Posts tagged "health insurance"
‘Stay up too late at night and sleep too long in the morning’
My story …
58, single, long term unemployed - two years. Formerly middle management making over $100k / year.
My search …
· Recruiters - they must be very busy pounding square pegs into round holes because they don’t return my emails or phone calls.
· Big search engines - useless. Better to put your resume into a bottle and toss it into the Pacific, someone will get back to you!
· Networking - dried up. Besides your friends and former constituents are not hiring.
· No current prospects.
My Life …
· Stay up too late at night and sleep too long in the morning
· Drink way too much. Way, way too much.
· Unemployment benefits exhausted.
· No health insurance - but three hospital visits in the past year.
· Stare - stare at the computer screen, stare out the window, stare at your image in the mirror, stare at the ceiling fan.
· Skills eroding - that happens when there is no intellectual activity.
· Social life - none. I’m no fun.
· Sex - none. Women would sooner hear you have Hepatitis then learn your unemployed. Besides there is no T & E budget.
· Living off cashed out 401k’s. Mortgaged the future.
· Depressed - big time.
· Think suicide every day.
Peter K., via email
‘I learned that the WIC checks make checking out take three times as long’
I knew I wouldn’t be eligible for unemployment benefits because I left my supervisory job voluntarily. Even though it was a “quit or be fired in a few months” situation, my HR friend had told me that our company automatically fights any unemployment claim over $7,000 which mine would definitely have been. I was witness to 2 unemployment hearings so I know that they would fight hard for it so I didn’t even try.
At this point we were out of options financially. Even if I did get an interview, I wouldn’t have had the gas in my car to get there and my due date was approaching. Luckily my husband had found a house for us to rent that the owners are our friends and have been very understanding about us paying what we can. I was still trying to find a way to pay our credit cards—I should have seen what was coming but I saw my parents go through bankruptcy when I was 15 and swore I’d never do that. I was so stressed out about money and our lack of it—I didn’t know if we’d find the money to be able to feed our family. I didn’t have health insurance and thought that if I couldn’t pay the medical bills my OB would refuse to see me.
With my stomach in knots and being raised to think poorly of people on “welfare,” I finally applied for and received WIC and a few months later, Medicaid and food stamps. I cannot begin to explain the shame I felt even asking for this kind of help in the first place and then using it at the grocery store. I wanted to find a way to let people know “this isn’t me!” and “I’m better than this!” and “I used to make a lot of money!” Needing government assistance made me feel like less of a person. Like I was a bad mother for not being able to provide for my children.
Every time I pulled out that card with the distinctive flag I cringed when I had to mumble “EBT” to the cashier like it was screaming “I’m poor!” When I had to use my WIC checks, I would keep my eye out for empty registers but inevitably as soon as I pulled up my cart there would be a long line behind me. Of course the cashiers were great about it and all of my worries were internal but they were still there. I learned that the WIC checks make checking out take three times as long because each one has to be done individually, then you have to sign each one, and then the cashier would always have trouble with at least one and need a manager to put in a key and fix something.
I now use most of my checks in one shopping trip so I only have to go through it once a month and I let anyone in line behind me cut in front (I want to avoid the eye-rolling people in line give when it takes so long). A few times I offered to let someone cut because “this is going to take a while” but they say, “No, it’s okay. I’m on WIC too so I understand.”
Judy J., via email
‘I’ve done some some part-time consulting work, but it’s intermittent at best’
I worked for a company that had 3 divisions: A Sub-Prime Mortgage division, A Commercial Real Estate division and a Retail Bank division. I worked in Corporate Finance, so I didn’t work directly with the 3 revenue generating divisions, I was the financial support for the G&A cost centers that supported the divisions. The federal government ordered the company to cease & desist from all sub-prime operations because they didn’t like banks that were also sub-prime mortgage companies, so that division of the company was shut down. I continued to do the financial support for the G&A cost centers until the Commercial Real Estate and Retail Bank divisions were sold, at which time there was no more work for me to do.
I’ve been out of permanent, full-time work for over 2 ½ years. It’s been a struggle to take care of my family (a wife and 2 daughters) financially. I’ve done some some part-time consulting work, but it’s intermittent at best and provides no benefits. My wife and I no longer have medical/dental/vision insurance because we can’t afford the premiums.
I’ve had a few promising interviews that eventually never led to fruition (a position), but I don’t know if any of those employers were weary of hiring me due to being out of work so long. I filled my time with intermittent jobs and volunteer work so that filled the gap for the most part.
Jobless benefits definitely helped, although they were a mere fraction of what I made when I was working a permanent, full-time job. I exhausted my UI benefits over 9 months ago. There are so many people out of work, looking, and when there are hundreds of applicants for the same position, the company is bound to found someone with a background in the industry that company represents.
We need to create jobs by once again becoming a nation that produces goods, rather than just consuming them. Our country hardly produces anything anymore. If we start producing more, like clean coal, oil from drilling here in the U.S.A. and nuclear energy we will create many, many long-term jobs.
George C., via email