Monday, December 6, 2010

Getting my Own Health Insurance

I have learned things during my unemployed time.   I thought it would be true that if I had trouble with money, on the road, I could easily settle in and work a nursing job for a few months.  I assumed it would take me less than one month to find such a job, just about anywhere.   Now I know that is not true.  Good lesson.  Now I know that I will need more money in reserves before I go.  Since I'm not, yet, medicare age, I knew I would need to get my own health insurance when I was self-employed on the road.  During this jobless time, I also sought to get some major medical health insurance.  I had been focused on quitting smoking because I knew smokers had to pay about $100 more, per month, for insurance.  I'm all about keeping my budget down when I live on the road :0)  Something I hadn't realized... obesity is a pre-existing condition.  They don't call it that, but I can't get ANY health insurance at this weight.  My only option would be to sign up for the high-risk pool, run by CO and set up after the health care reforms were passed.   Detail is that they expect you to be a resident of CO for at least 6 mos.  And, of course I have to live here.  I couldn't sign up for the high risk pool until my COBRA ran out, 17 months from now ($600+ per month).  Just a note, I don't have any medical problems associated with my obesity at this time.

I can't really be angry about this.  They don't ask me to be tiny.  The companies will insure me if I am < 100 lbs over my ideal weight.  I'm a nurse, I know this extra weight sets me up for all kinds of medical problems in the future.  With the health care reforms, they can't cut me loose once I start having these conditions.  As a business decision, I know I would not go in for any of the high dollar medical procedures that would be in my future (transplant, cardiac bypass, joint replacement surgery, prolonged treatment for cancer etc.) but they don't know that.   I had planned to be < 200 lbs before I took off anyway.  That only makes sense. This has been a big wake up call.  Even if I wanted to leave tomorrow, sell my house and take off in an RV, I would have to go without health insurance   OR pay $600 per month for insurance that would only cover me in CO (which does not seem reasonable).  I'm learning why there are so many uninsured people in the U.S.   Even people that are responsible, intelligent, and plan ahead, may make a choice to be without health insurance.  Something is wrong with that picture.

I know my weight is my choice and I sure don't want to be one of those winers that sounds like the U.S. owes me a living.  I'm not a political person, so I'm not going there.  I will live with what is.  I will keep hunting for a job that has benefits.  A job I can hold while I dump a few of these pounds.  I know it will be better for me and my future.  I just want to be a little pissed off about it too.  The rebelious teenager in my brain is screaming....  OH YEAH? I"LL SHOW YOU!!!!  Luckily, the grown up is in charge most of the time :0)

I've had another bite on my resume.  It's a job as research coordinator at a nearby clinic/office.  I'm hoping for interview this week.  I should hear about the home health job by the end of this week. 

Today, I have a lunch date with a friend that still works at the call center.  I'm looking forward to some office gossip that confirms I was right to leave even though I am still unemployed. 

Hope all is well out there is blogland.  Be gentle with each other. 

  • Music that makes me smile and keeps my spirits up.  Reminds me what matters most
  • Stinky dogs (they didn't stink until I quit smoking :0)
  • Dog park nearby to walk in while pups are having fun
  • Supportive family, that loves me anyway :0)
  • Good friends


The Good Luck Duck said...

I'm currently wrestling with the nuances of insurance coverage myself. Not to mention the nuances of weight loss (which I won't mention).

Merikay said...

Health insurance has been one of our biggest expenses over the last ten years. My art work is a form of self employment. My husband has worked as a "contract" employee for several companies since the one he worked for went under in 2000. He wanted to retire, and hit the road at that time. (He didn't do anything serious about making that happen!)

At one point our combined health insurance premium was 20K a year! Now he get medicare, has a supplemental, and a drug policy so his cost is less than $300 per month. My private HMO (Kaiser is $950 per month.) ($15K a year.)

We are both healthy and no preexisting conditions other than our age (I'm 64) exist.

If you have Cobra, pay it and keep it to the end. I is less than a private conversion policy is going to cost you when it runs out.

We made the mistake of switching to a cheaper company (MEGA) because Blue Cross was so expensive. I then realized MEGA really didn't cover much of anything if you were really sick. (Only Covered one doctors appointment every 3 months)

When you do get to buying insurance yourself, really do your homework. Don't believe any agents!

Sorry this is so long, but health insurance is one of my biggest issues in life! I think it should be single payer, universal health like Canada and the UK. I would willingly pay higher taxes!

Merikay said...

P.S. I bet the dogs thought you were pretty stinky before you quit smoking!

Smelling everything -good and bad- will be acute for awhile, but then you get used to it.

Continued congratulations on being a non smoker!

What is it in CO, $5+ per pack?

Judy and Emma said...

Good luck with the insurance! I have been lucky in that regard. :)

Katie said...

Heya Marikay. Thanks for the info on health insurance. So much more than I expected when I started all this. Ha Ha about the dogs. Hadn't thought of it that way. You're probably right. Cigs here are $6 pack, at least the brand I smoked.