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Well, My car free life is coming to an end.

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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

Well, My car free life is coming to an end.

Old 12-12-16, 04:32 PM
  #1  
Robert C
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Well, My car free life is coming to an end.

My car-free life will come to an end soon. The doctor I had was the only one in town who takes my insurance and he is leaving at the end of the year. Now the nearest place I can go for non-emergency care is over 100 miles away; no, there is no public transportation.

I am still trying to find an alternative. After all, every month I put off buying a car is a month that I save 300-400 dollars. Besides, I use my bicycle for all of my transportation and I am still 210Lbs, at 5'6", with a car I can see that getting worse.

I am looking into it to see if there is a VA shuttle at can take me to a major clinic. And yes, I am considering just renting a car for the times I go to the doctor.
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Old 12-12-16, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
Besides, I use my bicycle for all of my transportation and I am still 210Lbs, at 5'6", with a car I can see that getting worse.

Change your diet get a gym membership and start working out, try doing some other type of exercises besides riding a bike...Riding a bicycle for transportation isn't a very effective way to loose fat.
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Old 12-12-16, 07:19 PM
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If you're worried about your weight, changing your diet will help you lose/hold steady better than any exercise will. The less you move the better you have to eat. Of course eating a very healthy diet can eliminate most trips to the doctor. I hope you find a solution to your situation.
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Old 12-12-16, 07:47 PM
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If you have to buy a car, just buy a cheap one and make it worth your while: Use it to open up new vistas for you, riding, hiking, etc.
Beware of perfectionism.
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Old 12-12-16, 08:14 PM
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How often do you have to go see your doctor? I hope it works out for you. If necessary get a cheap used Honda with under 200,000 miles. And the ability to carry a bike, of course!
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Old 12-13-16, 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
My car-free life will come to an end soon. The doctor I had was the only one in town who takes my insurance and he is leaving at the end of the year. Now the nearest place I can go for non-emergency care is over 100 miles away; no, there is no public transportation.

I am still trying to find an alternative. After all, every month I put off buying a car is a month that I save 300-400 dollars. Besides, I use my bicycle for all of my transportation and I am still 210Lbs, at 5'6", with a car I can see that getting worse.

I am looking into it to see if there is a VA shuttle at can take me to a major clinic. And yes, I am considering just renting a car for the times I go to the doctor.
Car rental might still work out as the cheapest option, if you have an agency in your town.

It's a case of sitting down with a pen and paper and doing the sums over one or two years to determine which is the most cost effective scenario. Without knowing the intracacies/complexities of your health insurance, you might even find it cheaper, when compared with buying and running a car, to change insurer for a more expensive one so you can get accepted by another doctor in the town.
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Old 12-13-16, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
My car-free life will come to an end soon.
What a shame! Perhaps it will only be a temporary situation and you will be able to resume your car-free ways at some time in the future.
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Old 12-13-16, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre View Post
If you have to buy a car, just buy a cheap one and make it worth your while: Use it to open up new vistas for you, riding, hiking, etc.
Beware of perfectionism.
^THIS!

Part of me is dying to own a cheap, dependable car again. If I was forced to get one there would be plenty of positives for me. I would get back into kayak/canoeing immediately. Find some reasons to be happy about the change.
.
.
.
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Old 12-13-16, 02:38 PM
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What about the possibility/interest in moving? Are there factors such as family, property, and/or job that make moving something to be avoided?
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Old 12-13-16, 02:59 PM
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Check out difference insurance so you can use local medical people.
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Old 12-13-16, 03:05 PM
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Scratching my head. Your profile says SLC. There should be a doctor within stone's throw which means your insurance, not the doctor, is the problem. Have you gone to your benefits department, or whatever is your equivalent, to get some service?
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Old 12-13-16, 04:30 PM
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@Robert C : Is there no smaller, VA clinics closer than 100 miles? If not, I hope you realize, with the new healthcare reform you should be able to visit ANY doctor for care at the cost you would pay at the VA.
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Old 12-13-16, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Scratching my head. Your profile says SLC. There should be a doctor within stone's throw which means your insurance, not the doctor, is the problem. Have you gone to your benefits department, or whatever is your equivalent, to get some service?
I live in SLC; however, I spend my school year in South West Kansas. I fly home to see my wife over long breaks (Yes, I am a teacher). To save money I share an apartment with another teacher who does the same, except that he lives in Wisconsin. This is pretty common for teachers, particularly in rural areas.

Frankly, any other insurance option would cost me over $400/month more (and cover less). I actually got some good news today about his leaving. Even though he is closing his clinic, he will still take existing clients as cash only patients. I can then send the receipt to the VA, while I wont get reimbursed, it counts against my out-of-pocket cap. Considering that I only see him once a year, that may be a better option.

I am also trying to get information about the VA shuttle to the Amarillo, TX Facility.
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Old 12-13-16, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
South West Kansas
I understand now.

Is he the only doctor at all, or could you petition the insurance company to add someone new, or ask another doctor to take your insurance? My wife applies to insurance companies to be in their network for her practice, so I know it's not just a monolithic bureaucracy turning you down. Though I expect the CA system for family therapists to be somewhat different than the KS system for doctors.

It's not just for LCF, either. 200 miles rt is inconvenient in a car, too.
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Old 12-13-16, 09:23 PM
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Though a rental car would make more sense, you'll lose bragging rights on bikeforums.

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Old 12-14-16, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
Though a rental car would make more sense, you'll lose bragging rights on bikeforums.
What a valuable commodity that is.
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Old 12-14-16, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
Considering that I only see him once a year, that may be a better option.
If you only need to go to the doctor once a year, you might consider planning a bike tour instead of renting a car. Of course, touring isn't something I would recommend to someone who's not up for it since it can be quite an endeavor and you really have to know what you're doing and know your body and its limits to do it safely; but if you were able to build up the ability to bike 50 or 100 miles in a day, you could potentially bike 100 miles to the doctor once a year. Don't endanger yourself trying, though, if the risks are significant.

Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
Though a rental car would make more sense, you'll lose bragging rights on bikeforums.
I have never judged anyone on this forum based on how absolutely car-free they live. The only thing I really look at is attitude and sincerity. People who live driving-dependent and aspire to LCF, or who struggle with driving-pressures are often the most endearing and admirable. It's like in Star Trek with the Kobayashi Maru test of character in a no-win situation: how we deal with no-win situations is at least as important as how we achieve success; and LCF often feels like a no-win scenario in many ways because of everything from cultural norms/pressures to job options that are off-limits to people who won't submit to driving around long distances on short notice.
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Old 12-14-16, 11:44 AM
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I talked about it a little more with my wife. A doctor can do an individual contract with the insurance company, or you can send them the bill... similar to if you went to the emergency room while on a trip, but with notice ahead of time. Basically, the same result, but one generates from the doctor's office and one from you.
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Old 12-16-16, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
What a valuable commodity that is.
Exactly. It's the little things in life, the things that you can't put a price tag on, that are really the most important.
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Old 12-16-16, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
I live in SLC; however, I spend my school year in South West Kansas. I fly home to see my wife over long breaks (Yes, I am a teacher). To save money I share an apartment with another teacher who does the same, except that he lives in Wisconsin. This is pretty common for teachers, particularly in rural areas.

Frankly, any other insurance option would cost me over $400/month more (and cover less). I actually got some good news today about his leaving. Even though he is closing his clinic, he will still take existing clients as cash only patients. I can then send the receipt to the VA, while I wont get reimbursed, it counts against my out-of-pocket cap. Considering that I only see him once a year, that may be a better option.

I am also trying to get information about the VA shuttle to the Amarillo, TX Facility.
So, can you schedule your doctor appts for your trips yo SLC? My sister has lived in FL for over 10 years, yet when she needs to see a 'real' doctor, she schedules it for one of her trips back to MN. And she usually rents a car when she's here .

You just don't want to be stuck in certain states when you need medical care.
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Old 12-16-16, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
I have never judged anyone on this forum based on how absolutely car-free they live. The only thing I really look at is attitude and sincerity.
Has anyone? I keep reading that this forum is full of people who look down their noses at anyone who isn't absolutely car-free, but I haven't seen that.
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Old 12-17-16, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
I live in SLC; however, I spend my school year in South West Kansas. I fly home to see my wife over long breaks (Yes, I am a teacher). To save money I share an apartment with another teacher who does the same, except that he lives in Wisconsin. This is pretty common for teachers, particularly in rural areas.

Frankly, any other insurance option would cost me over $400/month more (and cover less). I actually got some good news today about his leaving. Even though he is closing his clinic, he will still take existing clients as cash only patients. I can then send the receipt to the VA, while I wont get reimbursed, it counts against my out-of-pocket cap. Considering that I only see him once a year, that may be a better option.

I am also trying to get information about the VA shuttle to the Amarillo, TX Facility.
It does seem a shame to buy a car for such rare occasions. You might want to double check with your local bus company to see if there is some way that on-demand bus service can get you there. Also, is there Greyhound service or another intercity bus service in your town? many people volunteer to drive people to appointments--especially veterans. A local church, senior center, or other non-profit agency might be able to hook you up with a volunteer. If it would make you feel better, they might accept a donation in exchange for a ride. Finally, what about friends? Your flatmate, a co-worker, or another friend might be happy to drive you or lend you their car. I know I would be happy to do that (if I had a car) and I'm not even all that nice.
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Old 12-17-16, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
Don't you have an e-assist bike? Take that car money and sink it into a trailer and a LOT of batteries
Or get a motorcycle, there's not that much difference between a bicycle and a motor bike from my perspective, aside from the speeds you can achieve. Personally I think they are safer in traffic situations like busy inner city roads. He can get a cheap 250 or somesuch.
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Old 12-17-16, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
Don't you have an e-assist bike? Take that car money and sink it into a trailer and a LOT of batteries
Not really practical, at 20MPH average that would be 5Hr there and 5 Hrs back...

Originally Posted by coominya View Post
Or get a motorcycle, there's not that much difference between a bicycle and a motor bike from my perspective, aside from the speeds you can achieve. Personally I think they are safer in traffic situations like busy inner city roads. He can get a cheap 250 or somesuch.
Depending on weather/winter conditions in his area, that would probably work pretty good most times a year...

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Old 12-22-16, 04:58 PM
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First off, I have had motorcycles (and still have my endorsement). However, I got good news. By way of a tortured path that involved my doctor's wife calling a local priest, and him contacting a hospital with church ties. . .

. . . However it was done, I was able to arrange a new local doctor that takes my insurance. Crisis averted.
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