Monthly Archives: November 2015

PSA: USAA Phishing

Just a warning to my friends out there who have USAA…

I woke up to a very good phishing email this morning. If I’d been just slightly less (or more?) caffeinated when I read it, I might’ve done something stupid.

It read something about needing to update my profile, so please click on the link.

I’ve gotten those from USAA before.

It had the Security Zone, but it didn’t look quite right. And the graphics were just a wee bit (and I do mean wee bit) fuzzy. The address at the bottom of the email also wasn’t the traditional San Antonio, TX address.

That’s it. Those are the only things that clued me in that it wasn’t right and proper.

I’ve sent it along to USAA. I trust that they’ll get it shut down. But in the meantime, do be careful, and spread the word.

Categories: Around Town, Home, Work | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Changing the Rules

Debate is a sport. It has rules. The rules are spelled out very clearly in many places, and in my one class, we were given very clear references to exactly what rules our debates would be held according to. We were even recommended to watch examples of such debates.

I still think that having been on speech and debate team for several years in high school gives me an advantage.

The big debate still isn’t for a month, but we had mini-debates this past Saturday in class. They were somewhat informal and just pitted campus against campus on some fairly simple topics. Almost no one had done a lot of research, but the 45 minutes we were given in class was plenty of time to pull things together.

My campus was given the affirmative of the question, “Resolved: The United States healthcare system is the best in the world.” Most of us could barely read that aloud with a straight face, but we had to defend it. After everyone else started groaning and saying there was no way we could do it, I said, “Exactly, so we change the rules. Redefine ‘healthcare system’ so that it becomes ‘diagnosis and treatment of disease’. Then show how the US does that better than anyone else.” And we were off to the races.

The team debating the negative never saw the switch we pulled and failed to redefine “healthcare system” back to anything else. They showed up ready to play soccer. We substitued a football and proceeded to pick the ball up and run with it while they were still trying to kick it in a straight line towards goals that had suddenly become uprights.

In addition, no one else knew what to do with their alloted time for cross-examination. I did. And given the debate set-up, ours was the second debate, and I was the last to cross in our debate, so no one else could take what I did and turn it back on us (at least not this week). Everyone else would ask a question, then let the person responding meander on and on, often not even answering the question and using up all of the time given for cross.

My cross went something like this:
You mentioned obesity. The US healthcare system does a fantastic job of treating the end results of obesity. Do you disagree?” “Well, no, but we need to educate…“*interrupted*
Thank you. You want to prevent obesity with education, but we do that already. Are you going to force people to eat the proper foods and exercise?” “Well, maybe we should…“*interrupted*
I see you want to remove the ability of people to make choices in their lives. You also mentioned the infant mortality rate in the U.S. Do you realize that this is at least partially due to women choosing to give birth at home with inadequate medical attention and untrained midwives?” “We need to educate them and make them go to hospitals…“*interrupted*
So you want to tie up all the pregnant women and throw them into ambulances to make them give birth at hospitals?!?” “Well, yes, we should.
*silence*
I see how you really feel about people’s medical choices in the US.

My time ran out shortly after that, but I was later told that the line about tying up all the pregnant women and throwing them in ambulances will probably go down as the best line said during class this semester.

Categories: Health, Humor, School | Tags: | 4 Comments

Health Care

It’s that time of year again… No, not when the days get shorter (ok, they are). No, not when the weather gets colder (ok, it is). No, not when the stores start putting out the Christmas decorations even earlier this year (and yes, they are).

It’s time to sign up for health insurance. In past years, it’s been easy. I just looked at the options my hospital gave me, made sure I didn’t pick the stupid choices, and *boom*, I was done.

When I got terminated at work due to the disability in February, I had to venture into the marketplace to find my own health insurance. It was a bit stressful, but it was a lot cheaper than paying COBRA costs, and it was accomplished without tearing out my hair.

It’s actually been more stressful having the insurance, because no one seems to understand that it’s individual insurance (not group insurance), so they send the bills to the wrong address (despite the correct address being right there on my card), the insco says, “We’ve never heard of her. DENIED!” and then whoever tries to bill me for the entire amount. Pretty much every single medical bill since February.

I figured it might not be too bad to renew my health insurance today. Just check the marketplace to be sure that nothing much had changed and proceed.

But wait… My state no longer offers any Platinum plans. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

The next best option is the Gold plan, with my same insco (because none of the others cover my main docs), which is almost exactly the same plan as I have now for exactly (to the PENNY) premium every month.

With one small exception.

My deductible goes from $750 to $1000. And my out-of-pocket maximum goes from $1500 to $6850.

Yes. For no savings in the monthly premium, my deductible increases by 1/3 and my out-of-pocket increases by over 350%. I hit that $1500 pretty fast this year, too. Not looking forward to next year.

Thanks, Obama.

Categories: Health, Politics | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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