Well, it’s official. I am now unemployed. My company had a 6 month medical leave as well as FMLA. They have been most generous, keeping me informed and on benefits, but my leave has now expired, and with some divestitures and downsizing, there is no longer a position available for me. I knew this was coming of course, and am grateful I had benefits as long as I did. Still, it’s a bit of a sad and difficult day. I don’t think I’ve ever been unemployed since college (if even then), and I’ve often had 2 or more jobs. I’ve also been quite career oriented, so this spiral has been a blow. Again, still very grateful, but emotional at the same time. I’m about to cry typing this, which I probably should instead of not crying and getting some other disease from stress. (More on that in a coming post.)
Of course because of the messed up nature of health care in our country when one loses a job she also loses health care benefits for her and her family. I am lucky to have the options of COBRA and the ACA for which I am extremely thankful. If it weren’t for the ACA, I would essentially be uninsurable. I would have been refused for pre-existing conditions until that was no longer allowed, and then before the rules on premium discrimination, I would simply have been priced out of the market. Say what you may about ACA/ObamaCare, it is truly a lifesaver for me. Without health insurance, we would be facing financial ruin. Even with health insurance, the 4-figure monthly premiums and deductibles and the 5-figure out of pocket max is a financial challenge. Very scary for someone who has had a successful career until the past year and has worked more than one full time job (with more than one employer, or simply in the number of hours) for most of that career. I’m generally not a “victim” person, but that does seem unfair and unjust. Of course there are so many people out there for whom this is also true and many of them in much worse positions. I could go on for pages, but for now, that is my rant about employer tied health insurance. I could be much harsher and more verbose. I certainly hope that this may give pause to some of the folks who are so vehemently opposed to ObamaCare. What would your answer be?
Anyway, I will be pausing for a bit to ponder what my next move shall be. One set of my doctors has recommended starting back to work at 10 hours a week and building up. However, my stomach, as with many GPers, is not very predictable, so flexibility is a must. Also, as many of you may have heard (perhaps more than once <grin>), I have long been tired of the wonderful winterland that is Iowa and the Midwest. I have been saying I did NOT care to enjoy that “wonder” and “pleasure” past the age of 50. Sadly, I have indeed passed that landmark, so it perhaps it is time to revisit our geographic location.
Stay tuned, and feel free to send suggestions for the next chapter <grin>.