Obamacare Strikes Again

[rant mode ON] I cannot believe how much Obamacare is costing me! I thought it was supposed to be this great thing and help save me money on my insurance. Once again I find out how much it is actually hurting my wallet.

First off my insurance went up. I know that this is not old news, but it did not go up during the last open enrollment period so I figured that I was safe. Not even close, I was paying about $150 a month for really great coverage. But, the plan that I was on was deemed too good for Obamacare. So my company was told to either drop the coverage or pay a fine. Can you believe that? A fine because the insurance is too good! So, my company dropped it of course. Now my insurance is about double what I was paying and for worse coverage.

I never had to pay co-pays and was rarely charged for any in office procedure, you know stuff like wart removal and things like that. Now I am being charged $30 per office visit, unless it is just for a checkup. But if they do anything at the checkup that isn’t considered part of it, I have to pay for that procedure. I just had to pay a $137 office bill because the doctor was concerned about a mole and removed it at my last checkup appointment.  Needless to say I was a bit upset about it.

The only good side is that my generic prescriptions that I was once paying $4 for are now free. Isn’t that great that I am saving a whole $4 a month? I should wave banners in the street for that!

One of the things I definitely took for granted was that my old plan covered chiropractic and even massage therapists for only a $15 copay. My new plan doesn’t cover either of these! If you’ve ever paid out-of-pocket for a chiropractic appointment or even a 30 minute massage, you understand how expensive they are and how quickly multiple appointments can add up. With my chronic lower back pain, I’m now learning about how to massage out a knot using a tennis ball or other self massage tools. This may actually be a good thing in the long run since even at $15 an appointment, it gets spendy really quick. If I can learn how to massage my own back for the cost of a tennis ball, I’d be a happy camper. That combined with my new jade heating pad, and I’ll be set… hopefully.

After I found out that my insurance would be going up and that it wasn’t the plan that I was originally on, I decided to go and check the Obamacare website. I typed in all my information, which was the biggest pain. I swear they wanted me to sell my first born child just to get a quote! It shouldn’t be that hard to just get a quote. So, after agreeing to sell my first born I finally got my quote and I about had a heart attack then and there. I found out that I could get my original insurance, yes the one that my company dropped because it was deemed too good by Obamacare standards, for $6000 a year. I was paying $1800 a year originally, and the exchange wants me to pay 3 times as much! Guess I won’t be upgrading my 25″ TV anytime soon or actually getting some really good tools for the garage which are much needed for all the projects I have planned.

This is such a crock! We were promised that we wouldn’t lose our insurance. We were promised that prices would not go up. We were lied to and I expect prices to continue to jack up! And, to keep rubbing salt in our wounds we are still being lied to. Obama keeps changing the rules of his bill. He keeps putting off the implementation of certain parts of it. I thought that was illegal and that the President could not do that, that it takes congressional approval. I could be wrong though. But, with a President who is making up the rules as he goes along, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit that he is breaking his own law!

My Time Management Tips

Being a graphic designer and artist living in New York, I can always find some distraction that will give me inspiration for my next project.  I mean, New York has everything I could ever need or want.  From spending a day at Central Park or taking in the latest play, I could spend all my time just exploring.  The drawback to finding my creative inspiration is not working on projects or meeting deadlines.  Let’s face it, a girl has to eat and my landlord would really like his rent check on time.  Since I am not real fan of the routines, I have learned to manage my time to allow for that moment of spontaneity as well as meeting all the other demands of life. So, here are some of my time management tips that seem to help me stay organized and on top of everything.

Create a Calendar

Creating a calendar is a great way for keeping track of deadlines, appointments and projects.  Since I am a visual person, I create a large calendar out of poster board each month.  I know this style is a little old school, but I like being able to see the deadlines and the days that I can actually do something spontaneous.  By the end of the month, the calendar looks like an art project with all the different colored markers making deadlines and all the projects crossed off. I also have a desk calendar that shows hours of the day.  When I have multiple projects or appointments, I see how much time I have allowed for each task.

Lists

I am the queen of the to-do-lists.  I make lists in order to know what items I need to finish first.  I keep the list right by my computer.  Checking my social networks and emails is my morning habit.  By having the list right beside my computer, I know what I need to accomplish that day or what I can push aside until tomorrow.

Allow Extra Time

The last thing, I want is to stress out over a project when a deadline is looming.  So, I always give myself extra time.  I may look at a project and think that will only take a couple hours to complete.  I am usually right in my initial assessments.  However there have been other projects that are more detailed than I original anticipated.  These projects can cause me to stress; the extra time eases that panic of not be able to meet a deadline. I want every project to be the best of my abilities in order to get future referrals.

Learn to Say, “No”

If I have too many tasks to do in one week, I will tell a client that I have to pass on a project.  I want my work to be the best of my abilities.  Learning to say, “No” can be difficult at first but sometimes this has to be done.  By being honest with my clients, many have offered extended deadline which I can work into my current schedule.

Focusing on Me

I cannot be my creative self without getting enough sleep. I have learned to make sleep a priority. I admit I like staying up working until the morning hours.  However, sleep is important to stay focused.

I also allow time just for me; time to be spontaneous and go out exploring New York.   Or just a relaxing night where I sit in my pajamas and catch up on the latest television series. The choices are endless but there should be time just for you.

 

I Love New York

What a crazy few weeks it’s been for me, and I can’t wait to share my astounding news. I’ve been busy creating some new designs for my portfolio, and I decided to take a break and write this blog; I’m rather excited to show off my work to my clients, who live right here in New York. The appreciation of art is one of the best things about living in New York City, and I can always find a gallery to inspire me to work harder on my designs. It’s great to live in a bustling city that thrives on the passion of its citizens. I’ve been working on this project and I haven’t had the time to update you on my latest news:

I’m working for Tam and Michael, a young couple that own an art gallery. My clients were really relaxed and had a certain flair for color and abstract art; I met them at a gallery on 57th, and after reviewing my artwork and integrity, we agreed that I would make graphics for their website. Of course, as a graphic designer/artist living in NY, my dream is to make money off of what I love. As it turns out, my clients are opening a second gallery on the lower East side and I’m making a logo for the website! It’s somewhere I can submit my paintings and get noticed by an audience, and of course, I want to get noticed! The project is ongoing so I can continue to make graphics and art for their gallery in the future, and Tam is excited to help me get noticed. I’m stoked to get my work out there and get some experience working for a gallery.

The best part about this project is the ability to work from home. New York City’s transportation is great, though, so I can at least walk or take a subway if I need inspiration for the project. Lately, they’ve been doing some renovations in my apartment building so it’s good to get away from the noise. I’m sure they make some less noisy compressors than the one being used, but what do I know. It’s not like I’m going to be researching brands or reading a bunch of Harbor Freight compressor reviews. There’s really great landscape and scenery in NYC; the city has great appreciation for art and nature. You would think a busy place like New York would have no time to slow down and appreciate the finer things in life, but it’s what keeps the people moving. From Broadway, to the galleries, and the busy life of the working human, my project will reflect the heart and soul of NYC: passion! Who are we, as people, without it?