Money Matters - Part 15

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

Not to mention the other ticking time bomb - the unfunded public sector pensions. Wait until that joins the other ones.

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

Used Groupon for the first time. They had a 50% deal at one of our fave local Italian restaurants.

Fairfield County, CT(Zone 6b)

I've used them a couple of times. Just hate getting all the emails.

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

Yes, that is a bit annoying.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I use my gmail for those 'store' emails- and it is a chore trying to keep it cleaned out.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

With Groupon I had to go in and adjust my e-mail settings. You used to be able to tell them how often you want to be e-mailed and restrict the types of deals you want to receive . . . I'm not sure if you can still do that though.

Fairfield County, CT(Zone 6b)

I will give that a try. I like the restaurant offers but not the merchandise offers.

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

oh yeah, just adjust your preferences

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

This sums up the whole mess...
" which is to say, that money is gone and is never coming back"

Sherrie In, NH(Zone 5a)

Go to the movies, Nothing on the Major News stations tonight. Or go to bed

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

E Filed taxes on 2-10, State return is in the bank today.

Unfortunately, a delay on Federal due to education deductions.

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

Wow, still waiting for statement from TD Ameritrade. Always last.

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

The stupidity of the healthcare law, from The American Interest:


"It might seem odd that the law’s supporters should need to convince Americans to purchase a plan, given that those who don’t will be taxed. But the tax will be less expensive than the cost of coverage. The minimum tax per person will be $695 per year. Higher earning individuals will have to pay more: a couple who makes $100,000 per year, for example, will be taxed around $2,025. That may sound like a lot, but the CBO estimates that the annual premiums for the least-expensive plan offered under the new law would reach about $12,000 for a family and about $5,000 for an individual (all figures can be found here).
This means that for a lot of people paying the tax will be cheaper than buying insurance. And since the new law prevents insurance companies from denying you coverage or charging you more if you have a pre-existing condition, you can always buy a plan later if you develop an expensive medical condition.
Over time, more and more people are going to figure this out. Many healthy people (especially the young and the single) will just pay the tax, knowing they can get it later if they need to. In the meantime, everybody with expensive health care problems will flood into the system, driving up costs and premiums. Then even more healthy people will choose the tax over the increasingly expensive insurance premiums, in turn forcing premiums up even higher.
Keeping this dynamic from undermining the new health care system is going to be one of the biggest tests Obamacare will face. There may be ways around it. As of 2010 Massachusetts’s similar plan has successfully raised its insurance rate from about 90 percent up to 98.1 percent. But it will be a serious challenge. This glitzy “buy insurance now” marketing campaign is a sign that the government recognizes this vulnerability and fears it."

Fairfield County, CT(Zone 6b)

But isn't $695 better than the $0 uninsured people are paying now? And are the expensive health care people in the system already - just not insured? Insurance payments keep going up no matter because health care insurance is a for profit business on top of the cost of health care.

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

No, no and no. ;)

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

So the ability to make a profit is the primary driver of increase cost??? Wow. Check your long distance phone bill lately? Cost of your computer? Of almost any electronic device? Where thee is true open market and competition, prices almost always decrease over time.

One major misconception about healthcare and insurance companies is that there is competition. Every state makes their own rules. You CANNOT cross state lines to look for a better/cheaper alternative.

Do you think paying the legions of gov beaurocrats involved in healthcare decreases cost?! How about all the unnecessary tests docs have to order to cover their butts in case they are sued?

There are many reasons for skyrocketing costs, but the mere presence of a profit motive is not one of them. 20, 30, 40 years ago we had insurance companies involved. I would love to go back to those premiums!

There is not one area that gov has gotten involved in that has not seen dramatic increases in cost. Home loans, student loans, healthcare, transportation, insurance... The list goes on and on.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

One thing healthy uninsured people should worry about, however, is the sudden and catastrophic medical problems that might occur before they choose to apply for health insurance. As far as I know, there's no mandate that insurance companies provide retroactive coverage to new members. So if someone is just waiting to be diagnosed with cancer or diabetes before they decide it becomes worth it to obtain health care coverage they could be in big financial trouble if they have a heart attack first and need triple bypass surgery followed by a stay in ICU.

Of course, ERs are required to treat anyone that comes in even if they don't have insurance so ultimately the people choosing not to buy coverage are just passing on the costs to those that do.

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

Not so with the new law. They have to take anyone with any condition. That is why, coupled with the tax being much lower than premiums, the incentive is to stay uninsured until you need it.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Yes, it's true that they have to take someone with a pre-existing condition but there's absolutely no requirement that a health plan has to pay for services provided to enrollees prior to them enrolling in a health plan.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

my question is- sure they have to take me and my glaucoma for example..then they can raise my rate because of it right? So . I'll pay any way.

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

Another case in point.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/article/2521626#.UR4q5vtz0PY.twitter

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

ugnthueeoerifhfjhisduhfur

(invented a new groan for this occasion)

Our county executive has refused his last mandated raises because he was not able to give any other county employes a raise either.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Sally - no, health plans will be prohibited from charging you more based on a pre-existing condition. They will only be able to establish rates based on age, geographic region, and family size for individual health benefit plans.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Oh good. Thanks for that info, GardenSox.

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

Not surprised. Something to keep an eye on.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-15/wal-mart-executives-sweat-slow-february-start-in-e-mails.html

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

Over 440,000 Federal employees make over $100,000 per year. Not sure if that includes benefits or not, In either case, it's just nuts.

Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

i am sure it does not include benefits - with the size of goverment today - i think over 40% of all workers ,440K is low

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

It's 21% of workforce. High to me.

Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

will have to look into this - i thought i saw something that said we had almost the same as greece

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

Gee, wonder why this gets no attention...

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-02-15/facebook-gets-a-multi-billion-dollar-tax-break

Sherrie In, NH(Zone 5a)

49.50 hours this week. No wonder why I am 1/2 dead.

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

are they at least paying you ot?

Sherrie In, NH(Zone 5a)

1st time I went ot. Isnt it a federal law unless your on salary or a contractor?

Fairfield County, CT(Zone 6b)

It varies by state - what qualifies as OT.

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

In addition to that Walmart internal email, another worrisome sign was in Nikon's earnings last week. Huge dropoff in sales. IN fact, they immediately discounted lots of their stuff - something they rarely do. Some of their top lenses are now hundreds lower until March 2.

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

Bad signs on their own, combined are especially worrying since they represent opposite ends of the economy. Walmart - the discount stuff for the lower end of the income spectrum and Nikon for the higher, discretionary end. Could be isolated pockets. Maybe something more.

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

More problems with healthcare law.

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/02/18/another-day-another-crack-in-obamacare/

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

The last sentence of that made me crack-up, but not in a good way. It said the lawmakers probably didn't read the proposals.... I am sure many of them did NOT read it. After all, how many pages long was it?

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