In this week's Weekend Reads: What happens if you can't afford your health insurance deductibles? How do you make a credit card a luxury item on par with the iPhone? And why are emojis becoming so realistic-looking?
Regular visitors of PolicyGenius know that we recently launched our health insurance app. It’s got what you’ve come to expect from PolicyGenius — transparency, a lack of industry lingo, an easy-to-use interface, yadda yadda yadda — and it comes just in time to get you through Open Enrollment (that’s not a coincidence). But studies like this one from Aflac and Working Mother reinforce why people need this tool. Forty-nine percent of full-time working moms say they can’t afford their insurance deductible. That’s scary, but not exactly surprising considering the competing expenses families have. And that’s why finding a health insurance plan that is affordable and works for you is so important. That’s what we want to help people do. And don’t forget: If you need health insurance, the clock is already ticking! Get your health insurance before January 31st!
Depending on who you are, credit cards are either terrible sources of mounting debt or wonderful sources of rewards and free travel miles. But in the end, they’re still just credit cards. Or are they? Chase is trying to make their Sapphire Reserve card a luxury credit card. And I don’t mean a stuffy "pull out the gold card at the country club" luxury card. The Sapphire Reserve is like the iPhone of credit cards. How else do you explain subreddits losing their minds over it and people posting unboxing videos when their card arrives in the mail? Credit cards may seem dangerous/boring, but Bloomberg’s behind the scenes look at the Sapphire Reserve is a fascinating insight into how cards are marketed. The Sapphire Reserve has a piece of metal in it, giving it some heft and making it feel important. The card numbers are flush instead of raised, making it feel like the next sleek gadget. Chase is building a lifestyle brand out of a credit card, and it’s as much a psychological look at consumers as it is anything else.
When it comes to smartphones, they’re getting slimmer, their screens are getting larger, and their batteries are lasting longer and/or exploding. One thing we aren’t talking about, though, is that emojis are becoming too realistic. Has anyone ever asked for gradients or realistic shadowing or regulation uniforms? If you enjoy video games or modern animated movies, you’re familiar with the uncanny valley — where you see that the Polar Express conductor looks kinda like Tom Hanks, but like an off-brand discount version. Well, we’re entering the uncanny valley of emojis. The realistic-but-not-quite nature of new emojis is weird, and not the good kind of weird like we had when everyone put an eggplant emoji in every text. Now, in the grand scheme of things, this is like a Millennial-level Andy Rooney complaint. It doesn’t really matter. But still, we have to draw a line somewhere.