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About Blues

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  1. I'm sure that doesn't help, but I've done an inadvertent experiment and concluded that the windows, even closed, are a major culprit. I have three windows that I've had Reflectix in for several months. Two slide sideways and one slides up and down. They've just been sitting there, never opened. I removed the Reflectix the other day and couldn't believe the amount of dust on the window sills, and the part in the middle on the one that slides up and down. It looked like dust bunnies you get under a bed. I've noticed dusty sills before, obviously, but that dust might have come in through another open window and settled on a different window, that hadn't been opened, just like it settles on countertops. You never know. But with the Reflectix in there, the dust from another open window couldn't get to that window; it had to be coming from outside that closed window.
  2. Nobody recommended supplements. People are discussing Medicare prescription drug plans.
  3. How old were the posts you were looking at? That insurance website changed ownership a year or two or so ago. It's now owned by Social Knowledge, LLC, whose address is a UPS mailbox in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. That company also owns the discussion forums at irv2.com and rvnetwork.com, a bunch of discussion forums about specific RV manufacturers, and rvtripwizard. Even under its prior ownership, it could have been clearer about the nature of the insurance options it was offering, but there was some useful information there (like after Blue Cross stopped offering PPO plans in Texas, leaving a lot of fulltimers high and dry on health insurance). Now, I don't see anything other than marketing insurance plans, with the usual opacity those who have spent time trying to figure out the insurance landscape have come to expect. To be fair, a lot of major medical plans expect the same thing. Their networks may be more stable than the PHCS network, but it really doesn't matter in an emergency, when you're taken to the closest emergency room. Here's a harrowing tale (one of many, but this one has stuck in my mind): https://khn.org/news/a-jolt-to-the-jugular-youre-insured-but-still-owe-109k-for-your-heart-attack/ Here's an informative article on indemnity plans: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/usc-brookings-schaeffer-on-health-policy/2020/08/04/fixed-indemnity-health-coverage-is-a-problematic-form-of-junk-insurance/ It notes that the reason they came about was as a form of income replacement in situations where you're sick and can't work. They were never intended to pay for medical care, but over time they've morphed, in a way that makes them look like insurance (deductibles, networks, etc.). And they're certainly marketed to look like insurance. That's not to say that they might not be a viable alternative, as long as the consumer understands what he's getting, which is almost never the case, and consumers can be dumb, but it's a lot more likely they'll be dumb when the marketing materials are very carefully designed to toe the line of "this isn't insurance." I don't know about indemnity plans doing this, but it's definitely a thing when it comes to short-term, limited duration insurance plans (STLDI). STLDIs were traditionally intended to cover someone for short periods of time, like when he was between insurance plans. But after a rule change by the current administration, STLDIs can have a duration of up to 3 years, so they look a lot like regular insurance and not some sort of temporary measure to fill a gap. STLDI plans are different from indemnity plans. STLDI plans really are insurance as most people understand it. The big difference is that they don't have to comply with ACA requirements (they don't have to offer essential health benefits, they can have lifetime limits, etc.). And unlike ACA plans, they can reject an applicant based on pre-existing conditions. So a person might think, "I'm healthy and don't have any pre-existing conditions, so if they accept me, I'm good to go." Well, maybe not. Because what you mentioned with the kidney stones is a practice known as post-claims underwriting (underwriting is the process where an insurance company decides whether to issue the policy). The insurance company asks questions about the applicant's health, but they may not be really comprehensive questions (and might be designed that way on purpose). Then once a person files a claim, the insurance company starts doing the real underwriting, like demanding prior medical records, and poring over those to see if there's something they can use to reject the claim. The fact that they accepted the applicant's application apparently means nothing. This is the situation that one of the RV bloggers ran into--I think it was wheelingit, who used to do a deep dive into health insurance but are in Europe now. They had an STLDI plan and went to some doctors, and it took them months and months to get the claims paid because they were having to get medical records from all over the place and that took forever and a lot of effort, and I think they were even turned over to a collection agency over one of the bills. Not a great experience. Anyway, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce did an investigation into STLDIs. Here's their press release summarizing what they found: https://energycommerce.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/ec-investigation-finds-millions-of-americans-enrolled-in-junk-health (Something new I found out is that unlike ACA-compliant plans, short-term medical plans don't have to pay out at least 80% of premium dollars on health care, and the investigation revealed they pay out 48%. And, the commission on selling ACA plans is 2%, while the commission on STLDI plans is 28% among the companies they examined.) But back to your example of the BBB complaint, how they determined that the kidney stones were a pre-existing condition is beyond me. That's pretty brazen, but I wouldn't put anything past an insurance company. But at the same time, sometimes anecdotes don't offer all of the pertinent facts.
  4. I find the whole Medicare scheme to be almost impenetrable, and can't find a reference on medicare.gov about this, but according to the AARP website: It also says that some states are less restrictive on this and have different rules about "guaranteed issue" of supplemental policies, but in general, it looks like the system is designed to let someone try out an Advantage plan for a year with no risk of being refused acceptance into the supplemental plan he had before switching to the Advantage plan.
  5. Just because you've always submitted residency documents doesn't mean your license wouldn't have been renewed if you hadn't submitted them. Like if there was no indication in the information on your forms that you were renewing by mail because you were living out of state for school or a job, and had the new license sent to your usual Texas address. Would the renewal have been rejected? We don't know. And as I've said, it makes no sense that one person sitting in Minneapolis for three days doing an online renewal doesn't have to submit residency documents, while the person sitting next to him does have to submit residency documents, with the only difference that she can't do it online. There's no public policy reason for a rule like that, which makes me wonder if that's actually the rule. The out-of-state packet was revised in July 2020. It now says: In the previous version, this section mentioned the Texas Residency Affidavit (which has nothing to do with out-of-state renewals, since it's for someone to swear that their agency provides services to a person at a stated location in Texas), stating the the back of the affidavit had a list of acceptable residency documents. The new packet doesn't even mention the Texas Residency Affidavit, never mind actually include it in order to see what's on the back. And it now mentions only a letter from an employer as being used to verify residency. What do we make of that? And in the section on renewals, it says to "complete and submit all documents listed," like the CDL-2 (RV exempt from CDL) and the DL-63 (eye exam form), and "proof of lawful presence or U.S. citizenship," but nothing about proof of residency. But interestingly, in the section on Replacement, Address Change or Name Change, it does say, "Submit proof of Texas residency." Why did they include it there, and not in the instructions on renewals? It's not at all clear that proof of residency would be required if someone gives only a Texas address on all forms, and perhaps is using the out-of-state forms only because online renewal isn't available because of the class of license they have. Yes, you've always submitted it, but that doesn't mean it was actually required.
  6. Well of course they require residency documentation when a person renews a Texas license but has it sent to an address that isn't in Texas. And I thought that's what you'd done, because you previously said: That led me to believe that the only difference between your renewal and an online renewal by someone on vacation was that yours was for a Class B license. But that turns out not to be the case. Instead, you were acting just like people working outside the state or attending college outside the state, and having the license sent to the apartment or house they're living in outside the state. And Texas requires people who are living somewhere out of state to the extent that they want to receive their driver's license there to prove that they're entitled to have a Texas driver's license instead of one from the state where they're living. Which brings us back to whether people who are renewing a Class B license by mail only because they can't do it online or by phone, and an out-of-state address is never mentioned (like someone on vacation) have to submit residency documentation.
  7. I'm not hostile. I'm just trying to figure out why only a renewal by mail would require residency documents while the exact same renewal in person (or online or by phone if available--I'm aware that Class A and B licenses can't be renewed online or by phone) wouldn't require residency documents. It makes no sense. Apparently Texas is unlike Wisconsin, and doesn't require residency documents to get a REAL ID. I've asked any number of people with Texas licenses with the REAL ID star if they had to provide any documentation of residency, and not one of them has. So the residency documents aren't for the REAL ID. The question then becomes, what are they for? Let's take a married couple, one of whom doesn't drive the RV and therefore has a regular old Class C license, and one of whom does drive the RV and therefore has a Class B license. They're in the middle of a year-long trip around the U.S., staying in each place just a few days, and when in Minneapolis, they suddenly realize both of their licenses expire shortly. They don't want to go back to Texas to renew. So the person with the Class C license renews online or by phone, from Minneapolis, and he doesn't have to submit any residency documents. He doesn't indicate any address other than his permanent address in Texas, and that's where his license will be sent. His wife would do the same thing, but she has a Class B license and can't renew online or by phone, and has to do it by mail. According to you, she does have to submit residency documents. Why? She's no more or less out of state than her husband at the time of renewal. Just like her husband, she won't indicate any address other than her permanent address in Texas, and that's where her license will be sent. The only difference is that she can't do it online or by phone, because she has to submit the CDL-2 affidavit, exempting her from getting a CDL for her RV. Submitting the CDL-2 in an in-person renewal doesn't trigger the requirement for residency documents, so it shouldn't trigger it in a mail-in renewal. So what DOES trigger the requirement for residency documents? Living out of state. But what does "living out of state" mean? The Texas DPS website says, "Examples of people living outside of the state who have Texas domicile include certain U.S. active duty military members, students whose parents live in Texas and people temporarily living outside of Texas for work." That doesn't sound like someone on vacation to me. Instead, the examples actually look like people who are residents of whatever state the house or apartment they're living is located, and it's reasonable to require them to submit documents showing that they're not actually residents there, to allow them to have Texas licenses. A traveling RVer in Minneapolis for four days doesn't look anything like that.
  8. The riddle's been around for much longer than gay couples have been having children, and still doesn't result in the surgeon being a woman. Apparently it hasn't outlived its usefulness. 😀
  9. So the only people who have to prove residency are those who renew by mail. People doing it online and people doing it in person don't. That doesn't make sense. However, I think I figured it out. Did you use the process for renewing a license as a Texas resident who is currently living outside the state? There's a specific procedure for that: https://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/nonmilitaryrenewal.htm That does require proof of Texas residency, because you're actually living in another state while claiming Texas residency. That site says: Note in particular the instructions on the address. That anticipates an address in Texas, and a different address where you are currently living and want your driver's license mailed to. That won't be the case for someone who is traveling, who will have their license sent to the Texas address that's on their license. I don't think that someone who happens to be traveling outside the state and is renewing by mail has to use this out-of-state process. The examples they give, like students attending college or active-duty military, are different from people who happen to be away from Texas because they're traveling around. Instead, they can just complete the renewal application form, get it notarized (required for all main-in renewals), and send it in. No residency documents required for this type of mail-in renewal.
  10. For the record, the links to United Healthcare and RVer Insurance Exchange on the Fulltime Families site don't appear to be affiliate links. There's no doubt a cookie set that indicates that the visitor came from Fulltime Families, but it's not like Amazon links, which have all sorts of code that identifies the referrer so they can be paid. I never click on a link without hovering on it first with the mouse to see if the URL has extraneous characters that indicate it's an affiliate link.
  11. I'm with ya, but we're going to lose that battle. I wonder if my involuntary flinch every time I hear it will ever go away. I always think of this in situations like this:
  12. And here we have RVer Insurance Exchange being advertised yet again. It is listed in the DISCOUNTS section of the Fulltime Families website, so there's some sort of relationship there (although no actual discount is listed--just advertising the name). Perhaps that's why the site calls the agents at RVer Insurance Exchange an "awesome group of professionals" even though nowhere on any site is there any information about who the agents are; all we know is that someone on this forum reported that two of them tried to sell him an indemnity plan when he was trying to buy major medical health insurance. Plus, the Fulltime Families site has misinformation. It says: Nowhere on the RVer Insurance Exchange is there anything about any sort of group health insurance plan. A few years ago, RVer Insurance Exchange had a deal that was described this way by a poster here: That was in this thread, which discussed how Escapees/RVer Insurance Exchange was selling a product that it didn't clearly identify as not being major medical health insurance (the thread title is about a similar FMCA program, but the discussion quickly turned to Escapees): https://www.rvnetwork.com/topic/131591-fmca-ppo-plan/ Also, the Fulltime Families site briefly discusses indemnity plans and short term medical plans (which they say "can work beautifully" and are "perfect" for certain situations), with not much more. With all due respect, there's a lot more information about these types of plans in the discussions on this forum than at that website. In the wheelingit link above, they had short term medical plans and apparently ran into "post-claims underwriting," where the insurance company asks fairly vague questions about your medical history, and issues the policy and starts collecting premiums. Then once you file a claim, they do the actual underwriting, where you have to present all of your medical records. It took wheelingit nine months of constant work to get the medical records from their previous providers and have the claims for a few doctor visits paid, including being turned over to a collection agency. Post-claims underwriting is a tactic used in short-term medical plans, which are now allowed for terms up to three years, making them look even less like short-term or temporary policies, and more like ACA-type plans. Which they're not. And I bet nobody selling them even remotely mentions post-claims underwriting. The Government Accountability Office did a "secret shopper" project, where they called insurance agents, posing as people who have a pre-existing condition (like diabetes) and want health insurance. They made 31 calls, and of those, 21 of the agents referred them to ACA-compliant plans (the only ones that will cover pre-existing conditions). Yay! Of the remaining ten calls, there were misleading statements in two of them that didn't rise to the level of "deceptive marketing practices" (although they were really sketchy), and in eight of them, the GAO said the statements did rise to the level of "deceptive marketing practices," like telling the caller that his diabetes would be covered by the policy when it would not be. If you download the actual report from the link above, you can read the details of each conversation--what the agent actually told the caller. It's hair-raising, and no wonder the GAO referred them to the Federal Trade Commmission. And note that one of them is a health care sharing ministry. The report has this disclaimer: "The results of our covert testing are illustrative only of the sales and related behaviors we experienced during the calls and are not generalizable to any specific insurance brokerage or agency, state, or the PPACA-exempt health insurance industry at large." But this is a really clear case--selling a product that doesn't cover pre-existing conditions to a person with a pre-existing condition--and it happened in 25% of the calls. Imagine what the landscape is when it's a person whose health doesn't disqualify him from anything, and he's just trying to get coverage at the lowest possible cost. Or a fulltimer who's specifically looking for major medical insurance that offers a nationwide network--something that is exceedingly rare. If they'll tell a person with diabetes that it will be covered when it won't, imagine what they'll say in more gray areas. Unfortunately, I just saw that Georgia is trying to prohibit its residents from using the Obamacare exchange website to look for insurance, and make them go through a broker instead. In one of the calls by the GAO, the agent recommended an ACA plan because of the pre-existing condition, and said it included an accidental and critical illness benefit to cover the financial gap that could be created by the plan’s deductible and high out -of-pocket maximum, as well as a basic dental plan. Turns out the ACA plan was free because of the caller's income level (subsidy), and 100% of the cost he was quoted was for coverage that was actually optional. For the record, this was considered merely "misleading" and not serious enough for referral to the FTC. Good luck, Georgia residents. And good luck, fulltimers who are looking for major medical insurance that will cover them as they travel. The pickings are extremely slim, and the products that are advertised as alternatives need to be looked into very carefully, and statements by the people selling them need to be checked and double-checked and probably triple-checked.
  13. Well, it says that in order to list a provider, you first register for an account, and once the account is approved, "you will receive instructions on how to submit information about your vaccination services."
  14. Or even "pharmacist's husband is a dentist." I'm just wondering why the pharmacist needed to be identified as a female, especially since the gender of a nurse in the same post wasn't mentioned.
  15. I noticed you said "female pharmacist." Why?
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