On this episode of How To Money, Matt and Joel discuss schools and theme parks reopening, the rise of contactless payments & hamburger-flipping robots, what to do if you’ve lost your health insurance along with your employment, and much more. But first, they talk about tipping extra at restaurants during the pandemic. Some have argued that we should be tipping 50% when we eat at or get takeout from local restaurants, pointing out that restaurant workers’ jobs are much more strenuous and risky than ever before with cases rising everyday. While Matt thinks starting at 50% is a little steep, both guys think it’s a good idea to show your appreciation for the extra work and financial hardship restaurant workers are experiencing, and the best way to show it in these tough times is right on the tip line.
Schools are going virtual for the fall, at least, and some states have pushed back their start date. While Matt admits that it’s a bit of a downer that his kindergarten-aged kid won’t be starting her school career in person, it’s also unacceptable to continue to ask teachers to make sacrifices in order to do their jobs. But it is undeniable that no in-person schools will continue to make things extremely difficult for parents, and the potential psychological and sociological impacts on kids are concerning. Some parents are forming “pods” of kids and sharing the cost of a homeschool teacher to take charge of them during the day – a creative solution that could be an answer for many parents. Out-of-the-box thinking like this could help us figure out a way to move forward, rather than all of us just getting stuck in the mire.
Another complicated issue facing millions of Americans is unemployment. Though some jobs were added back to the economy in the past few months, huge companies like United Airlines and Walgreens have recently announced giant layoffs. And mass unemployment has already left 5.4 million Americans without health insurance – an especially scary situation in the midst of a global pandemic. There are a couple of options we can turn to: First, COBRA is a law that enables you to pay premiums to keep the insurance you had at your job, so you can keep the same deductibles and see the same doctors. It can be pricey, but if it's the best option for you, you have 60 days from the day you were terminated to sign up for it. You also have a special 60-day enrollment period in the Affordable Care Act marketplace to find a new plan, and depending on your income level, it could be worth applying for Medicaid.
Hear more about your health insurance options, as well as the importance of making your voice heard with your elected officials, the major problem with unemployment payments right now, and much more, on this episode of How To Money.
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