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Job News & Health Insurance & Loan

December 18th, 2010 at 09:01 am

Still no word on the ideal full-time job I interviewed for Nov. 10. About two weeks ago I sent an email and learned that the person who was hiring me had been having health problems and gotten behind on the interviews. He sent me a very complimentary email, which was nice. Then about a week ago, he sent a two word email, "still interviewing." So I haven't closed the books on that opportunity but definitely as time goes by I get more discouraged about it.

I did get some reassuring news from my part-time CPA firm job in case this full-time opportunity doesn't work out...they'll be able to use me part-time, though with a lack of office space, it'll probably mean working 5-9 pm weekdays and all day on weekends for about 36 hours/week. Definitely better than nothing and I'll be doing a lot more corporate returns this year rather than individual, which is the kind of experience I need to make me a better candidate for the regional firm jobs I've been applying for.

I've been working part-time as a temp receptionist/office manager at a small (one-doctor) medical office. That job ends Dec. 30. The doctor is interviewing now for permanent replacements. While it's not a job I'd be interested in permanently, it still is disconcerting when sometimes she has me make interview calls to prospective job candidates.

At least it's been good for learning a bit more about health insurance and billing. I have to deal with that on two fronts now--I'm dealing with my mom's long-term care and catastrophic major medical insurances over her nursing home stay and subsequent home health care aide use, plus I'm right at the point where I need to buy an individual policy for myself.

I've been on COBRA since Sept 1, 2009. For 2009, with the 65% federal subsidy, I paid $164.50/month. In 2010, it went up to $189/month. As of December 1, I ran through the federal subsidy, so I had to pay the full amount, which was $540 for this month. On January 1, it goes up to $604.50/month, and then I'm off COBRA on March 1 but could buy an individual policy with the same firm with no pre-existing medical condition clauses, but I think that'd be about $700/month.

Not something that I can afford on my mix of unemployment and part-time temp income--that'd be over a quarter of my take-home, and nearly as much as my mortgage.

So I'm trying to get new health insurance in place by Jan 1. I'll be comparing plans this weekend and making phone calls during business days next week. I'm suspecting at this point that I'll end up with an HDHP/HSA combination and probably about a $300/month premium. I'll post the details of my decision process once I decide.

I also decided to take out a substantial loan from my 403b plan to help pay down my credit card debt which has mounted substantially from zero to 14K during my 16 months of unemployment coupled with Henry's cancer and major capital repair expenses (about $3600 on plumbing and $3300 for car repairs during this interval...car has a relatively new engine (about 8 years) compared to age of the body (13 years) and things that are going wrong are just natural aging, e.g., replaced tires after 60K miles, replaced clutch mechanism after 125K, so I figure I'm justified in trying to avoid car payments until I get to the point where I have a salaried job and can save in advance to buy a new car). Between the loan and a substantial gift from my mother I'll be able to take most of that debt off of credit cards at 9.99% and leave myself with about $8000 in loan debt at 5.05%. There's still about $6000 in additional loan money that I could take if the car breaks down and I need to buy a cheap replacement before I find a real salaried job.

Progress, but certainly slower than I'd like!

3 Responses to “Job News & Health Insurance & Loan”

  1. patientsaver Says:

    Well, like me, it sounds like you're being forced to analyze everything two times over. It's good that you at least have a few options when it comes to the job situation, and luckily the gift from your mother will really help with your credit card debt. It's just ridiculous that health insurance should cost so much. I think the cost of the COBRA varies and depends on the type of employer plan you had. Like you, I started on the COBRA in sept 09, but it would not have expired for me until January, except that I started the temp job in sept 10 so i went on the employment agency's plan, which will cost me the same under COBRA becus i already pay the full amount,$443 or so, so i guess compared to some of those numbers you cited, mine's not so bad. It's definitely my #2 expense, though, right after the mortgage/property taxes. You're doing a good job staying on top of everything.

  2. Homebody Says:

    I have Cobra now. With the subsidy for DH and myself, it is $396.00. It bumps up to about $1000.00 July 1st, 2011, then runs out in October. We will be looking too. Unfortunately in the meantime, I have been diagnosed with so many new issues, including fibromyalgia, so I am freaked (about the insurance and the fibro!).

  3. Jerry Says:

    COBRA insurance kept us afloat for a while, but it was so expensive that we couldn't afford it. We were paying $1200/month for our family of three, and it was unmanageable on our own. But we made too much for MediCaid, so it would just lead to a tough time for us. I don't know what the answer is, but it's a pretty scary situation.
    Jerry

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