I paid the premium on my health insurance today. As I hit the "pay now" button on the online banking site, I felt sick to my stomach. It was then that I realized I needed health insurance to cover the sickness being caused by paying for my health insurance.
I recently left my nice, steady full-time job with benefits to run my two fledgling businesses. That is the American dream; isn't it? Work for yourself, be your own boss, stop answering to "the man."
It's all very exciting, except, no one ever told me about health insurance, business insurance, LLC paperwork, quarterly taxes, and work permits.
The American dream is starting to resemble American Psycho!
Have you seen those folks walking around with signs that say, "Will work for food?"
I've contemplated walking around with one that says, "Will marry for health insurance."
I was recently out with some friends and they were bemoaning the single life.
"I just want the romance," one friend said, "I want the guy that gets down on one knee in a classy suit, pulls out a big fat diamond engagement ring, and asks me to be his wife."
I snorted - out loud.
"Forget the ring," I said, "I just want a guy who has health insurance. I don't want a ring; if that guy wants to marry me I want to see the summary of benefits from his job. I don't want to hear about his undying love for me, I want to know what his stock options are and what investment options are available through his 401-k!"
Cynical? Sure it is, but as a girl who is shelling out over $350 a month for health insurance, I can tell you that a robust dental plan is looking pretty good right about now!
And my insurance isn't even great insurance; I'm talking bottom-basement, cover-me-if-I-get-hit-by-a-speeding-bus insurance. I'm talking about the kind of insurance that you pay the premium on each month, but then you're afraid to actually use because you can't afford the co-pays.
Stop the madness!
When I made the decision to leave my job, I was so excited to tell my mother. I thought she'd be proud of me for following my dream and getting out of my soul-sucking job. I got all Norma Rae on her and told her that I was done working for a company that didn't appreciate my talents, and I was going to get out there and make something of myself.
I climbed down from my soap box, ready to hear my mom's accolades; the cheers of a mother who was bursting with pride. Instead, I heard my mom say, "Are you crazy? What are you going to do for health insurance?"
My life's dream had been reduced to whether or not I could pick my own primary care doctor.
Unfazed by my HMO-loving mother, I declared that I'd just go out and get my own insurance. I was filled with the blind optimism of a person who had been sucking from the teat of employer-paid healthcare my entire life; confident like a person who had yet to navigate the health insurance exchange website.
That optimism and confidence dwindled away as I realized that my monthly premium was almost the cost of my monthly rent! I wondered if I'd ever have to choose between a yearly mammogram and living in my car.
Depressed and broke from my most recent payment, I flopped down on the couch and turned on the TV. I flipped through "The Bachelor", "Dating Naked", and "Say Yes to the Dress," all the while wondering if true love was really out there.
While my friends are all looking for Mr. Handsome, Mr. Charming, and Mr. Likes Kids, I'm out there searching for Mr. PPO.
You gals can keep your tall, dark, and handsome. Four months of paying for my own health insurance and I'm currently looking for, stable, employed, and well-insured!
Forget Match.com, E-Harmony, and J Date; give me a list of available benefits-eligible bachelors on Fortune 500 company websites. Want to enhance the online dating experience? Put some dating profiles up on the Obama-care website. That's a healthcare option I can get behind!
Forget love and basketball; give me love and benefits! Jennifer Lopez may sing that "love don't cost a thing," but health insurance does, so I'll take the bachelor with benefits, the love interest with loan options, and the dude with dental, please.