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On A Dime and An Insurance Policy

July 17, 2010

They say that your life can turn on a dime. They’re right. We never know what awaits us in the future. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. We think we do but we are wrong. I lost my job Monday without warning. My boss “let me go” due to “restructuring”.  It is my opinion that the employer should be penalized somehow by sudden termination of an employee. We, as employees, are encouraged to always give at least a two weeks notice. Although this is not enforced, it is generally followed for the sake of a “good reference”.  This allows the employer time to prepare. Time to find a replacement, perhaps even training the new replacement. It is good business. Right? Then why is the employee not given the same amount of time to prepare? We have business decisions to make as well. We have financial and medical responsibilities to prepare for.

It was my belief (prior to this past week) that employers were obligated to continue an employee’s medical insurance for at least 30 days after the termination of employment. Not true. I was “let go” on Monday. I received a certified letter on Tuesday notifying me that my medical insurance (covering myself and my toddler son) would expire on Wednesday (the NEXT day). Because my former employer had less than 20 employees they are not obligated to offer Cobra but instead a state continuation policy for a rather large sum of money. Since I was now jobless, I could not afford to pay the cost of continuing the insurance. My son was scheduled for a surgery on the following Monday to remove a mole of concern. The doctor wants to rule out cancer. Like most medical issues, this is one of great importance. I “ran” as fast as I could to the state funded insurance office to apply for assistance. My son was approved but the insurance will not go into effect for another 2 weeks. Therefore, my son’s surgery has been postponed.

Since I was only given a one day notice regarding the expiration of my insurance policy, I was not prepared for the cost of a state continuation coverage. I simply cannot afford it in light of having no income coming in at all until I find another job. I’m sure that I’m not the first person to suffer this blow in life. I will not be the last. Life is not fair and yes, it does turn on a dime.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. July 17, 2010 10:01 pm

    I don’t understand why companies and politicians want to make a big deal about how great it is when they offer COBRA. When we were offered COBRA through my husband’s employer they made a big deal about how they “provided” it. But who can afford well over $3,000 a month for COBRA? That was our quote. That was not remotely affordable.
    I am sorry you are dealing with this.

    • July 17, 2010 10:32 pm

      Here is yet another example of how our country has failed terribly in providing medical coverage for its citizens. Why can we not learn from those who have succeeded in this area such as Germany?

      Thanks for the comment. I appreciate your input 🙂

  2. July 18, 2010 1:49 am

    I’m sorry to hear about being let go and the insurance. I hope things start looking up soon!

  3. July 18, 2010 4:38 am

    Wow! I am so sorry to hear this. That’s a crock of bull that they can do that. I hope that everything works out in the end, and that this setback leads to something better!

  4. July 18, 2010 12:14 pm

    It’s another stab in the back by our govenment who appears to trash it’s citizens. There are state helps that you can apply for such as medicaid, food stamps, etc. Hopefully, if approved, that can help a bit until your next job comes around. You’re in my prayers.

    • July 18, 2010 1:32 pm

      That is exactly how I feel, that I have been stabbed in the back. I’ve already applied for everything I can apply for and will receive help next month. I was not eligible this month because I received my last and final paycheck meaning I was not penniless. The government will only help if you are flat a** broke! Thank you for your prayers. I truly appreciate them.

      • July 18, 2010 5:17 pm

        I hear you! They want you to be living in a carton on a dead end street before anyone lends a hand. This is something that gets me so angry!!! Here you are…a model citizen who works for a living and doesn’t depend on the government for support. Then, something like this happens and the government goes blind. I’m happy to hear that benefits are coming. Just hold on. This is where your faith has to kick in…not in govenment, but in God. You will be fine. God Bless!

  5. sayitinasong permalink
    July 18, 2010 7:45 pm

    First of all, let me tell you I feel for you. I have lost my job twice within the past 4 years and essentially I have had to take a job, just to survive. It turns out, it is a job I really enjoy, but it pays way too little money with very few benefits (good pension scheme). I should point out that I live in England, where we have National Health Care so in theory no private insurance needed. In theory. As the national health service is in such deep trouble for overspending, too many people trying to use the system, not enough staff, not enough qualified staff, that in reality, you would NEED to have private insurance. The waiting time to get anything done are huge and then in the end, if you happen to be in the “wrong” hospital, you probably end up worse off anyway. So, national health is not necessarily the answer (I dont know what is) if the system does not work. So, now I just get on my business and hope for the best- and count my blessings indeed. I wish you strength.

    • July 19, 2010 1:19 am

      Thank you for the insightful comment. If National Healthcare is not the answer, then like you, I don’t know what is either. Surely there is a way for everyone to have quality medical care even if it means higher taxes in the long run it would be worth it. This should not be a luxury, it is a necessity.

      I appreciate your well wishes. God bless.

  6. July 19, 2010 1:39 am

    I think, in the best of the best possible dream, there needs to be Non Profits set up where doctors could perform services to those who fall between the cracks. I don’t think Obama has the answer; he’s creating another rat’s maze with healthcare. The government will be able to pick and choose who getd what care. The elderly won’t be able to get much care and neither will the disabled. It will be survival of the fittest who don’t need much care at all..

  7. July 19, 2010 12:45 pm

    Sorry to learn of you demise,sometime thing have no explination,but I truley believe that God will take care of you and your son.I know that this makes you very bitter at those who are responsible.God will provide for those who love him and are called according to his purpose.Try to look for the blessing that you have.I pray for you daily

  8. scandalousmuffin permalink
    July 20, 2010 1:32 am

    I worked for CVS as pharmacy tech, and even with people on COBRA, I still saw a lot of problems. Lots of people would find their cards suddenly stop working even though they were supposed to have extended benefits. This happened ALL the time.

    The reason I believe this happens is that insurance companies often subcontract out prescription benefits to a different handler; this is why there are often separate cards. If the person on COBRA doesn’t use the Rx benefits, then the insurance company can save money. But if they do need them, then they can just go “oops sorry mistake” and reinstate the benefits. Meanwhile, the customer is freaking out. It’s not right.

    I wrote an article about how to survive without insurance: http://scandalousmuffin.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/on-being-one-of-the-46-million-uninsured-americans/

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