Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Insurance, Adultification, Transportation

"And you may ask yourself
How do I work this?
And you may ask yourself
Where is that large automobile?
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house!
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful wife!
- Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime

A friend of mine posted this article on Facebook which says that "1 in 3 twentysomethings is without health insurance." Blame it on: The Recession. It's kind of scary. I'm still covered by my mom's health insurance plan, but I don't know for how long. (Note to self: Remember to ask Mom how long her insurance plan will cover me.) Pretty soon, I'll have to fend for myself. I haven't been concerning myself with benefits packages in my current job search. They're just that: benefits. To hell with health insurance packages if I find something I really want to do.

Thinking about health insurance gets me to thinking about how I'm entering the adult world, where I have to support myself. I had a job throughout college, so I'm used to supporting myself in terms of spending money. I know how to schedule my own dentist appointments. But there there are things I haven't had to deal with by myself: Paying rent, paying taxes. I'll have to pay my own bills for utilities, cable, internet, and phone service. (Cue "Bills, Bills, Bills" by Destiny's Child.) It's kind of scary, but kind of exciting.

And then there's the whole driving thing. I went on a road trip to Washington DC with some friends for the Fourth of July. On the way back, not 15 minutes away from our destination, the car started making weird noises. We pulled over. It seemed that there was a leak in the oil tank. My friend had bought his car used only nine days prior. His car insurance didn't cover roadside assistance. Long story short, he needs a new engine. His dealership, warranty company, and insurance company have been duking it out for three weeks about who should pay for the work the car needs done. It's a nightmare, and one that I am sooo glad I don't have to deal with.

I don't have a car. In fact, I don't know how to drive. I never even got my learner's permit. (I was supposed to go to the DMV on my sixteenth birthday, but my friends took me to the Museum of Science instead.) In Boston, I don't really need a car because I live within walking distance of a T stop on the Green Line. It is convenient, although somewhat limiting. I'm not looking at any jobs not accessible by public transportation, for instance.

I really should learn to drive, even if I wouldn't get a car. It would be a good thing to know how to do if I'm ever really in a bind. I feel bad that I can't help out on long distance road trips and that I'm out of the running for designated driver. And getting a license would mean that I wouldn't have to use my passport as ID at bars and clubs.

Or maybe I'll just wait for a consumer line of fuel-efficient flying cars.

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