Wednesday, December 05, 2007

There is Always Tomorrow

I had a good day today. I finished the cleaning in my bedroom and have stuff ready for the Federation for the Blind to come next week and pick up a bunch of stuff. It will be good to get that out of the house.

I got a call today for an interesting job out-of-town (won't tell where so as not to jinx it). The thing is that it is a direct hire or in my mother's words, it is a real job. If all it works out it would mean eventually moving (but not right away). At first, the opportunity arose I just said it was not an option but the more I think about it, there is a possibility. Will have to see how that all goes.

Nonetheless, I have some things cooking. I should have heard about one today but did not. There is still hope for it since there was not a definitive rejection. I also have a meeting in the morning to talk with another recruiter. Eventually, probably after the holidays, something will present itself. Until the unemployment check will keep coming.

It amazing how we can manage with less money. Kansas unemployment is $407 per week. Today was an exciting day because I actually got 3 checks to catch me up to the first weeks I was off. This was a great treat. Now I will have money for Christmas.

The main thing that is a concern is the health insurance. Did you know that if you loose your job that you qualify for COBRA coverage. For those of you who have never experience COBRA essentially you pay the full premium. Basically, it is the portion that your employer pays in addition to what you pay on each paycheck. This means that if you pay say $70 per month when you are working, it goes up to let's say $287 per month out of your own pocket. This is what I will be paying for coverage that has a $1500 deductible before it pays anything unless you have a medical emergency. After the $1500 they pay 80%. This is what is known as a high deductible indemnity policy.

In the old days before the managed care fiasco started with the HMOs this is the kind of insurance we all had. You went to the doctor and pay usually $25 for an office visit and you could go to any doctor you wanted. The insurance company did not care. Everyone had an prescription card and paid $2 or so per prescription. There were not commercials advertising pharmaceuticals and we all took what the doctor thought was best for up. The only time you used your insurance was when you had diagnostic test or were hospitalized. Those were the good old days. Employers paid the full premium for the employee and usually the family. Medical costs were much lower and the doctors did not have to inflate their charges to $100+ for an office visit just so the insurance company would pay the $25. Things were much simpler then.

I was working for a pharmaceutical in the 80’s when the HMO was in its infancy, and I remember being in meetings when it was said what a boon it would be to the pharmaceutical and insurance companies. In the beginning, many paid no copay at all of if there was one it was nominal. I think the first on I paid was $2. Then it went to $5 eventually rising to ….you guess it $25. Amazingly, the amount we used to pay the doctor anyway.

They fought long and hard to be able to advertise their products. Well, we all now what the power of suggestion does. How many times have you seen an advertisement for a new drug then go to your doctor and say I want some of whatever it? We are all guilty of this. So now instead of pay a flat $2 or even $10, now we are tier on a formulary. For those who are not familiar with this it a list of drugs that the insurance company will pay for and the new the drug the higher the copay cost is. We are not paying $30, $40 and higher for a brand name prescription. This because we always want the newest thing when some of the older drugs that are less expensive will do just as well or better.

OOPS! I almost forgot this is a knitting blog. I have not been knitting a lot this week since I had so much to do on the house. I have worked a few rows in here and there so I am making progress. I have a couple of Christmas things ready to come off the needles and a couple more to go on. The new stuff may have a swatch with an IOU attached under the Christmas tree. Will have to see how I do the next few weeks. With the house nearly done I can devote more time to knitting and get it done.

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