Monthly Archives: March 2008

>We’re not alone…

>If there is one thing that separates the self-employed from those employed by others, it is their preoccupation with health insurance.

>No health insurance: 1st report

>My insurance is finished at the end of this month.
OK that is five days from now.
My insurance is also my husband’s and my two big children.

My job is over; my boss “let go” five editors as if we were catch and release fish. He also let go of our health insurance. I had been paying this man and his company for seven years to cover my family and now I find out that it was “ illegal” for him to offer me insurance because I was freelance. But he offered it. And I payed heavily to have it…nearly $13,000.00 every year.

No matter. I cannot be COBRA’d as it was all illegal. A fortune of money down the drain and now we are scrambling, looking at options to find insurance.

Here I am in middle-class/middle-aged in America with too much education and too little employment and now a family with big kids and no health insurance. This is the plight of many, literally millions of Americans, but all terror is worse when it is personal.

So for the last six weeks, since I knew my job and coverage was over on March 31, what would have been my father’s 94th birthday, I have searched for insurance.

I have gone on web sites, called insurance brokers and gotten progressively more depressed. Insurance is expensive and without a job; I can’t consider money out without money in. I have found agents who call back at all hours of the night wanting to sell me group, individual or catastrophic policies, bulk medicines or discount dental work.

My head is swimming.

To add insult to injury, or as some sort of weird universe joke, (Wait does anyone else think this, that god, or the universe, or Shiva watches for good jokes on humans? I think they do, maybe they all do it separately.)

Here is their most recent joke on me.
On Good Friday, fallen Catholic that I am, I went into a bakery to get goodies for the Easter feast. We were hosting 20 or so orphan souls at our dinner. As I emerge, joyful, holding bags of sugar, my ankle twisted, I WAS WEARING CLOGS, and I went down like a felled tree.

I lay in the parking lot screaming, and moaning alternating plaints over the shmused cake and my wretched ankle. My husband was worried, a fellow shopper came over and told me, “You need to stay down much longer than you think is necessary.” OK good advice. I stayed down I could feel the tendons snapping over my bones and my skin begin to expand. We got a five-pound bag of ice and continued on.

By Saturday my ankle and foot were the size of a Macy’s Day Balloon and colors were seeping in. I said to Zachary, “Let’s go use our health insurance before it turns into a pumpkin. As if this were a gift card about to expire.” In fact I have been to an emergency room only once in my life. We went, we waited, they X-rayed and it was ONLY TORN TENDONS. But, they said in that cheery hospital voice, (there must be a course for nurses in that voice) “Sometimes it takes as long, or longer for these sprains to heal.” Oh little miss sunshine.

I wanted to put my foot up, after I cooked dinner and then roll into bed. I did.
It was much larger Easter. I cooked again. A lot more food this time.
I went to bed. I woke up and it was green and even the toes were swollen.
I rode my bike to Pilates.
AHH that will show my body that I am not hurt.

I took the class rode home and cooked dinner.

OK I am looking for work in between cooking and watching my foot swell, and talking endlessly to insurance brokers. I feel as if my name has been put on the insurance version of a bathroom stall and now they all know that I am easy or desperate.

Stayed turned as my foot deflates and I search for insurance work and a sense of calm as a grown up with no insurance in a very scary landscape.