Friday, November 4, 2011

Catch 22

So I've recently started this job as the director of a non-profit. It's awesome. I love it. I have flexible hours and can work from home. I like the people I get to work with, and everything his pretty much hunky dory.
However, things aren't about to be hunky dory anymore. Throughout my pregnancy, delivery (thank God!), and the first few months of Finn's life so far, we've been on state health insurance. We qualified when we moved back, but now that I've got this job and Chad's working more than we expected, we're not going to qualify for it again, and that means as of January, none of us is going to have insurance. Now, I honestly couldn't care less if I have insurance or not. I'm youngish and healthy and don't engage in dangerous activities anymore (like, for example, when I was a carpenter). 
I most certainly want Finn to have insurance. He's going to be going to the doctor pretty regularly for well child visits for the forseeable future, and if he's anything like I was as a child, he'll have his share of not-so-well visits also.
I also really want insurance for Chad, who is working as a carpenter and uses his body in a pretty rough way. He'll likely be hurting himself, even being as careful as he is - things happen.
In addition to all of this, we're looking to buy our first house next year and have our eye on a few in town...AND we really want to start saving for retirement. We're both in our early 30s, but I feel like we're behind and need to shake a leg.

Enter an ad I saw in the paper this week - a position for a part time teller at the bank has opened up. Even for part time employees, the bank will pay 40% of the premium for health insurance for an employee and the employee's family. The bank also matches any deposits made into a 401k by the employee. This all sounds really tempting, but I have to say it kind of pisses me off.  Let me explain:

If we signed up for health insurance on our own right now, it would be over $1000/month with a $10,000 deductible. There is no possible way for us to take care of the health of our family without being completely cost-prohibitive. I just don't understand why I could visit any doctor anywhere in the UK and it was compltely free, but here, I have to go bankrupt just trying to get our basic care taken care of.

If I take on this job, I'd be spending 24 hours per week away from my son, not to mention the time that I'm already spending as director of the non-profit. If I send him to day care, I'll pretty much be tossing my paycheck every week away on child care, which means I wouldn't really be able to put any money in that 401k I'm so keen to start, AND I'll only have 40% of my insurance taken care of, which means I'm responsible for 60%...that means all the money I make working at the bank would take care of insurance and child care.
So really, it would be better if I hadn't taken my 12-15 hour per week totally satisfying job, which would have put us under the income cut-off for insurance and stayed home with my child.   WHY are we getting punished for making a contribution to society, rather than sitting on our laurels collecting state aid?  WHY isn't there a reasonably-priced insurance plan that we can buy into as hard-working individuals who just want to make a living?
And then I watch the news and see all of the Republican candidates talking about how they're going to repeal "Obamacare", my only hope for a way to take care of the health of my family. 
Thanks a lot.

1 comment:

  1. It's infuriating isn't it?!! My sister stays chronically underemployed so she and her 10 month old son can stay on state health insurance. She has to make a lot of sacrifices (personal, financial, social) just to have access to health care. Health care should be a right, not a privilege that only a few can afford. I know so many middle class people who are struggling to have affordable access to the medical care they need. It's shameful. I will never understand how this is a debatable topic. Good luck to you and your family. I hope everything works out.