Friday, August 07, 2009

My new health plan:

Don't get sick or in a car accident.

When I added my husband and son to my insurance a few years ago, my premiums went from about $75 a month to about $250 a month. So when Tyson started filling out paperwork for his new job and went to add me and his son to his policy, he realized it was going to cost nearly $800.

EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS A MONTH. That's nearly what we pay in rent. Shit. Just covering him and Nick is only going to run $140. So basically I'm out on my ass on this one. (Even if he had considered it, I would have asked for the $650 in cash every month instead and bought myself something nice.)

So today I've spent some time reviewing my other options for healthcare:

1. Go without, and hope for the best. I'm under thirty, in fairly good overall health. Odds are good I'll find a job with its own insurance in a few months. Tyson went without for like 30 years and still made it through okay. Plus, no insurance means I can go to the free clinic for my lady problems.
The major drawback to this plan is that pesky pre-existing conditions thing. Between the skin cancer, clinical depression, and history of frequent abnormal PAPs, I don't think I could get the care I needed when I got coverage again (and when I eventually need that hysterectomy, I don't want to be the one footing the bill).

2. COBRA. Because I voluntarily left my job, I don't qualify for reduced rates. Keeping my current level of benefits will cost about $650 a month, leaving us no better off than we were before. Or I can get an "at least I'm not fucked if I have to go to the hospital" plan with like a $3000 deductible for under a hundred bucks. Not really a lot of middle ground here.

3. Private short-term insurance. Depending on the deductible and co-payment involved (from 20% to a whopping SEVENTY PERCENT), I can get middling coverage for between $70 and $250 a month. Problem: The maximum length for this type of insurance is six months. I'm fairly confident of having an insurance-providing job by then, but the universe (and the economy) may have me waiting tables at Applebee's six months from now instead.

4. Private regular old insurance (AKA "Corporate Ass-Rape"). Basically for a lot of money I can have a shitty plan with a high deductible, with the option of continuing to pay the ridiculous premiums ad infinitum, if such is my desire.

I don't qualify for Medicare, I can't get insurance through my school, and, because I spent seven years as a liberal arts major, I have absolutely no skills that transfer to the non-school world, allowing me to get a good job in another field. Apparently, jobs in the field of sentence diagramming aren't required to provide benefits.

Being a grown-up sucks.


Michael said...

And people on the Right are savagely fighting for the right to continue this kind of royal fucking. Middle and low-income people mind you.

The next time someone over 60 starts telling you how they hate "socialized medicine", suggest they forfeit their Medicare. You'll be greeted with silence.

Erin's Mom said...

I'm so sorry for you all. I can remember being in that position. I recommend taking the cheap COBRA. At least that way you'll have continuous coverage until you get a job that offers insurance and you'll be able to circumvent the pre-x issue.

Ms. Kate said...

5. Move to New Zealand.