January 15, 2014
by Heather King
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It’s not all about me: The Health Insurance Edition

After much consideration, my employer decided to switch to covering individual health insurance policies for all of us at work instead of the small group plan that we have had until now.  It wasn’t a tough decision, we can get better policies on the exchange at the Platinum level for less money than the options available to us with our existing group plan.

Considering it’s my insurance, I’m a big fan of the policy improvements.  As someone who has to kick in a percentage of the plan cost, I’m also pretty pleased with the saving money part.  I now also get to pick any policy I’d like off the exchange which gives me some flexibility and choice that a small company normally can’t offer.  We are all feeling pretty win-win around these parts.

That being said, dealing with my state health care exchange has been…let’s say unsatisfying.

The technical problems, oh yes, there are so many technical problems. Additionally, all of the customer support options are COMPLETELY overwhelmed. A website error seems to have borked up my account and application so I am temporarily unable to complete my application or start a new unborked one until I can raise a real life person to fix it.  At the moment, I am left with nothing to do but be patient because reaching a real life person hasn’t been possible. The phone line and online chat options are overloaded and queuing up in them either isn’t an offered option or never succeeds.  I’ve spent a bit of time wading through it this week. I understand why folks are frustrated.

I’m also a little excited by it, though. Sure, I have spent more time than I’d like on it recently…time that I didn’t really have to spend this week.  I don’t like that. I just can’t separate it from the other thing I know, the reason the system is overloaded is because a ton of people are using it. Many people who have been unable to qualify for or afford insurance up till now. Other people who have been scraping together pennies and doing without basic necessities because they have a pre-existing illness and couldn’t dream of switching to a better policy.

I’m finding it difficult to get too upset because it has caused an inconvenience in my daily life. An inconvenience that I will have completely forgotten about in a week or two. An inconvenience that is eerily similar to the one I willing inflict on myself every year when I buy San Diego Comic Con tickets!

Other people’s lives are being measurably improved, so yeah. Go ahead and put me on hold. I’ll be fine.

January 12, 2014
by Heather King
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Compartmentalizing

Once upon a time I used to blog. That should be the definition of this space over the last few years.

I never wrote a lot. Or consistently. If I had something I was chewing on, though, this used to be a place I could think it through by typing, deleting, editing and hitting publish. Like magic, the thing I was chewing on would make a little more sense thanks to the act of putting it into words. I miss that.

It reminds me of how I would stay up all night in my early 20s, driving around with dear friends and debating whatever the big thought of the day was. Usually it was politics, sometimes it was a morality question. Usually it would veer to some personal revelation from one of us that was too scary to share in the light of day with a full night’ sleep. We would rarely sway anyone else in the car, though at the same time we were all changed by the conversations. We understood ourselves and our beliefs better by having to put them into words and defend them. We had to understand why we believed them. That part matters more than most people ever know.

Somewhere along the way, spontaneous all-night car rides to nowhere fell by the wayside. The way so many things do when you grow up. I miss what I got out of them. This place used to provide a bit of that for me. I’m not sure why I stopped writing here. Maybe I was distracted by the multitude of places to share pieces of myself online. Facebook statuses here, Tweets there, a Flickr album, a YouTube video, a Pin, a Ravelry project…everything had a place. Except I forgot that writing through things wasn’t for sharing a piece of me with others. It was about processing it for myself. I don’t mind sharing it, I think it makes me put more effort into the thought. Ultimately, though, I write it down for me.

So now what. I think I start by offloading the things that distracted me from this place. I started two Tumblrs, one for my crafty side and one for my techie side. It probably sounds crazy that I would create new online spaces when I just talked about the distractions of my other online spaces. Maybe it is. I’m an “everything in its place” kind of girl, though. For now, I like the idea of keeping a place for me to post those things.

If you like to follow crafty me, you’ll find that here : http://startitis.tumblr.com

If you like to follow techie me, here you go: http://heatherkking.tumblr.com

This place, I’m reclaiming for me. We’ll see how that goes.