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Winter always seems to sneak up on us, year after year. Because most climates experience the most dramatic change in weather during the colder months, it’s important to understand what apartment winter maintenance or preparatory tasks you’ll be responsible for at your rental property.
While some tasks fall on the shoulders of your landlord or property manager, there are certain steps you can take as a renter to ensure a safe and comfortable winter at home.
1. Check in with your landlord or property manager
Before the winter hits, touch base with your landlord if you’re unclear on what are tenant responsibilities and what are landlord responsibilities. Who’s responsible for removing snow and ice at the property, and what are the expectations?
Some states have local snow and ice removal regulations regarding public sidewalks or other public areas. Discuss acceptable de-icing measures to make sure you aren’t causing damage to any surfaces.
2. Test out the heat
While it’s your landlord’s responsibility to have heating and cooling systems serviced regularly, it’s helpful to turn on the heat a bit early for a short period of time to make sure everything is functioning properly.
It’s always better to learn about any issues ahead of time instead of discovering a winter maintenance problem in your apartment when the cold temperatures set in.
3. Avoid unwanted guests
Cooler weather and more precipitation means bugs, rodents and other pests are looking for a warm place to call home. An easy way to attract unwanted pests is by providing them with a food source, so be sure to take a few preventative steps, especially now that many of us are cooking at home more than ever before.
Store your dry, perishable food items inside air-tight containers that pests can’t chew through. Try to take trash containing food scraps out as soon as possible instead of letting it sit. Aim to wipe down countertops at least once each day to get rid of crumbs and food remnants.
4. Prevent frozen pipes
Be sure to follow all of your landlord’s instructions to avoid frozen or burst pipes due to cold weather. Most landlords or property managers will provide guidance on temperature levels and other preventative measures to avoid this issue.
If you’re leaving on vacation or will otherwise be away from your rental for a period of time this winter, give your landlord a heads up and ask if they want you to set the temperature at a certain point or leave a couple of faucets on a slow drip.
5. Stay warm and save money
Of course, you want to be comfortable in your own home, but keeping a few things in mind when it comes to turning on the heat can have a dramatic impact on your monthly bill. Experts say you can save up to 10 percent on your yearly heating expenses by turning down the thermostat just 7-10 degrees for approximately eight hours per day, like while you’re at work or while you’re sleeping.
Ceiling fans are an excellent tool to help distribute heat evenly. Many models have a switch that forces blades to spin clockwise, which will push warm air down into a room.
6. Be prepared for emergencies
If you live in an area where winter weather and storms are a frequent occurrence, it’s wise to make sure you’re prepared ahead of time for any worst-case scenarios. Sign up for weather and emergency alert systems to stay informed about any potentially threatening storms and actions should take. In general, stay indoors during major storms and avoid road travel until it is safe to do so.
7. Notify your landlord of any issues as soon as possible
Common winter issues like ice dams, frozen pipes or issues with the heating system can quickly spiral out of control. It’s important to keep tabs on your home and alert your landlord of any potential issues as soon as possible so they can be taken care of as quickly as possible.
Winter is coming
Whether you’re dreading winter or it’s your favorite season, taking the time to prepare your apartment for winter maintenance will help set you up for success as a renter. Come to a clear and established understanding of what your responsibilities are and what your landlord is responsible for, and make sure to hold up your end of the bargain.
The post 7 Apartment Winter Maintenance Tips for Renters appeared first on Apartment Living Tips – Apartment Tips from ApartmentGuide.com.
Insurance of any kind can be confusing, but when it comes to medical insurance, itâs really tricky to tell whatâs covered and what isnât. Whether youâre shopping around for a new plan or recently just got on a new health insurance plan, itâs good to know the ins and outs of your health insurance coverage before you end up with a large stack of medical bills that you canât afford. In this article, weâll discuss the things that medical insurance surprisingly doesnât cover so that you can make better decisions about your medical expenses.Â
What health insurance does cover
In accordance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Health Insurance Marketplace must now cover a specific set of services at little or no out-of-pocket expense to you. They are also required to cover at least 10 essential health benefits. These essential health benefits (EHBs) include:
- Ambulatory patient services
- Emergency services
- Hospitalization and surgery
- Maternity and newborn healthcare
- Mental health treatment and substance abuse disorders including counseling and psychiatric treatment
- Pharmaceutical drugs
- Rehabilitation services that provide care for those suffering from disabilities and injuries.Â
- Laboratory services (blood and urine testing, etc.)
- Preventative and wellness services
- Pediatric services
In short, a lot of the basic care that you will get on a regular basis should be covered by your health plan. Most of the time your doctor wonât suggest treatments that are not covered by your insurance. In a lot of cases, they will try to familiarize themselves with your health insurance plan so that they can lead you in the right direction. However, donât leave the all the responsibility in the hands of your doctor. Itâs important that you make time to read through your health insurance policy and look for any holes before getting services.Â
What health insurance doesnât cover
If you have a good insurance plan, most of your basic medical needs will be covered, but you might be surprised to know the services that generally are. Here is a list of services that health insurance does not cover:
- Nursing home services: Most nursing home services are not covered by standard health insurance or even Medicare. However, nursing home care is covered by Medicaid. Many people are confused about this, because they confuse short-term care from a skilled nursing facility with long-term nursing home care. These two things are very different. For example, if you were to suffer from a fall or some other type of injury that required you to get surgery, you would need short-term care in a rehabilitative facility to help you get back on your feet. That kind of care is covered. Full-fledge nursing home care on the other hand, wouldnât be covered because most health insurance providers place time limits on how long they will cover nursing home services. That being said, Medicare will only cover skilled nursing if the patient stayed for at least three days before staying in the skilled nursing facility. Additionally, the patient must be admitted to the facility for the purpose of seeking treatment for a short-term illness or injury as opposed to a chronic one.Â
- The shots you get before traveling abroad: At some point, health insurance companies decided that they would only cover services and procedures considered to be medically necessary, and travel vaccines didnât make the cut. Now, weâre not talking about your standard health vaccines like the tetanus or flu shot; those are covered. But for those of you who like to travel, the cost of your Typhoid or Yellow Fever vaccine is coming out of your own pocket. This rule of thumb goes for the vast majority of health insurance policies, including Medicare.
- Cosmetic surgery: Once again, health insurance policies will usually only cover what is âmedically necessary.â Itâs safe to say that Botox and lip injections will not be covered by your health insurance policy. However, there are certain surgeries that dance on the line between medically necessary and cosmetic. For example, if you wanted plastic surgery on your nose because you thought it was too big, thatâs considered cosmetic. But if you had to get work done on your nose due to issues with your sinuses, then thatâs probably going to be considered medically necessary.Â
- Acupuncture & alternative therapies: The rules surrounding acupuncture and other types of alternative therapies such as chiropractic care arenât as black and white. Coverage for such services like massage therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care arenât part of the requirements for most individual health care plans. However, depending on what state you live in, your health insurance plan might cover chiropractic costs. Say you are involved in a car accident that caused you to suffer from back injuries as a result. There is a good chance that your health insurance plan will cover these services. However, if you are a regular at the chiropractor just because you enjoy it, then it probably wonât be. While the standard Medicare plan does not cover acupuncture, there are some Medicare Advantage cans that can. Keep in mind that with most plans who do cover these types of services, there is usually a limit on how many visits you get.Â
- Dental, Vision & Hearing: If you are shopping around for health insurance plans with your employer, note that dental, vision and hearing services are not covered under a regular health insurance policy. If you want to get insured for these services, you will have to buy separate insurance plans for each one. Keep in mind that a lot of times, these insurance policies donât have any limits on how much they can charge you in out-of-pocket expenses, so research different dental offices before receiving services. Some people choose to not include a dental plan at all. If you wear glasses or contacts, however, itâs probably worth looking into your options for vision insurance.
- Weight loss surgery: If youâre considering having weight loss surgery, you might be in luck if you have Medicare or Medicaid. While there is currently not a requirement at the federal level for health insurance plans to cover bariatric surgery, Medicare and many Medicaid plans do cover it. Aside from those two plans, more than half of the states in the U.S. do require there to be at least partial coverage for bariatric survey as an essential health benefit (EHB). Remember that even if the state you live in mandates coverage for this procedure, you may still be responsible for some of the medical bills related to your weight loss surgery.Â
- Preventative screenings: Before we go any further, there are A LOT of preventative tests that are covered by your health insurance policy, but there are some that arenât. This is where things get confusing for a lot of people. For example, mammograms, cholesterol screenings, and colonoscopies will be covered. But if you need to get Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) screening, it most likely will not be covered.
- Certain medications: Once again, there are a ton of prescription medications that are covered by most health insurance plans, since pharmaceutical services are one of the essential health benefits (EHBs). However, health insurers get to choose what to cover and what not to cover. Most healthcare insurance plans will choose to cover the minimum. This means that they will pick a drug from each class to cover, and not cover the rest. Many times, the generic version of the drug you are prescribed will be covered by your health insurance, while the name brand will not.
What Health Insurance Doesnât Cover: Your Guide is a post from Pocket Your Dollars.
Hello friends! Praise be, the election is over and I just marked my birthday over the weekend – my official holiday season milestone. Whenever the calendar passes November 8, I feel like I can finally turn 100% of my attention to all things holiday. Obviously, the holidays are going to look and feel very different than years past. Perhaps instead of the holiday season, we should start referring to the next few months as the hunker down season. Because that’s what holidays in the time of Covid are going to require of us. But I’m not entirely mad about the idea of holing up at home. I’ll take a very valid excuse to look for ways to make my home as cozy, comforting, and beautiful as possible.
Enter the new rug collection from Beni Rugs, designed by my style soul twin, Colin King.
Called the Shape of Color, this new rug collection offers eleven Moroccan style rugs. Each rug features shocks of color inspired by Tangier and Marrakech. The hues are deeply saturated in simple geometric shapes or big bold stripes.
While I typically eschew color, rugs are a wonderful spot to inject something fresh into a room. I used a bold colored rug in my own living room. The particularly nice thing about a rug – it’s an easy way to reenergize a space without really having to change anything else.
There are a few secrets to picking out a rug. First, you want to think about size. A common mistake is getting a rug that is too small. You want all (or nearly all) your furniture in a space to sit on your rug. That helps a room feel anchored and like everything is working together. A too-small rug will actually make a small space feel even smaller!
Next, you want to think about foot traffic. If you’re looking to put a rug in a high foot traffic area, you’ll want to ensure any rug you select will withstand an onslaught of dirt and use.
Finally, when adding a colorful rug to your space you don’t need to “match your decor. You just want to keep everything in the same design family. Do you decorate with mostly warm colors or cooler tones? That will help you pick your colors.
If you’re looking to upgrade the coziness of your home before the holidays hit, I definitely think one of these rugs would be a great way to do it. I’m already debating which one I might add to our house. I do have a home office refresh in the works! If I pick out one of these rugs – I’ll be sure to share.
How are you planning on sprucing up your spaces for the holidays?
images c/o beni rugs
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