cramming-in-health-careWith national health care being widely debated in these here United States of America, plenty of unemployed people have their own way of dealing with a lack of health insurance: cramming in as many visits and tests as possible before their coverage ends either due to a lay off, a spouse’s job loss, or graduating from college and being way too old to qualify under a parent’s plan. Regardless of whether they choose to go with an individual health care plan, have a shotgun wedding with a total stranger for his/her benefits, or skip on insurance altogether, the unemployed definitely do what they can to make the most out of their remaining health plan.

The minute a pink slip is handed in, the soon-to-be-unemployed jump on the phone and try to schedule a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible. If they have the “fortune” to get laid off early in the month, they have that much more time to see a doctor before having the responsibility of paying 100% of their bill. If not, the unemployed will lie through their teeth about some sort of vague infection to get a chance to see the doctor. Once in, the unemployed will go through a giant list of stuff they want to get checked out, what vaccinations they’d like to have shot into their arms all at once, and ask for as many prescriptions as they can just so they can avoid future visits because of those dreaded co-pays. After getting their tests done and hoping for the best that no lab results will be negative enough for them to become disqualified for future health insurance, the unemployed will start figuring out their next plan: going to quack doctors, figuring out who will marry them, and raiding everybody’s medicine cabinets to supplement their unfilled prescriptions.

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12 Responses to “#145 Cramming in Their Health Care”

  1. Bettie says:

    I’m surprised “writing fan fiction” isn’t here! It seems all of the unemployed people I know are writing fan fiction to pass the time. (I did the same thing when I was unemployed.)

  2. This is very true and I will admit to cramming my own health care on several occasions. What option do you have when you worked hard to finish college, then went to graduate school, and then found yourself unemployed and without health insurance (or perhaps not enough money to pay for insurance)?

  3. bessie says:

    My name is Bessie and I am a journalism grad student at Columbia University. Pretty much getting back into school has saved my butt because I was able to get student loans and defer the painful job search for a year. Now that I am here, a partner and I are working on a mini-documentary about unemployment for our class, under the theme of “Hard Times.” We are looking for one person to be our character.

    This person needs to:
    -be in unemployment benefits, about to run out of them or has ran out
    -Live in New York (Manhattan area)
    -Feel comfortable sharing his or her experiences
    -Most importantly feel very comfortable being taped

    We need to talk to people and have two potential candidates for our professors by this coming week. I have been looking everywhere but haven’t been lucky. Although you wouldn’t get paid this would be an interesting project and you would really help in putting as face and tale to this huge problem our country is facing.

    The mini film will be featured in the university’s class website along with a written story, which are available for the general public and press allies. Any help is appreciated and serious inquiries can contact me directly.
    Thanks in advance,

  4. 28 weeks Unemployed says:

    What happened? Did you get a job? No more posts?

  5. Tdot says:

    Did you get a job or something? 1 post every week nowadays compared to nearly daily just a month ago and prior?

  6. Samantha says:

    This would be funny if it wasn’t true UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE!!

  7. Well it’s a bit difficult to cram in your healthcare when the system makes sure that, for a period of time, you don’t actually have any!
    Coming from the UK, I am constantly shocked at how the system is set up to be anything but health *care*.
    Being in health coverage Limbo is actually BUILT INTO the process?
    You have to be f-ing kidding me.


  8. 28 weeks Unemployed says:

    When I knew I was going to lose my job and that my company was going to contact my vision insurance at any time, I went to Walmart (because you can get in FAST) and got my exam and new glasses. I’d been paying for vision insurance for 6 months planning to go get my exam which was overdue to be done. Instead, I was working overtime and didn’t have time. I even put off foot surgery because I was the supervisor and knew taking 3-4 weeks off to heal would send my branch into insanity. So now I’m unemployed, can’t get my surgery because I don’t qualify for full medical assistance from the gov’t which means I’m still in pain, but hey, at least I was able to squeeze in my glasses right?

  9. Sarah says:

    I totally did that at the end of college (about to be off my parents’ plan) and right after being fired. It’s a f***ing shame that we have to plan our healthcare around the economy and our employment status. Bodies don’t tend to cooperate with such things. Right now I’m paying for an individual plan and looking for work overseas. If I do that and come back to the US and can’t get a job with group coverage, I’m worried I won’t be able to get coverage for a condition my doctor recently said he thinks I have. So now I’m trying to figure out how I can make sure he doesn’t give me some kind of formal diagnosis, so I don’t have any pre-exising conditions when I’m seeking insurance again in the US. It gets even more ridiculous and complicated, but you get the idea. UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE NOW!

  10. 28 weeks Unemployed says:

    Yes, I’m back again. And I’m infuriated. I’m on umeployment in Maryland. I “make” too much money to qualify for medical assistance. I only get a “spend down”. According to the state, I “make” $512 too much every month to qualify, so they multiply that times the 6 month coverage period = $3072 worth of medical bills I would have to PAY ON MY OWN before I would get ANY kind of assistance.
    Oh, and when I first lost my job I got a letter saying I qualified. Nobody told me it was this spend down type. So now I’m getting bills from June and July that were not paid and I now owe. Nobody told me I had to acrue a certain amount before I would get coverage.

  11. Miriam says:

    I do the exact opposite: When I’m not employed, I go to the neighborhood sliding-scale clinic and sign up. If I was working, I wouldn’t be able to qualify for the lowest end of the sliding scale. I hurry up and get all the stuff done (for me that means dental, not so much medical) – cause once I get a job, I won’t be able to any more.

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