The Daily EO: February 1st, 2014

Does Acupuncture hurt? 

I’ve always wanted to know the answer to that question.  Well, Always might be a bit of a strong sentiment.  My first word was not acupuncture.  Or ac-cue.   Hmmm.  Actually, I don’t know what my first word was. 

Anyways, that is not my point.

It always seemed a strange thing to do – sick needles in your skin for healing.  I’ve had enough experience as a kid playing with a pin knowing that it is possible to stick it in your hand – right on the edge of the skin and you can freak others out including your kid brother – without pain.  So I understood the concept.

And since my benefits plan and my husband’s benefit plan covers acupuncture, it is free for me, so why not try it?   Interestingly, my benefits will pay for $500/year and my husbands will also pay  for $500/year.  They will only pay $200/every second year for vision correction for my -.75 and -.50 eyeballs.   I know it is the insurance scam – give you a big list of benefits that very few people will partake in and limit the benefits that most will need.  But seriously, people – between contacts and needles, it is an easy choice.  One of them helps me get to work in the morning – it’s time to adjust the $200/year thing so people can afford vision correction!

Wow… off point today (no pun intended).

Regardless, I have now visited the acupuncturist 3 times.  The experience of having needles inserted is a briefly painful experience that leaves me feeling almost paralyzed when the needles are in.  Mentally paralyzed, guys, not really paralyzed – like I cannot move until they are removed.  The first experience made my legs feel heavy and pinned down.  When the needles went in, it was like a little stab of pain that instantly subsided.

After the insertion, you lay quietly and let the energy flow – don’t fight it.  You lay there snug on a massage table with a heat lamp warming you gently, not a care in the world.  And I drift, fall asleep, and relax. 

After a dampness diagnosis based on tongue, pulse and described symptoms, it is recommended to avoid alcohol, dairy, wheat, raw vegetables and any fried foods.  Seriously?  That is my entire diet.  (well, except the alcohol part – I tend to stay sober most of the time.)  What the heck?!  I’m losing weight because I don’t have any food in the house to eat!

February 1st, 2014 Extra-Ordinary:  Dying for a grilled cheese sandwich.

PS:  Happy Chinese New Year All!

The Daily EO: March 1st, 2013

Ga!  It’s March already.  When did that happen?

And so at the end of the week, my part of the project is complete and I can finally come home and do nothing.  How did I celebrate?

Well, first things first.  For anyone of you who have ever had a home insurance claim, it is bizarre.  An insurance company will give you two values for your items – replacement and Actual Cash Value (ACV).  So, say if you had your Kate Spade wallet stolen that was several years old, they will give you replacement of $228 or 50% for ACV ($114).   The percentage varies with the age and the item, but you get the picture.

Well, faced with the loss of my sunglasses, back pack, wallet, and several other items that I used all the time and need, I indicated to the insurance company that I would be replacing them.  But my cell phone – which I already had a new one from work, I wasn’t going to replace.  Once I had informed the insurance company about what I was going to replace, I asked how I send them the receipts for my new items.  They said – no receipts – we’re just sending you a cheque and closing the claim.

Huh?  Then what was all the rigmarole about?  So, how do they know I am actually replacing these things?  Or just going on a spa vacation?

Anyhoo, I celebrated by buying the pair of Burberry Sunglasses that I had been eyeing up.  On-line of course, for almost 50% cheaper than in store.

March 1st, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  I may have a fat insurance cheque coming, but I’m still not paying retail.

The Daily EO: January 29th, 2013

I get riled up over certain types of injustices.   And I recognize while writing this, that the “injustices” in my world that I get riled up over are minor and not worth considering when compared to the injustices suffered by much of the world.  I do get that, but when something is in my face, impacting my family, friends or team members, I get nuts about it.  And if it affects my husband – watch out!  I become absolutely insane.

When I returned to BC – after being born and raised here – I had to get car insurance.  Unlike other provinces, car insurance is only offered by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC).  Privatization versus government agency?  I don’t know which is better really – but the drawback to ICBC is that you cannot “take your business elsewhere” if you don’t like the costs, options or service.

In purchasing my car insurance here, I was able to provide 7 years and 8 months of claims free history from my insurance companies in Ontario.  As well, I had 7 years of claims free history prior to my move.  This claim free history – which I have EARNED – resulted in getting the maximum discount of 43% (and 53% of the “optional portions” like comprehensive, etc).  That is good, because I live downtown Vancouver – the highest insurance zone in the province.

My car was broken into at the end of December:

This cost me = $300 (window deductible for ICBC) + $500 (tenant insurance deductible) + ~$150 (increase in tenant insurance due to losing my 10 year claim free status) = $950

This cost the insurance companies:  $170 (balance of window deductible for ICBC, much of which is HST that is going to the government anyways) + $500? (because Intact insurance STILL has not settled my claim) – ~$150 (that Intact is going to be getting from me through higher premiums) = $520

To recap:  Criminal Activity that WAS NOT MY FAULT resulted in me “sharing” the cost with the insurance company 67%/33% – that doesn’t even factor in the premium I paid in the first place.  And 1 month later, the Intact Insurance still can seem to figure out how much an LG Optimus cell phone is worth.  (um, google it, people, they have the internet on computers nowadays).

During this whole thing, ICBC sent me a letter saying that my premium was miscalculated and I now owe them $370 more dollars because I am a “new resident”.  No, I was born and raised here, but happened to live in Ontario for 10 years.  But no, now my insurance discount can only be 40% both mandatory and optional regardless of my risk as a driver.

Turns out that ICBC says if you leave for more than 8 years, your BC heritage is erased.

Does that make me upset?  No, it makes me CRAZY!

I called them.  I escalated my complaint.  I told them that I was being geographically discriminated against!  I am a Canadian citizen that has lived in Canada my whole life!  Apparently “in a couple of days” they will send me the link to send a letter to the “Fairness Commissioner”.  That was 2 weeks ago.   Thanks so much, ICBC.

And what can I do about it?  Nothing – because it is fiscally irresponsible to not have insurance and there is only one company for car insurance.   It just takes one distracted moment to severely injure someone and one random event to lose my entire home.   So, I will fight this “I’m not a returning resident” classification with ICBC, but continue to pay premiums.

Insurance companies are in it to make profit.  And it is in their best interest to delay claims, build loopholes, and increase premiums.  It doesn’t matter if it is private personal firm in Ontario, a governmental agency, WSIB, WorkSafe BC, pet insurance, health insurance (when was the lat time that your glasses only cost $200?) etc – if you are paying a premium, there is some sort of loophole to maximize the premium.

January 29th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  I’m fighting this – I am not paying ICBC extra.  They don’t get to make arbitrary rules not based on actuarial data.

See G.? – I didn’t write about it.