Having A Social Security Number Makes Me Feel A Lot More Secure

My social security number came in the mail this weekend.  This is a huge relief to me, because now I can:

  • Get paid (!!!)
  • Apply for a credit card
  • Receive health insurance
  • Receive dental insurance
  • Apply for accidental insurance
  • Apply for disability insurance
  • Apply for loans

I’m not quite celebrating just yet, because LG operates like most Asian companies;  they only pay once a month.  I’m still waiting for my first paycheck to come in.

Health insurance is a big thing in the US.  If I get into an accident, there isn’t any free healthcare.  I was given a pamphlet stating the prices for various services.  I believe breaking your arm could run you $10-15k, when you factor in tests, surgery, and hospital costs.

I could choose from two health insurance options:  EPO or PPO.  Without going into a lot of details, EPO is the cheaper option (many doctors visits are free, and most treatments are also free), but you can only visit doctors within a preferred network, UNLESS IT IS A LIFE/LIMB EMERGENCY.  PPO is more expensive because the deductibles are higher (you pay $5-10 out of pocket every time you visit the doctor), but you can use it at ANY doctor.  Treatments are usually covered 70-90%.  Since I don’t have a preferred doctor, I chose EPO, and will let the company pick where I get healed.

Most companies will usually have an option to take part of your paycheck to pay for health insurance.  Luckily, LG pays for all of it.  I feel much safer in the US now that I won’t put myself into bankruptcy if I get hurt.  LG will also pay for my dental and accidental insurance.  The only thing they won’t pay for is disability insurance.  I got it anyway because I’m here alone.  Gotta cover my own ass.

I’ve never really had to deal with credit scores before, but it is important to have a good credit score.  My co-workers say that anything above 675 is desirable.

I don’t have any credit history, so my manager (who is also Canadian) recommended that I open a prepaid credit card.  To obtain one, you need to put down $500-$1000 for a couple of months.  During that time, you can use the credit card normally.  Assuming you pay it off completely, you get the money back at the end of the holding period.  This would help me build credit history much quicker.

I’m considering buying a new car before it gets too cold because I will be doing a lot of driving this winter.  Many roads in Michigan are not well maintained, so winter driving can be dangerous.  I am considering leasing a car instead.  Leasing a car is slightly more expensive than buying a new one, but I get a new car!