until then but I want you to know so you can stop worrying. Plus V is going to resubmit those two invoices and we’ll get paid. (oh yeah, that too … having to hunt down people to get paid.  I blocked that out completely).

Me – Good.  You should have your colonoscopy.  I am taking off Friday already.  You need to do this now.  You can no longer afford not to take what you get work-wise when you get it.  Your off.  I’m off.  I’ll see if they can get you in.

B – yep I know.  Okay.

And as luck would have it, Thursday is open.  Now I am taking off Thursday and Friday.  But not without going through a whirlwind first.

While filling out paperwork in online portals, I notice the patient responsibility is $2300.  WTF.  Mine from February 2018 was free.  Did the price really shoot up that much?!??  I called our carrier and sure enough no age or time limit.  A perk from my employer in negotiating costs of colonoscopies.  She compared billing codes and said B’s too is covered in full.  Insurance offered 3-way call with provider.  Fun times I tell ya.  Provider says this is medical not preventative.  Medical with a $2700 deductible, the $2300 is our responsibility.

Okay.  What the what?!?!?  this is medical … yes a medical procedure but not required due to a medical reason.  If B had it his way, he’d never go back.  He got the appointment reminder last week … for a routine exam … because it was time.  He was not seeing the doctor for symptoms that needed to be diagnosed.  All that is semantics folks.  Fucking circular illogical.  To-MAY-to. Tu-mah-to.

Anyhow, we are all squared away.  They will bill the insurance first.  On a recorded call, the insurance confirmed they will pay.  Though we are getting annoying texts that we owe provider.  Uh no, talk to Cassie.  She agreed to BILL THE INSURANCE FIRST!!

So why am I sad?  well fuck.  if I (or anyone else) needed this exam because I was sick, I’d pay out the ass – pun intended.  And while maybe preventative should be less expensive than treatment, a diagnostic test is a fucking diagnostic test.  The rate should be the SAME!!  Then if treatment is needed bill for that.  Fucking vultures preying on the weak and infirmed.

As always, more to come.


So, … Starting My Friday

I’m here at the mothership in darkness. Sitting in my parked car before going in to be health assessed. Listening to the birds chirping. Peaceful. In a moment the birds will be drowned out by a hum. The human hum of people populating this space.

Happy Friday folks. Hope it’s a good one.

As always more to come.

So, … My Last Bite

No leftovers today. Boo. Wasting moola we might not make more of in the future. Geez I’ve got to get over this worry. B is actually out today bidding on work. He’s doing what needs to be done. Why should he worry?? That’s my department.

Back to the beginning … I’m eating lunch. A turkey club with guacamole and alfalfa sprouts. No chips or soda because tomorrow is my Health Risk Assessment at work. If I do good, I’ll get 500 points. I get 100 just for showing up. Saweet.

I’m also about to embark on a wellness journey and I’ve been reading about IF. Not if but IF. A movement called intermittent fasting. I’m sure it’s the opposite of health but wtf. One guy joked that we all practice IF … it’s called sleeping 😴. Lol. True enough.

My hours to eat will be 10 to 6. Then boom the window closes. I’m going to find a sustainable meal plan too. No more sammiches of the three slices of bread variety. But I’m not going cuckoo. I’ll still eat the occasional sammich.

I may or may not post about my wellness “journey”. Dang I hate that word. Corporate speak. I’m a gypsy in a white collar world. Everything isn’t a journey. This is a quest!! Lol.

To follow that star. No matter how hopeless. No matter how far. To fight for the right without question or pause. To be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause.

Dang. Sing it sister. My Glee Club days are showing.

Have a good one y’all.

As always more to come.

So, … I Blame The Full Moon

I had another sleepless night.  Well maybe that description is not accurate.  I went to bed at a decent hour and fell fast asleep.  I just didn’t stay that way.  I have a tactic that really works which is not to look at the clock when I do wake up.  I also use deep breathing and anxiety techniques.  I almost always fall back asleep as evidenced by weird dreams and waking with a start when the alarm finally goes off.

In my dream this morning, I ran into friends of my parents having lunch.  I stopped to talk and they told me my brother had been moved into their nursing home and I should come back with them to visit him. The scene was all very “Cool Kids” FOX TV show that airs on Fridays.  What I saw in my dream like state was horrific though.  Not comical in the least.  I stepped through a blood spattered tiled hallway.  I was anxious thinking I would be infected but some incurable disease.  I made it down the hallway and was peeking through a window to a rec room.  I saw him sitting around a table with others.  Then I decided I did not want him to see me.  At that moment,  beep, beep, beep goes the alarm.

I realized I did not write out the demons about what happened to my brother.   I felt it was not my story to tell but obviously, his situation affected me.  My subconscious carries the weight.  One day soon, the weight might have to go.  I feel a releasing the hounds in my near future.

As always, more to come.