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.