When I think of how many changes 22 years has wrought I am shocked, yes, technically there were cell phones when I first came to the place I now live (way back in 1987) but they were few & far between unless you were rich, (like Kennedys- the first one I ever saw was in 1985 in the hand of one Kennedy or another while they were driving route 3 to the cape & I was just on my way home on route 3, riding in my uncle’s car- he is who pointed the Kennedy car out to me as a matter of fact & also my only Kennedy sighting in my whole life!) self important (my father used to tell the story of a boss he had for awhile who would be all over his cell phone showing it off- call home & get in some petty silly argument with one of his kids- & look more the fool for it) or truly important (like doctors) or some combination of the 3.
We used to talk about tvs in limosines for people to watch while riding around, now people my kids’ ages have & expect to have tvs in their parent’s min vans & suv’s while they’re just going to the mall or on vacation. The day cable came to my home town of Rockland MA (1985) was a huge day for my brother & I we had 58 channels! (that includes the HBO/Cinemax package my parents so extravagantly sprung for) this was before vh1, mtv2 or fuse, there was mtv & that was all. Videos, videos & Remote Control that was the whole channel 24 hours a day.
Now, for a remarkable low price (made even lower by the fact that I’m employed by the company) I have 200+ channels most of which I have no interest in (especially mtv- not because I don’t like the music- although I’m much more a rock fan than a hip hop fan & that’s what they seem to play mos on the rare occasion they actually play music- I just hate all the stupid shows- & especially the so called reality type shows. I won’t subject anyone bored enough to be reading this to a diatribe on that issue.
That’s only a couple of the changes, I could go on, but this was just supposed to be a short post. I’ve been thinking about changes, the differences between then & now, how many things seemed so much more complicated then & are simple now (I never worry about how I look or what to do with my hair- I really just don’t care) & how many things seem so difficult now that I wasn’t aware of back then (I didn’t grasp taxes, insurance or the importance of people not throwing their trash on the floor back then & all 3 are heavily factored in my daily thoughts now)
Mostly because it’s that lovely time of year when the company I work for makes us update our health insurance, since the ex isn’t coming through with even half the child support he’s supposed to that past few months & hasn’t called since Christmas day I’m feeling like the kids’ insurance is not going to be forthcoming from him after all. Which means I have to think about it, it’s a lot through my company, I was considering the low level plan but the deductible is so high it wasn’t really worth it (the high level plan is not much better)
Then I started reading about the HSP = Health Savings Plan it sounded wonderful!
* I could save money toward medical expenses.
* Use a debit card to pay the doctor’s visit fee (a lot better than paying her off $20 bucks at a time every 2 weeks until I’m through paying off mr 9’s stitches from December in March)
* I could pay into it, the company matches my contributions.
* I could get a pap smear finally (it’s been 4 years & since I had cervical cancer back in 1987/88, I’m supposed to keep those up) as our doctor reminds me every time I see her.
* I could even use this magic debit card for over the counter medicine, so if the kids needed cold medicine or I needed nasal spray or aspirin we wouldn’t need to wait until my next paycheck.
* If I didn’t use what the company & I contributed to this wonderful plan at the end of the year I could roll it over into a savings account which I could use either for medical expenses later in life or for general needs if I waited until after I was 65.
Well of course, all things that sound too good to be true are too good to be true. I finally, after reading the information over (for the third time, because I was reading it during quiet time between customers at work & I tend to miss things with all the picking it up & putting it down) I caught the factor that made the difference. I had to be enrolled in the high level health insurance plan in order to qualify to save my own money in this HSP thing.
Why? why? WHY? would that be? What in the world would I need a health savings plan for when I had insurance? Why would I spend nearly $140 a pay check on insurance & then contribute yet more money to a savings plan that I can’t just use for whatever I want whenever I want it?
They have a health savings plan that doesn’t require the insurance too, but it covers less, has no company match & if you don’t spend all the money you put in by the end of the year you lose it. What is the point of that? I suppose it would be ok if you could get your money out in time, but other than a general health checkup for each of us once a year, who’s to say what else we might need?
I couldn’t have forseen mr 9’s stepping on that cookie cutter, I do know I should be keeping up with the pap smear, but to have it done is not just the $60-$85 cost of the doctor’s visit but also another $125 (or, it was in 2004) lab fees. There’s just no telling. And here is just another way the insurance companies are screwing us over.