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Losing My Job: The Things I’m Most Concerned About

My biggest concerns about losing my job are losing really great health insurance and my current, flexible work arrangement. I can stay on COBRA for 18 months, but I’ve looked into the premium payments and they are unbelievably expensive. We were already looking at a increase with the addition of the little one. When my employer’s portion of the payments end it’ll be significantly more.


To be prepared I’ve decided to investigate other alternatives. My husband owns a small company and one of his employees is on a group plan, so I believe our family could join as well. Since I’ve had medical issues in the past I need to find out if the insurers will try to deny care for any preexisting illnesses or if they’ll refuse to cover me all together.

Health care is certainly my biggest concern, because I’ve had problems with my health in the past and I know just how expensive medical care can be. I also know that I will not skimp on quality insurance. I had PPO insurance when I fell ill so many years ago and I truly believe it saved me. Because of that insurance I was able to visit a multitude of doctor’s often without getting my primary physician’s referral first. I will definitely pay higher premiums to ensure the best care for myself and my family.

I’m also concerned about losing the flexibility my current job offers. Right now I am able to work from home quite a bit. While I find that sometimes I need to be in the office more than others for the most part my job allows me to work from any location I choose.

When projects first start up I often find myself traveling to the office four or five days a week, but once things start moving along I’m often able to reduce my in office time to two to three days or at least partial hours in the office a few days a week.

I’ve gotten used to this flexibility over time and I’m really bummed about giving this up. If I can find a job with reduced hours, (25 – 30 a week), this won’t be as big of an issue, but if I have to go in five days a week it will be very difficult. I get a lot of aches and pains from traveling to work, so if I need to work a full time job in the office I’ll need to find something relatively close to home or at least something with more flexible daytime hours that will allow me to come in a little later in the day or go home a little earlier to avoid any traffic.

I’m also concerned about reduced vacation time. Since I’ve been working at the same company for so long I earn a decent amount of vacation hours each year. It’ll definitely be tough to start back over at two weeks per year. Some friends have told me it’s possible to negotiate this number after being accepted for a position. Others tell me this is the one thing employers won’t budge on.

Strangely enough I’m not too worried about making less money. In fact, I’d gladly give up a little income if I can work on projects that captivate my interest. Although I’ve sought new work at my current employer I’ve often found myself quite bored with the tasks I’m assigned. I certainly make an effort to stretch beyond my comfort zone but the business of my company is pretty boring and the technology rather outdated. I’d be willing to take a pay cut to find work that is more interesting.

While I still think I’m making the right decision by leaving I must admit that these factors make me very nervous. I’ve gotten used to the benefits that come with my current job. Now I just have to hope I can find similar benefits in my next one!

Sass

Monday 4th of July 2011

If your husband has group coverage through his employer, you should be able to go on his plan outside of open enrollment due to the loss of coverage through your employer as it is a HIPAA qualifying event. When your current coverage ends you will be issued a certificate of creditable coverage by the carrier which you can then give to the new carrier (keep a copy for yourself as it can be a PITA to get another copy). As long as you have not had a greater than 62 day break in coverage, the pre-existing exclusions (including pregnancy) should be waived. You should be able to move from your current group health plan to your husaband's group health plan with no problem and without having to resort to COBRA. The main problem I can see is if your current OB and preferred hospital are not in the new plan's network. Hope that helps!

One Frugal Girl

Saturday 2nd of July 2011

@Cindy Brick - Sorry to hear about your flooded basement! I know that my dream job and the actual position I take will probably be very different! I think it's important to dream big, but be realistic :-)

Anonymous

Friday 1st of July 2011

I really feel your pain. Our COBRA insurance was prohibitively expensive, and although it did lead to a bunch of sleepless nights, at least it got us through. Please do make sure that you can find another insurer, though, to cover yourself! Good luck.Jerry

Cindy Brick

Friday 1st of July 2011

Serves me right for doing something else (in this case, cleaning up our flooded basement, which is a whole 'nother story), instead of reading your posts the last few weeks! I was going to say I was sorry you've had to go through this...but I also wonder if this is God's way of giving you more time with the baby. And you will cherish that time. Trust me. My guess is that you will have difficulty covering your medical condition. Try looking for a high deductible, or a company that specializes in unusual conditions like yours. (Agreed, though, that you should pick up Cobra -- unless you find out ahead of time that your husband can get a policy that will cover you as-is.) I hate to say this, but you will most probably find yourself offered one week of vacation -- not two. And your stay-at-home-work-when-I-choose schedule will be hard to find in a new position. I hope you get what you're looking for here, but don't be surprised if you don't. Have you ever thought about working for yourself, and contracting out? At any rate, you will look back on this period, I think, and be grateful for the timing and your new baby.

One Frugal Girl

Friday 1st of July 2011

@Anonymous - I can remain on COBRA insurance for up to 18 months, so I'm not too worried about not finding a new job in that time. However, I do plan to call around to find out if my particular medical issues would cause me to be excluded. It's a very rare disorder.

@Pam - No bankruptcy. Don't worry ;-) Anonymous is just saying that a serious medical problem could result in that if I'm not insured. Given the time frame I have on COBRA I should be able to find a job in time.

@Newlyweds - I love your advice on taking a job to attain insurance. Hopefully I won't have to travel that route, but it's good to know there would be options. By the way I'm 99.9% sure I'm going to stay home with little one!