Search found 5070 matches

by madbrain
Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Don't buy a big house
Replies: 113
Views: 8097

Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

True of CFL's but not LED's IME. FEIT brand CFL's from Costco frequently lasted shorter than the 1yr warranty let alone the much longer estimate of life on the package. My house has over 240 lightbulbs. We used FEIT CFLs from Costco in 2010. About half of them failed in 8 years. I had been replacin...
by madbrain
Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Too Much Apple [AAPL] Stock
Replies: 51
Views: 4852

Re: Too Much APPL Stock

Don't forget the 3/4's of a billion in a new bond offering Apple did at the time, I don't recall this one. When was this ? and the purchase of NeXT for $400M which brought Steve Jobs back to the helm which helped get things on track. That happened the year before - 1996 . It actually drained Apple'...
by madbrain
Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 Owners: Your experience so far
Replies: 55
Views: 7689

Re: Tesla Model 3 Owners: Your experience so far

The poster I quoted conveniently included the locale-dependent incentives, without accounting for the locale-dependent taxes. I think that's just misleading. Maybe not as bad as Elon math, but misleading. His point is that it's essentially a $35,000 car, which it is when comparing it to MSRP pricin...
by madbrain
Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 Owners: Your experience so far
Replies: 55
Views: 7689

Re: Tesla Model 3 Owners: Your experience so far

Of course it needs to be included in the expense. But if we're just trying to compare purchase prices of anything, its better to exclude taxes so that we have an apples to apples comparison. Taxes are location dependent and in some cases are zero, so its a variable best excluded in a community disc...
by madbrain
Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Don't buy a big house
Replies: 113
Views: 8097

Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Want to swap out a fan? Change one of those high bulbs? It's now $100/hr to call an electrician. Any reason this would not work ? https://www.homedepot.com/p/Mr-Longarm-Pro-Lok-23-ft-Adjustable-3-Section-Extension-Pole-2324/100177392 I have a similar "problem" in my McMansion in CA. Ceilings are no...
by madbrain
Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 Owners: Your experience so far
Replies: 55
Views: 7689

Re: Tesla Model 3 Owners: Your experience so far

If you are going to count federal tax incentives and state rebates, you should count the sales tax too. So it's really $45K + $5K sales tax less $10K in incentives = $40k . Still not $35k. But all vehicles have sales tax. For apples to apples comparison it really does come to about 35 K comparing n...
by madbrain
Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 Owners: Your experience so far
Replies: 55
Views: 7689

Re: Tesla Model 3 Owners: Your experience so far

ebotrd wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:43 pm
IMHO this truly is the $35000 Tesla because $45000 - $10k fed/state rebates = $35k.
If you are going to count federal tax incentives and state rebates, you should count the sales tax too.
So it's really $45K + $5K sales tax less $10K in incentives = $40k . Still not $35k.
by madbrain
Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Too Much Apple [AAPL] Stock
Replies: 51
Views: 4852

Re: Too Much APPL Stock

The death knell for Sears was at least a couple of decades ago. Apple is a long way from any death knell at the moment. The death knell for Apple was also a couple decades ago. It very nearly went bankrupt in 1997. Were it not for a $150 million investment from Microsoft, who was trying to get the ...
by madbrain
Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans
Replies: 35
Views: 2279

Re: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans

Actually, our summary plan description explicitly stated (primary vs secondary coverage) that copay assistance would be counted. That was last plan year. I haven't checked this year as they are always months behind in publishing the summary plan description. (Another issue because how can an employ...
by madbrain
Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans
Replies: 35
Views: 2279

Re: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans

I don't think the drug company paying for the patient's share would constitute fraud. But if you try and count what the drug company is paying as part of your out-of-pocket costs towards your maximum OOP cost , then it could be viewed as fraud since it isn't coming out of your pocket . It may not b...
by madbrain
Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans
Replies: 35
Views: 2279

Re: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans

First the insurer stated I would no longer be able to use the copay card and that it was due to their agreement with my employer (my benefits rep reluctantly confirmed this was true after lying about it several times). Then they sent a letter saying I could use it but it would not count towards ded...
by madbrain
Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans
Replies: 35
Views: 2279

Re: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans

Interestingly, the insurer backed off on it a month later so I only had to do it once. I have an employer self-funded plan, which is only administered by the insurer, and I think it was because it threatened to become a "political" issue. (So it was actually my employer, who is high profile, who ba...
by madbrain
Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans
Replies: 35
Views: 2279

Re: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans

(OP look into this if one of y’all are on Truvada, as FDA just approved Teva’s generic of it, though no pricing structure announced yet). Yes, I'm aware of the FDA's approval of generic Truvada. If you fly to Bangkok, you can get a 1 month supply of a generic Truvada for under $35. Round-trip ticke...
by madbrain
Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans
Replies: 35
Views: 2279

Re: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans

An actual incentive-equitable program would be for insurance companies to require that any benefit programs by the drug companies pay the same percentage of the insurance company’s payment for the drug as they do of the customer’s copay or co-insurance payment for the drug. This is very difficult t...
by madbrain
Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans
Replies: 35
Views: 2279

Re: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans

I have to disagree with you and those healthcare experts. Lots of people are frivolous taking expensive drugs. Sometimes they tried the generic and "it didnt work", other times it's once daily dosing as opposed to twice daily for the less expensive drug, other times it's because that's the drug you...
by madbrain
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans
Replies: 35
Views: 2279

Re: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans

Yes, the assistance plan that I benefit from is not even available to people without insurance or to people with any sort of government insurance. It is only offered to people with commercial insurance or private insurance. There are different programs available for people with, for example, Medica...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where would you go for financial guidance if you win the Megamillions?
Replies: 152
Views: 12603

Re: Where would you go for financial guidance if you win the Megamillions?

One other issue related to lottery winners who are forced to reveal their IDs: Make sure your Google history has no images of you and your family. Your Google personal history can be erased. I think you mean to say "make sure that images of you and your family can't be found in a google search". Th...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with Cox compatible modem
Replies: 7
Views: 530

Re: Help with Cox compatible modem

Thank you, that helps. So I can get any modem on that cox list on their web page and it will work with VOIP? Yes. I wonder what that notation means regarding voice capability on the cox website. Maybe thats for commercial phone systems or something. I don't have Cox, but it seems that is the case. ...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inflating AGI to avoid paying back ACA Premium Tax Credit
Replies: 41
Views: 3328

Re: Inflating AGI to avoid paying back ACA Premium Tax Credit

I don't really follow why one would need to inflate their AGI in this case. But if one wanted to, one way I can think of is to buy some very tax inefficient investment, such as junk bonds, or some funds that are really just returning the capital as dividends, in a taxable account. For example : http...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you consider 'enough'?
Replies: 93
Views: 10118

Re: What do you consider 'enough'?

mariezzz wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:52 am
madbrain wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:01 am
Depends. Retiring on Mars might be expensive.
Also, might not be the most well-thought-out retirement plan.
Nonsense. All the trendy billionnaires are trying to get there. Cheaper than saving this planet, apparently.
by madbrain
Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you consider 'enough'?
Replies: 93
Views: 10118

Re: What do you consider 'enough'?

VictoriaF wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:28 am
madbrain wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:01 am
Depends. Retiring on Mars might be expensive.
They may accept Moon Rocks.
I thought that's what Bitcoins were for.
by madbrain
Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans
Replies: 35
Views: 2279

Re: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans

The insurance company wants to make the manufacturer primary. When both the insurance company and the manufacturer want to be secondary, who decides? How does the manufacturer automatically become secondary? Every insurance company on earth probably wants to get out of paying claims and be secondar...
by madbrain
Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans
Replies: 35
Views: 2279

Re: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans

That's not how it works on my plan at all, and I'm not talking about a discount card. I take a Tier IV specialty drug for a type of inflammatory arthritis. My insurance company mandates that I order the drug from a particular specialty pharmacy. I have no choice as to which pharmacy to use, so I ca...
by madbrain
Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??
Replies: 88
Views: 7888

Re: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??

Sat in one when they first came out - I remember it being pretty cool. And both cars seat 5 I think. Yes, they both seat 5. They were so close in price to M3 that I figured I'd just go M3 because: --Bolt road trips over 200-300 miles sound like much more of a hassle vs Supercharger network. That's ...
by madbrain
Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans
Replies: 35
Views: 2279

Re: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans

Rupert wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:30 am
Edited to add: If you want to tax the co-pay assistance to patients, okay, but the insurance benefits aren't taxed, are they?
Exactly. And the assistance programs act just like secondary insurance.
by madbrain
Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans
Replies: 35
Views: 2279

Re: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans

Filing an insurance claim without an actual monetary loss is a very common well known form of insurance fraud. So if you had two insurance policies, would it be fraudulent to file 2 claims, and ask the secondary insurer to cover what the primary insurer didn't cover ? I don't think so. This is the ...
by madbrain
Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans
Replies: 35
Views: 2279

Re: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans

Although it adds to your cost, it sounds legit as in how insurance should work. When you have reimbursement from somewhere else, you didn't really suffer a "loss." Filing insurance claim as if you did and having it applied to deductible and out-of-pocket-maximum isn't right. It's like those car win...
by madbrain
Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans
Replies: 35
Views: 2279

Re: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans

This has been discussed here in prior healthcare threads. I'm not sure how you'd search for them. Perhaps by searching for "co-pay assistance plans" as opposed to co-pay accumulators (a term I had never heard before reading your thread). Note that it's not the insurer that "pockets the money from t...
by madbrain
Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans
Replies: 35
Views: 2279

Co-pay accumulators in new health plans

I haven't seen this topic mentioned in this forum before, but I thought it was important to know about, as it's one more pitfall of the US healthcare system. And it's open enrollment time for many people in the US right now. Here is an article describing it : https://www.drugchannels.net/2018/01/cop...
by madbrain
Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??
Replies: 88
Views: 7888

Re: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??

$45,000 Before savings That is much better than before. Good to see Tesla finally allowing people to opt out of the $9K long range option ! The $45K doesn't include the $1200 destination charges, though. So it's really $46,200 . Plus about $4,600 in CA sales tax. Less $10K for federal & state incen...
by madbrain
Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: BofA/Merrill Edge or Chase Sapphire Banking/CPC?
Replies: 58
Views: 5549

Re: BofA/Merrill Edge or Chase Sapphire Banking/CPC?

Plus BofA always seemed more evil so I enjoy being a non-paying customer of theirs more. BofA is definitely more evil. When you eventually run into an issue with them, you will regret this decision. I closed my Premium Rewards card after they declined a dispute. I'm out $140 for a charge I didn't m...
by madbrain
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you consider 'enough'?
Replies: 93
Views: 10118

Re: What do you consider 'enough'?

Depends. Retiring on Mars might be expensive.
by madbrain
Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??
Replies: 88
Views: 7888

Re: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??

Oh so I see 2012 Volts start around $8k on Autotrader, etc, so figurw i'd get 7 or 8 if I sell it myself. OK, I guess that makes sense. Just not sure how your math adds up for upgrading to a new Volt LT and only spending an extra $7K. Volt LT MSRP is $33K. Let's say you get $6K off that which is ty...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Top stocks of 2000 trail the market over the next 18 years
Replies: 39
Views: 2879

Re: Top stocks of 2000 trail the market over the next 18 years

I worked for 4 out of those 10 . I guess that's why I'm still working !
by madbrain
Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??
Replies: 88
Views: 7888

Re: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??

Well done, madbrain. So, I've been looking at it this way: Volt LT - vast improvement over my current '12 Volt LT, awesome value, very low risk proposition even if I get swept up in the gotta-have-it latest-greatest thing a few years from now. $7k spent (after I sell my old car, consider rebate/cre...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I buy a Tesla?
Replies: 121
Views: 9669

Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Your billable time is too valuable to be hanging around a charging station. Gas and get to work! :D I say just the opposite. Your billable time is too valuable to be wasted filling an archaic ICE vehicle when it could be charging while you sleep every night. Also, those gasoline fumes from pumps sm...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??
Replies: 88
Views: 7888

Re: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??

I wouldn't put any value on the Tesla autopilot, especially not expecting full self-driving to ever be available as an upgrade. Hardware is like not sufficient today, and may not be able to be retrofitted when it is. And it might still be a decade+ before it is, beyond the useful life of most cars. ...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 5% ESPP
Replies: 16
Views: 1159

Re: 5% ESPP

With 5% off average, you could withdraw from the ESPP shortly before the end of the period if the price declined, and request a return of your contributions. Then enroll again for the next period. I had an ESPP at my previous company with 5% off the last day of the period. No holding period, but it ...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you ever buy a lottery ticket?
Replies: 32
Views: 1299

Re: Would you ever buy a lottery ticket?

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:36 pm
+1 - I usually buy when I fill up the car gas tank.
Same. But I drive an electric car.
by madbrain
Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kaiser or CareFirst
Replies: 39
Views: 1976

Re: Kaiser or CareFirst

dm200 wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:36 pm
You know you are old when employer plans did not have an annual "deductible" ;)
I have never had a deductible on any Kaiser employer plan so far in over 20 years.
Other plans usually do have deductibles.
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 137
Views: 9619

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

If you are legally married, all medical premiums are supposed to be charged pre-tax. The employer is in error. Some other benefits, such as disability and life insurance, might be charged after-tax basis. There is often an option to select which one you want. If you pay the premium after-tax, the b...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obamacare premiums will be down an average of 1.5 percent next year
Replies: 39
Views: 3982

Re: Obamacare premiums will be down an average of 1.5 percent next year

No, unfortunately, I'm not mixing anything up. The wording I. The letter from HealthNet was very clear. In 2018, there was not a single bronze plan available for under $650 (just pulled up my old sign up sheet) in San Diego with the exception of the Medical based plans (Molina, CHG, Care First). La...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obamacare premiums will be down an average of 1.5 percent next year
Replies: 39
Views: 3982

Re: Obamacare premiums will be down an average of 1.5 percent next year

In Japan, where all employers require the same health insurance - dirt cheap around $40-50 per month - no brainier that everyone will have health insurance. Japan spends $4519 per capita on healthcare according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_total_health_expenditure_per_capit...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 137
Views: 9619

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

Am I the only one who gets insurance through an employer (my husband's) who is charged the premiums through after-tax money? In my previous employers it came out of pre-tax money, but now we're charged after tax. We verified that with the employer as well as the payroll company and through our own ...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kaiser or CareFirst
Replies: 39
Views: 1976

Re: Kaiser or CareFirst

Wow! That is very, very good news that Kaiser paid. Not the first time, sadly. I get sick to various degrees on about 50% on my vacations. Never had a 2-day hospitalization until last year, though. This was food a serious case of food poisoning . There is one international clinic in Saigon that I h...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lost Power for 24 hours - what food to toss?
Replies: 49
Views: 3301

Re: Lost Power for 24 hours - what food to toss?

Your parents eggs are not like eggs today from a store (which are probably weeks old before they arrive at the store). I'll say. Parents eggs need to be frozen. https://www.pacificfertilitycenter.com/treatment-care/fertility-preservation-egg-freezing . Be sure to discard if not following those guid...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warning: avoid Windows 10 update 1803
Replies: 117
Views: 13624

Re: Warning: avoid Windows 10 update 1803

wootwoot wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:32 pm
I'm on 1809, works great!
Did you download it the day it was released ? It has now been pulled.
For it's worth, every major update of Windows 10 uninstalls half of my device drivers and many apps. Extremely annoying.
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kaiser or CareFirst
Replies: 39
Views: 1976

Re: Kaiser or CareFirst

Wow! Great story. Unfortunately, Kaiser is only present in a few areas of the country. Kaiser does, however, cover emergency and urgent care out of their areas - so maybe it would have worked out OK. I can confirm that . I have been on vacation in other states and other countries where Kaiser is no...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obamacare premiums will be down an average of 1.5 percent next year
Replies: 39
Views: 3982

Re: Obamacare premiums will be down an average of 1.5 percent next year

Take this distribution. Bottom 1/3 are below average health, middle 1/3 average, and top 1/3 above average. I stand by my statement that the top 2/3 should self ensure. Paying for insurance for these folks is a terrible financial decision. I'm not really sure how the distribution helps an individua...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2924
Views: 576789

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Here's my breakdown: Amex Gold - $250 yr Schwab Amex Platinum - $550 yr -- Value Credits: Uber Dollars (Platinum)- $200 yr Grubhub Dollars (Gold) - $120 yr Airline Fee Credit (Gold) - $100 yr Airline Fee Credit (Platinum) - $200 yr GlobalEntry Fee Credit (Platinum) - $25 yr ($100 divided by 4 years...