Quondam Dreams

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Abi Gezunt

Ladies and gentlemen, I am in health insurance hell.

It seems to have come as a surprise to the people at the office that I can't get insurance through the agency for which I technically work. They offer dental, a 401K -- hell, they even offer membership to a chain of gyms -- but they don't really spell out that unless the client you're working for has opted in to their group plan, you're on your own.

I have, of course, been rejected from the plan I've been on pretty much all my life, because of the following reasons:

  1. I take a medication.
  2. I have a history of anxiety or depression sometime in the last five years.
  3. I have required medical attention three or more times in the past year.

Doesn't that rule out... like... everyone?

(Please note, for your records, that I sought medical attention three times during early November because my ear infection was underdiagnosed the first two times. Sorta not my fault.)

According to everything I hear, the only individual coverage I'll be able to get is going to cost me even more than COBRA, which is $254 a month. So, apparently, here are my options:

  1. Pay a lot more than I can afford for health insurance.
  2. Take up a slot in a free clinic.
  3. Marry someone with full benefits.
  4. Find another job that offers the benefits I need (which really aren't that extravagant).
  5. Flee to Canada and declare myself a refugee on the grounds that staying in the U.S. would constitute a danger to my well-being.

This is all so wrong. How is it that every other industrialized country has figured out how to make sure no one has to go through this, but we haven't? Oh. Wait. That's right. There's not much money in keeping people well.

The good news is that everyone I've spoken with is properly horrified, and I have some great people looking out for me. I'm keeping an eye on the company job site, and I think I've identified a couple of positions that would be perfect for me. (Okay, they're based in Irvine, but they might be flexible about letting me stay in SM.) Between crying jags, I've been able to identify some possible routes. Eventually, something will give. And in the meantime, I've made the necessary people aware that while I like my current job and have every intention of finishing out the full term of my contract, I am going to have to start looking around for another position somewhere. They all understand, perhaps a little too well.

I am so, so drained.


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