Friday, October 25, 2013

Vehicle stats, and more serious stuff

I've put together an updated list of all the vehicles I've owned (including my two first cars, which, technically, my dad owned for me). From that list, I compiled the following statistics (which are rather long - you can skip ahead to the "good stuff" later on if you want):

  • I've owned 29 vehicles (counting the two that my dad technically owned and were never in my name and the motorcycle)
  • Those 29 vehicles are 17 different makes:
    • Alfa Romeo (1)
    • BMW (1)
    • Buick (3)
    • Cadillac (1)
    • Chevrolet (3)
    • Dodge (1)
    • Ford (5)
    • Honda (1)
    • Kia (4)
    • Lexus (1)
    • Mercury (1)
    • Nissan (1)
    • Oldsmobile (1)
    • Renault (1)
    • Suzuki (2) (one of these was a motorcycle)
    • Toyota (1)
  • Of the makes, 5 I've owned multiple models (counting Suzuki here as I've owned both a car and a motorcycle of that brand) and 12 I've owned only a single example
  • The cars are from 3 different regions:
    • America (15)
    • Asia (11)
    • Europe (3)
  • And from 6 different countries:
    • America (15)
    • France (1)
    • Germany (1)
    • Italy (1)
    • Japan (6) (counting the motorcycle)
    • Korea (5)
  • Of the 29, 13 (or 45%) were received from someone with little or no payment (counting the first two, which were actually owned by my dad); 8 of those from my dad
  • Years range from 1967 through 2012, broken into decades as this:
    • 1960s: 1
    • 1970s: 2
    • 1980s: 5
    • 1990s: 8
    • 2000s: 10
    • 2010s: 3
While European vehicles comprise a small percentage of the cars I've owned, I generally prefer them to American and Asian vehicles; all the ones I've driven seem to have something, "soul," that American & Asian vehicles lack. I've not owned any British or Swedish cars, or anything from Yugoslavia, Russia, India, Spain, China, etc. But it's an interesting list (if you want more details about model specifics, check my past posts here and here).

So the website just doesn't work. No problem, right? Since I have until March, 2014 to sign up? Not so fast! Here's the deal: I have health insurance available through my employer, but I elected to go with BCBSAL, individually obtained for my family, instead, since the employer plan is not "Alabama-specific" and the BCBSAL plan covers more of the docs and healthcare in my area (e.g., my dentist is on the BCBS plan, but not my employer's plan). However, BCBSAL is cancelling my current plan and will automatically enroll me in a new plan, if I don't do anything else, at the end of this year. That new plan will cost over $600/month more than my current plan and offer less coverage (higher copays and twice the deductible/out-of-pocket costs). So, I wanted to check what's available on the marketplace, see if there are any subsidies that may help offset my "new, improved" (more expensive) health care plan from BCBSAL. But I can't - it doesn't work. It took 11 days from the time the site opened to be able to create an account and complete an application (which says we can all enroll in plans), but another two weeks later and STILL there are no plans shown on the site. However, my employer's open enrollment occurs in November, so I really need to find out what options are available on the marketplace to see if I can afford, somehow, to continue my BCBSAL insurance, or if I need to enroll in my employer's plan. November, not March. That's a huge difference, and potentially has a major impact on my family's health insurance.

And, in case you didn't think it could get any worse, check out this spot from Senator Ted Cruz (note: it's kind of a long video, nearly 30 minutes, so if you don't want to watch it now, skip down and I'll give you the synopsis):

Yeah. His numbers may be slightly questionable, and some of the leaps he makes (during the "fact check" portion of his speech) are as well, but the concept is the same. Essentially fining employers for hiring American citizens and legal permanent residents instead of hiring illegal immigrants granted amnesty under the proposed legislation. It becomes even more of an issue when taking into account the fact that a CPA I know has done an analysis for a business client of their firm and found that the business would actually save money by paying the fines instead of providing insurance to their employees. Add to that the fact that by firing current employees for which they'd owe fines and replacing them with illegal immigrants for which they wouldn't, and you can see lots of potential issues with this legislation.

Oh, and that $600+/month increase in my insurance? If I had that, don't you think there'd be another vehicle on my list above?

No comments: