Open Enrollment May Be Your Light at the End of the Tunnel

This may be a different take on “light” than anyone else takes this week at Mama Kat’s Writers’ Workshop, but it’s what spoke to me!

I am so thankful that my family and I have health insurance! I haven’t worked since the spring of 2011, but since I’m still fighting to get SSI disability approval (at which time I will be eligible for Medicare) my employer still considers me on Extended Medical Leave, so I can purchase insurance. With my health history I would be uninsurable otherwise, and my husband’s employer doesn’t offer benefits of any kind. So I am thrilled every year when the Open Enrollment reminder comes in the mail!

I still remember the last Open Enrollment before I stopped working. Our company had been bought out by a large corporation, and so everyone was examining their options more carefully than usual. My supervisor and close friend had just returned to work after a life-altering illness, and I considered that a sign that I should sign up for the best of everything. . . just in case. Everyone was uninsured for a couple of weeks, although they assured us our coverage would be “retroactive”. I’m just glad I didn’t have any medical emergencies during that time! That was January, and later that month I discovered the cause of my increasing pain for the past two years – cervical vertebrae that had never fused. I had surgery in April, and again in May. When my FMLA ran out in July my pain had not diminished and I lost my job.

Thankfully, I had signed up for the higher paying option on both short-term and long-term disability. I had to fight CIGNA tooth and nail for every cent, but I did receive two years of disability payments, which is all any disability company is required to pay out. I was also able to keep my life insurance for those two years.

So hope for the best in 2016, but prepare for the worst. One box checked differently, a couple of dollars per paycheck extra, may mean the difference between being able to keep a roof over your family’s heads and not. Choose wisely.

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6 thoughts on “Open Enrollment May Be Your Light at the End of the Tunnel”

    1. Yep – all those years I took my insurance options for granted, and now I realize how grateful I should have been that I didn’t have to use them!

  1. I’ll be reviewing my options on the Marketplace and signing up soon. $1300 a month for two people is just too much – I’m hoping for a reduction in our premiums in 2016.

    1. That’s appalling!! The direct-sales company my husband and I have been working for the past year just began offering benefits. I haven’t looked at all the details yet, but if you don’t find more reasonable insurance than that let me know. It may be worth you signing up for the business (no minimum time requirement) just to get the benefits. YIKES!!

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