Hold On to the History of
Dear Heloise: With
all the changes that are being made in health-insurance laws, you never
know when you will be required to complete an application for new
coverage. Most insurance companies require years of health history.
My hint: Never
trash or shred explanation of benefits from your insurance company.
These are a timeline for when you've had every doctor visit, lab test,
ER visit, surgery, etc., and you'll easily be able to list them on the
application. - Ellen in Arkansas
A very good idea,
and one that is worth doing! It can be bothersome to try to recall all
major illnesses, etc. If you receive a quarterly or year-end statement,
keep these for several years, just in case. If someone has a serious or
ongoing illness, keep the paperwork, even if you need a file box! -
Dear Heloise: I am
curious: When an air bag deploys, what is the powder that gets
We've all seen the movies and wondered. Generally it's just cornstarch
or talcum powder so the air bag won't stick together. Some newer bags
are manufactured so they don't need the powder.
- Nancy in Wyoming
Dear Heloise: For
over a week, I was missing my black, small portfolio with important
books and documents. After doing a lot of searching in my car and my
home, I gave up on it. Today, when I opened the front door, I was
surprised to see my missing portfolio on a chair by the door.
With it was a
business card from the manager of a restaurant, who must have so kindly
dropped it off. I left it while dining, and the manager saw my name and
mailing address taped on the portfolio.
It's a good idea to
stick a mailing label on cellphones, books, purses, etc., but also to
write a phone number in case you leave or lose an item. If you are
lucky, a good, honest and thoughtful person like the manager of the
restaurant I ate in will contact you. - Eloisa in San Juan
Homemade ice pack
Dear Heloise: There
are times when I don't have enough ice packs for a cooler or one of the
kid's lunches, so I started making my own.
I use my vacuum
sealer and cut vacuum bags to the size I need. Depending on how large or
small I want to make an ice pack, I put ice cubes in the bag,
vacuum-seal it and then let the ice cubes melt. Once melted, I place the
flattened bags in the freezer and let them refreeze. Now it's ready to
use, just like a store-bought ice pack. - Denise T. in Kentucky
Dear Heloise: I have
another suggestion after reading your column about substitute zipper
pulls. You also could use a paper clip, which you can purchase in
different sizes and colors. - Barbara H., Lady Lake, Fla.
*Send a great hint to Heloise, P.O. Box
795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000 or email to