No gym today. For some reason I had a really difficult night’s sleep. The kids were all awake in turn at one point or another, and kept waking me up. Last night on the treadmill it was clear I needed a “recovery day.” I did get out for a walk this morning. Sunny but the icy-cold wind in my face was no fun at all.
My wife called Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to investigate the possibility of “conversion coverage,” where we could pick up health insurance from them directly rather than using COBRA to continue our existing policy. (COBRA would cost us about $1,600 a month). What she found out was not very encouraging; with maternity and dental coverage the monthly premium would be lower – $1,050 – but we’d have a $5,000 deductible to meet before they would pay for anything other than preventive care. Prescriptions would be covered, after meeting the deductible, at 50%, and 100% after hitting the cap of $10,000. They only guarantee these rates and coverage through the end of the year, so we’d have coverage for ten months; we’d probably hit our deductible, and maybe our cap, so we’re talking about $20,000 to pay for our health care costs, and insurance, through the rest of the year.
Continuing COBRA at $1,600 per month is probably cheaper – $16,000 plus co-pays – but perhaps more importantly it wouldn’t require us to spend a whole lot immediately. We wouldn’t have to pay down that $5,000 deductible before we had services covered. Also, I think we would still have MEBS – an extra insurance that was paying many of our co-pays to reduce our total costs for health care.
But. The policy we have through COBRA will no doubt be changing up at the end of the calendar year too, and there should be little doubt that it will cost more and cover less in 2014. They are allowed to terminate our coverage. Even if they don’t, we can claim COBRA for a maximum of 18 months (I think).
By the way, did I mention that my wife was running for Congress? Her platform is “I’m running for office so that my family can have decent health insurance for the rest of our lives. That’s my platform. Thank you.”
Regarding food assistance - we’ve been trying to fill out the forms online, but the site keeps throwing up errors – and losing data that we’ve put in. So we’re now thinking we might have to just go fill out paper forms, in person.
I’m working on applications so that I can fill out my required "monthly record of work search." I'm looking at a Senior Embedded Software Engineer position listed on the state site. The language in the posting is a little cagey, though; it says "this position _could be_ located in Saginaw, MI" (emphasis mine). The state site says you have to apply on the employer's web site. The employer's web site says "résumés will only be considered through online submissions." When I go to apply online, it actually takes me to a page with a recruitingcenter.net domain. That seems a little fishy. Do they outsource their HR? In any case, I'm not able to proceed; after creating an account, the next page just consistently fails to load. The URL for that page it is trying to load seems to indicate some kind of internal site error. It's a bad sign when a web site can't even generate an error page to tell you how it failed. What was I saying yesterday? Oh yeah, something about how "I’ve almost never gotten a job this way. All my really good jobs have come through personal contacts and networking." Not dumping résumés on publicly-posted jobs.
I’m thinking I’ll do this daily thing for one more day, tomorrow, and then only blog more about “The Situation” – my unemployment – if there is some news or something I want to talk about.