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Get so tired of feeling stuck sometimes


Nixee

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I moved from CA to NY specifically to pursue my dream job, which for me means school... a LOT of school. I'm facing at least 4-5 more years of school. When you tell people it is ultimately just a masters degree you are after, they are shocked because that sounds like way too much, especially considering I already have one degree. But this isn't just any degree. It is a highly specialized field requiring pre and post program experience and qualifications.

 

And so I'm slowly chipping away at things as best I can, while racking up further school loans and cringing, and feeling overwhelmed. But I'm not deterred because this is what I know I want more than anything. This feels and has felt like my calling for years.

 

What doesn't feel like my calling is my day job. It is what is necessary to balance things out and pay the bills, and perhaps most importantly for me - provide medical insurance.

 

I'm just lucky enough to have what all insurance companies like to call a "pre-existing condition", allowing them, by their own rules, to deny me coverage should I try to get it on my own (and I have). Even the insurance offered by my current university has a pre-existing condition clause. The only way for me to be forcibly covered (much to their chagrin) is to slip in under a group policy. My medication, which I will likely have to take for the rest of my days, costs over $570 a month in the states, and this is the GENERIC version. I suppose it is no wonder they hate me.

 

So my day job is a necessary evil it seems.... and yet it drags me down, for many reasons. Firstly, my boss drives me insane half of the time. She interrupts me, treats me like I am incompetent, and sometimes will overreact over silly things. She is a couple years younger than me and my theory is that she is trying to assert herself - that she feels she has something to prove, or that she is threatened by her 'inferiors' who may actually show intelligence. Most days I feel like I'm walking on eggshells around her.

 

Secondly, if I didn't feel I had to depend on my job so much for the benefits, I would feel more free to be pursuing internship hours, which I NEED for grad school. This is a huge thing that makes me feel stuck. Many internships are unpaid (another concern, which leads to more loan dependence), but some are paid... none will pay medical bills though.

 

So I feel stuck. Come fall my work hours/schedule will change with more classes on my plate, but I still don't know what to do. Pursuing my career is the most important thing to me... I moved 3000 miles for this and changed my entire life, but sometimes I just don't know how to work out the details.

 

I'm not sure what advice I can be looking for or if anyone has any to offer, or just co-miserate, but I had to rant.

 

I certainly don't wish to make this a political thread, but I admit I do watch news of health care reform plans all the time.... waiting for the day when pre-existing conditions are no longer treated like a black mark on your record.

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Thanks Annie.

 

I've thought about trying to look for a different job just to lift my spirits at least, but the difficulty is that with my class schedule I will need very specific work times so I think I'll be asking for a lot... might be very tough in this job market. And recently my job has offered to keep me on and reduce my hours (but keep my benefits), so I think toughing it out is best. Just... makes me sigh. Especially since internship hours would be SOOO much more beneficial and WILL be necessary ultimately... just don't know when I'll be able to do them.

 

Finishing my degree faster really isn't possible as once I enter the actual MA program (I'm still in pre-progam work now), it is a very set and structured course. Only about 10-12 student enter per year and they all follow the same path. It is a lot of work, but by that point I'll just be mostly excited (even though I'll be gettin old by the time I finish haha).

 

When I'm in the MA program, I won't be working though, it'll be full time student stuff, at a different university, with insurance picked up by them. I am only in limbo for now, for at least another year or so.

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I suppose you are right.

 

If the internship I wanted most did open up for me though, I might have to take it, and then freak out about insurance. It is all a balancing game. I cannot continue on to my MA program without the internship hours.

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Maybe with the passage of the new "health insurance plan" by our President, that might help your woes, because the new plan (I think) is supposed to extend coverage to even those who might not be able to get insurance due to "pre-existing conditions".

 

Also, with your meds, is there any way you can buy them from Canada? I heard people do that and it is supposed to be a lot cheaper (people buy them through mail order stuff in Canada)

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Oh yeah... I've definitely been watching the news on health care reform as I know I'm one of the people who will be most affected by it. I'm kinda the poster girl for tweaking the system to be honest... but, in my personal opinion, I think even if things pass, real change is still a ways off. I have to deal with things now.

 

I have actually looked into buying things from Canada, and it isn't a bad thought. Worse comes to worse I may end up having to do just that. It would still be more expensive for me than paying my current copays (about $120-$150 versus $4), but if I lose coverage and it is my only option, I guess you do what you have to do, right?

 

My condition is epilepsy, which means no drugs for me also means the state yanks my driver's license, so I'm pretty darn adamant about being compliant... for many reasons.

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Maybe with the passage of the new "health insurance plan" by our President, that might help your woes, because the new plan (I think) is supposed to extend coverage to even those who might not be able to get insurance due to "pre-existing conditions".

 

Also, with your meds, is there any way you can buy them from Canada? I heard people do that and it is supposed to be a lot cheaper (people buy them through mail order stuff in Canada)

 

that's a good idea...but one you need to be very careful about. there have been some well documented cases of people getting the wrong prescription, or simply being taken advantage of.

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that's a good idea...but one you need to be very careful about. there have been some well documented cases of people getting the wrong prescription, or simply being taken advantage of.

 

Yeah, I admit I'd be a bit scared to try, and I think it would be a last resort thing. I still prefer the freedom to go to my doc when needed and get my meds from my pharmacist here in town.

 

Looking into the very low limits on the prescription plan attached to my school's insurance (before I found out that they too would exclude me), I started also looking into supplemental prescription plans a bit, so that might be another route to explore a bit here in the states. Still doesn't help with doc visits though. WHeee!

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If you quit a job that has health insurance, they legally have to provide you with the ability to buy COBRA for 18 months afterwards thru the same insurer as your company, as long as the company is a certain size.

 

So if you want to do an internship, you save it for the very end and can quit your job and buy the COBRA insurance for 18 months while interning.

 

At the end of the 18 months, you still have HIPAA status and can roll over into another group plan when you get a new job or state plan depending on where you live.

 

Google COBRA laws for more information.

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Hi Nixee,

 

Sounds like a tough spot to be in... but ultimately, staying put does seem like the best option for now (if you think you can stand it, that is). And like people say, a known evil is better than an unknown one bc at least, you know how to deal with it whereas at a new job (and with a new boss) you will have to exert energy into feeling settled again and learning how to maneuver yourself about this new setting. I dont know how quickly you'll be able to find a new job but it may take you several months, and another couple months to settle down at your new job, at which time, you will only have a couple months left until you leave your job for your m.a. program. To *me*, it all seems like unnecessary busywork, which could have been better spent, perhaps, unwinding from working and studying.

 

Anyways, I think that dealing with a sadistic boss who seems to get inordinate pleasure from making you miserable ... is something that many people, unfortunately, can commiserate. This sounds so passive, I know, but you just have to learn to smile and tune them out the best you can.

 

One question: is there any way that you can do the internship during or after your m.a. program? It sounds like the financial hit and the loss of insurance coverage may be a bit too much to handle even before you enter your program, which will likely incur unforeseeable expenses. Best to save now when you can, methinks.

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If you quit a job that has health insurance, they legally have to provide you with the ability to buy COBRA for 18 months afterwards thru the same insurer as your company, as long as the company is a certain size.

 

So if you want to do an internship, you save it for the very end and can quit your job and buy the COBRA insurance for 18 months while interning.

 

At the end of the 18 months, you still have HIPAA status and can roll over into another group plan when you get a new job or state plan depending on where you live.

 

Google COBRA laws for more information.

 

The only downside of COBRA is that you have to pick up 100% of the premium. With most employer-sponsored insurance, most companies still pick up a pretty hefty portion of the tab. It's a bit of an eye-opener to see just how much of the tab they've been picking up when you leave their employment.

 

For example, when I got downsized last year to continue coverage through COBRA would've been over $800 a month. Perhaps worth it for someone like the OP who has an ongoing condition...but for someone like me who's generally ridiculously healthy, it was a HUGE sum of money to be spending on "just in case."

 

Fortunately I was able to get on my husband's insurance through his job. It's high-deductible crappy coverage, but it's better than nothing. (Though only marginally....and only if I have a Major Catastrophic Health Event...)

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^^

If she's single, it isn't too bad... Insurance for one person may run $250-300, while the family plan runs $800. That's because they're carrying at least 2 with the family plan, and frequently 4 or more, so family plans are much more expensive than single people.

 

She can always contact her HR to find out what COBRA premiums would be.

 

btw, there's a federal subsidy now where if you were laid off, the govt. pays 2/3rds of the premium, and the laid off person only pays 1/3. So i would have paid $300, but now I only pay $100/month for medical, dental, and vision care. That is a temporary help due to the state of the economy, but $100/month is very reasonable to pay. You don't get those subsidy benefits though if you quit, only if you get laid off.

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Thank you Ellie.

 

Unfortunately, no, I can't really do the specific internship work I need after or during my MA program as it is pre-requisite work - they will not admit you to study until you have completed the hours. I will be doing further work during and after my program too, but gotta do some before.

 

As for COBRA, yes I am aware of it, but just as mentioned, it is the cost that has held me back from taking advantage of it. I am single, but the premiums have always been so high. With my school schedule only allowing for part time work as it is, my income is going to go very low and I'll be depending much more on school loan money (which is another rant all together - having one degree already disqualifies me from pell grants because apparently my one degree should have made me rich But I suppose it is nice to know that I can buy into it if I CAN somehow afford it. Sadly though, I think it ends up being more expensive than buying my meds from Canada and going without insurance.

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Fortunately I was able to get on my husband's insurance through his job. It's high-deductible crappy coverage, but it's better than nothing. (Though only marginally....and only if I have a Major Catastrophic Health Event...)

 

Ah yes, this is my other option too... and the one that would probably make my parents finally breath a secret sigh of relief.. get hitched already, dammit!

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5 Tips For Entering The Job Market ...
5 Tips For Entering The Job Market After University

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