Get The Picture? By Sherry Hopkins

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 20, 2009

Some ‘shoulda-known’ things could cost you

I have spent the better part of the past days painting molding and doorframes.

I have always considered myself to be a good housekeeper but I thought differently after my close encounter with the kitchen cabinets.

Perhaps it’s my bad eyesight or the fact that I don’t get up close and personal with the cabinets that often.

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That will certainly change in the future.

As I told you last week I was down on the floor painting the quarter round molding around the bottom cabinets. I could not believe the stuff I found. Some of which was unidentifiable.

How does stuff get down there anyway?  I feel as though I am constantly wiping and cleaning those cabinets. Obviously I’m not doing a great job. But they are now clean and freshly painted. I vow to do a better job in the future.

This brings me to my subject for this week. Things I should have known but didn’t. In the same vein as the dirty cabinets, all this sunshine we’ve experienced has illuminated areas of my house that have been too long ignored. I need to fix that… but not today.

Did you know that you can’t laminate your social security card to protect it? I didn’t either and mine is laminated. I guess I better put “get a new one” on my long list of things to do.

Did you know that your medical insurance might cover an out of network claim as in network if you call your insurance company and request prior approval? I didn’t know that either and we wound up having to pay a full medical claim for Dear Don because the lab processing a blood test was in California, clearly out of network.

I remember thinking at the time of the test that at most we would only have to pay 30% of the cost for out of network. However labs and other medical related companies do not have to accept the payment if they don’t have a contract with the insurance company.

Bottom line here is check with your insurance company BEFORE you have any expensive test or procedures to find out exactly how much you are responsible for.

Speaking of insurance. Did you know that your vehicle insurance rate is based in part on where your vehicle is made? For instance, if you car comes from overseas, that is shipped here complete, there is a higher cost for replacement parts because of import tariffs and taxes. Again check with your insurance company to find out about the vehicle you are looking to buy.

Did you know that not everything is covered bumper to bumper on your new car warranty. In the back of your manual in really little writing are some caveats to the touted coverage.

Ask the salesman about this when you are car shopping. If you can’t get a good answer ask to see the manual.

Also while you are looking at the manual in the back there is a section about Lemon Laws in this country for those of us who have bought a car that didn’t live up to standards. Each state is listed with the information you will need to file a claim.

Another important thing I should have known but didn’t is that an elderly person can be admitted to a nursing home for 100 days and Medicare will cover the expense if that person is coming directly from a hospital stay. Otherwise in a direct admit of course the patient is responsible for their own bill which is about $8000 or more per month. One’s life savings goes quickly at those rates.

And certainly not the last thing I should have known is that no matter what kind of day I’ve had and no matter how I look when Dear Don gets home every evening he looks at me just like he did almost 30 years ago. It’s that look of love and joy and I appreciate it so very much. You get the picture.

(Contact Sherry at <>.)