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What's bugging you? [2019]

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Online  Re: What's bugging you? [2019]
Posted: June 16, 2019, 10:33 AM Post
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Joe Buck calling golf.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? [2019]
Posted: June 16, 2019, 2:50 PM Post
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Joe Buck calling anything.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? [2019]
Posted: June 17, 2019, 10:14 AM Post
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JimH5 said:
Patrick425 said:
My Mom and Dad moved into assisted living about 14 months ago. It was really my Mom that needed the care (diagnosed with Alsheimers, but sister and I disagree with each other regarding that diagnosis, there was a medication issue that happened that put my Mom into her current "state", but that's a long story). My Dad just went because he did not want her to be there alone. A little over 2 weeks ago, my Dad fell and broke his hip. He is now out of the hospital and out of rehab and back at the assisted living place with my Mom. So, now my Dad needs extra care and there was a meeting to discuss that and how the costs would change while he needed this extra care.

At this meeting it showed that my Mom currently gets 21 hours of care and my Dad will now require 25 hours of care. They don't make a record of the actual hours of care that each receives, they just bill based on what a computer program spits out after they enter what care is required (showering, bathroom, brushing teeth and assistance with dentures, administering medicine, etc). The problem is that it is clear that neither one of them are getting anywhere close to this number of hours of care a week. My Mom is probably getting about half of that amount. When you bring this up they just basically state "Well, sorry, that is what the computer is spitting out". They act like we are being unreasonable in questioning this and that we just didn't understand how the program works. I used with the analogy with them of an Electrician coming to their house and them giving the electrician a list of items they wanted done and the electrician then plugged that into their program and having it spit out 5 hours of work. Then, the electrician completes the work in 2 hours and hands them a bill for 5 hours of work. Would they object to that or would they just pay it?

In the end I really think that it's just a poor way of billing. If they just had a flat fee for each service or level of care rather than an hourly rate that has nothing to do with actual hours of care actually provided it would probably be a bit more palatable to hear. The hourly bs is just causes confusion and anger.


My dad passed away in May of 2018. For the last few months of his life, he had in-home care from Comfort Keepers. Some of the care was deemed medical, but a lot of it was more personal care stuff. He was healthy enough to stay in his home, but not healthy enough to be totally on his own.

Comfort Keepers caregivers turned in timesheets that he signed, and a chart of checkbox items that they helped with each day. He signed the documents every week and was billed according to time spent and their hourly rate. Not sure if your situation calls for that, but it doesn't seem unreasonable.

After he died, I found an expired insurance policy that included a Long Term Care provision that extended coverage even after the Life Insurance portion had ended. I submitted claims based on those timesheets and bills and his estate received a portion of those expenses back. Maybe something for you to check.


It's funny you should mention comfort keepers. We had to get them for my Mom, even though she is already in assisted living, while my dad was in rehab for his hip. My Mom does not have the capacity to sign anything regarding hours. I'm not sure if my sister signed an hours sheet, but they sent me the billing information and all the hours were detailed on the bill.

It's a little different in that we requested certain hours for comfort care to be there (like 7pm to 9am for example) and there was a comfort keepers care giver physically in the assisted living apartment during those hours. With the care provided by the assisted level staff, they come at certain times of the day to assist with tasks like using the bathroom. That may take 10-15 minutes each time they come in, but it's been indicated to me that none of that is recorded. The hours they charge are for are based solely on how many hours a computer program states that type of care should take. This facility has many residents and the people who run it have many facilities. So, I would have a hard time believing that what they are doing is illegal and no one has ever called them on it. I've researched average cost of assisted living on various web site. Seems like the overall costs for my Mom and Dad are in line with the averages for Wisconsin. It's just frustrating to me and I wish they would bill in some other manner, like for care service provided or by care level, and not hourly....because the amount of hours is not correct.

Also, while we need to keep the facility accountable, it's a tricky situation. They are providing care for my parents and it seems that all elderly care facilities are currently struggling to find quality care givers that they can employ. If we have an issue with care and complain and word gets back to the actual care giver....does that fix the situation, or just makes the care that much worse for my parents. Unless we are willing to uproot my parents and move them because we believe the grass is greener somewhere else (and that is probably not true), then it's hard to do too much complaining or to threaten any type of legal action. Overall, I feel where my parents are is probably better than many other places. The state of elderly care in the country is just really bad.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? [2019]
Posted: June 17, 2019, 7:42 PM Post
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In regards to the pricing of elderly care. I don't take my car to auto shops to get fixed. Doesn't the auto repair centers also charge in the same manner meaning a fixed hourly rate and the "book" says how many hours it should take?


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? [2019]
Posted: June 17, 2019, 9:31 PM Post
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Patrick, my dad lived in Las Vegas and his care was there. There are lots and lots of retirees there, so perhaps Nevada laws are more demanding for accurate recordkeeping. And, LTC Insurance providers likely require those records to make payment for services.

He was of sound mind up until his death, and my dad was paying out of pocket for care, so he was sure to "get his money's worth" per hour. He wouldn't watch the clock, but surely wouldn't have gotten shorted by much. He had hospice care to handle most of the medical and end of life stuff. Comfort Keepers were largely there to prepare meals, walk his dog, go shopping and provide companionship.

Hope that your parents get some enjoyment in their remaining years. Being old is difficult.


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Online  Re: What's bugging you? [2019]
Posted: June 23, 2019, 6:54 AM Post
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My wife and I went to a restaurant yesterday that added a 3% surcharge for payment by credit or debit card. The waitress was kind enough to disclose this when she handed us the bill and we paid in cash to avoid what would have been about a $0.75 charge. I realize it costs 2-3% for retailers to process electronic transactions, but I thought that was built in to the cost everywhere. It struck me as odd. My wife says we can’t go there anymore.


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Posted: June 23, 2019, 8:10 PM Post
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nodakfan17 said:
My wife and I went to a restaurant yesterday that added a 3% surcharge for payment by credit or debit card. The waitress was kind enough to disclose this when she handed us the bill and we paid in cash to avoid what would have been about a $0.75 charge. I realize it costs 2-3% for retailers to process electronic transactions, but I thought that was built in to the cost everywhere. It struck me as odd. My wife says we can’t go there anymore.


This is becoming quite common in all types of businesses, either adding a percentage surcharge for using a CC or giving a discount for using cash or check. Remember of course 5 or so years ago we were all being encouraged to use a CC for everything.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? [2019]
Posted: June 23, 2019, 9:28 PM Post
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nodakfan17 said:
My wife and I went to a restaurant yesterday that added a 3% surcharge for payment by credit or debit card. The waitress was kind enough to disclose this when she handed us the bill and we paid in cash to avoid what would have been about a $0.75 charge. I realize it costs 2-3% for retailers to process electronic transactions, but I thought that was built in to the cost everywhere. It struck me as odd. My wife says we can’t go there anymore.


I have seen this being discussed online a lot lately by irritated/angry credit card users. This is going to happen more and more as the credit card fees increase. For my family's business, some can be almost 4% which is ridiculous.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? [2019]
Posted: June 24, 2019, 9:28 AM Post
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I told my auto bodywork guy to start doing that, or more specifically to offer discounts if paying cash. Since his bills are pretty high, he's losing upwards of $100 to the credit company every time someone pays a bill.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? [2019]
Posted: June 24, 2019, 10:10 AM Post
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It's just poor marketing. Instead of adding a fee, it should be a discount for cash. It's all about how you present it.


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Online  Re: What's bugging you? [2019]
Posted: June 24, 2019, 10:18 AM Post
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FVBrewerFan said:
It's just poor marketing. Instead of adding a fee, it should be a discount for cash. It's all about how you present it.

Exactly. I sympathize with the business owner, but as a consumer, I’d rather have the option to receive a discount than pay a surcharge. It’s just a mental accounting thing.


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Posted: June 24, 2019, 12:43 PM Post
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Without the cash discount it essentially costs more to pay cash. If I use my credit card, I get most of that 3% back through airline miles/rewards. If I pay cash I get nothing. I would rather pay cash but the system forces me to use the credit card.


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Posted: June 24, 2019, 12:58 PM Post
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Other than in these situations (which I don't see that often), I have a hard time understanding why everyone does not use credit cards almost exclusively. My wife and I put everything on the credit card and we fly at least one place for free every year (domestic flight), sometimes 2. You could also choose cash back or other rewards. Why would you not take advantage of that?

I basically use the credit card like its a debit card and pay it off every day, so I never pay interest and always know what my cash situation is. At some point several years ago, when I realized I could make a payment towards my credit card on a daily basis, it was a no brainier to switch from using an debit card that had little or no rewards. Takes me about 2 minutes every day to go in and make the payment towards my cc.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? [2019]
Posted: June 24, 2019, 2:19 PM Post
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Most people are not like you making payments during the month and having a good idea how much your monthly spend is on the card. For many I think paying cash is the way to go to stay out of credit card debt. If you can budget though the rewards on credit cards are real nice.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? [2019]
Posted: June 24, 2019, 3:19 PM Post
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Patrick425 said:
Other than in these situations (which I don't see that often), I have a hard time understanding why everyone does not use credit cards almost exclusively.


Many studies have shown that you will spend more if you use a credit/debit card versus cash.


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Online  Re: What's bugging you? [2019]
Posted: June 24, 2019, 6:23 PM Post
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I pay cash for just about any purchase under $50 (except gas). It’s a budgeting mechanism for me. It’s painful to part with the physical cash. I still like getting points on larger credit card purchases. Minimizing the amount of times I swipe my cards also helps reduce my chances of being a victim of identity theft.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? [2019]
Posted: June 24, 2019, 7:52 PM Post
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nodakfan17 said:
My wife and I went to a restaurant yesterday that added a 3% surcharge for payment by credit or debit card. The waitress was kind enough to disclose this when she handed us the bill and we paid in cash to avoid what would have been about a $0.75 charge. I realize it costs 2-3% for retailers to process electronic transactions, but I thought that was built in to the cost everywhere. It struck me as odd. My wife says we can’t go there anymore.


Restaurants are also a bonus rewards category on like every credit card out there. I occasionally juggle based on category, but for restaurants they're pretty much all getting it, to the point where making up the 3% isn't even difficult to match or exceed.

Only real deterrent I've seen are utilities companies, where they charge a hard fee of like $4.95 to pay online with credit and there's no bonus incentive so doing the bank draw is the best. Which still beats cash - pretty sure the same $21 has been in my wallet for over five years now.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? [2019]
Posted: June 25, 2019, 9:27 AM Post
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I keep trying to pay off my credit card. I put big payments in every month, and then the month ends and it seems like it's right back where it was. Nothing really sticks out as far as stupid spending apart from small things on Amazon I'll get now and again, and probably too much spent on groceries at Wal-Mart, though that's odd because I only buy cheap stuff and mostly make everything from scratch.

Will be nice to finally get it taken care of, and then finish off paying for the truck. I'm really looking forward to the next personal hobby of managing investments.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? [2019]
Posted: June 25, 2019, 9:46 AM Post
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Outlander said:
Most people are not like you making payments during the month and having a good idea how much your monthly spend is on the card. For many I think paying cash is the way to go to stay out of credit card debt. If you can budget though the rewards on credit cards are real nice.


wallus said:
Many studies have shown that you will spend more if you use a credit/debit card versus cash.


Ok, not sure if you understood my post. If you log in every day and pay off what you spent the day before it's basically just like using cash or a debit card. Should really be the same discipline. Since many people spend a lot of time looking at their phone anyways, really does not take that much effort to login in to their credit card and make a payment on a daily basis. Don't have to change your spending habits at all to also receive free flights, gift cards, etc. To me that's the same or worse than people who don't contribute to a 401(k) plan where the employer matches because they "can't afford it". Your employer is saying, "Hey, here is some money" and you are responding with "No thanks" (not to mention the tax deferral benefits).

I definitely applaud the wanting to stay away from credit card debt mentality. However, really hard for me to understand turning down rewards because you can't exercise a small amount of self discipline.


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Online  Re: What's bugging you? [2019]
Posted: June 25, 2019, 10:15 AM Post
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Patrick - your point is well-taken, but I think what others have tried to convey is that it’s mentally more difficult to part with a physical dollar than a digital dollar. I’m disciplined enoiugh to stay within budget even when charging everything to a credit card, but I find I often come in under budget when I force myself to use cash for smaller purchases.


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