Health insurance between jobs

Health insurance between jobs

I recently changed jobs, and although I’ve dealt with gaps in medical coverage before, I didn’t anticipate everything this time. Let’s talk about what to do for health insurance between jobs. And let’s talk coverage too–they aren’t always the same thing.

First things first: gaps are likely, and the laws are written under the assumption that small gaps will happen. The system still isn’t what I would call fair, not that it ever has been, but generally it’s possible to navigate the system and get the coverage you need. I’m not here to complain about the system; I’m here to tell you what I did, or could have done, to navigate it.

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No, using an emergency fund to pay off credit card debt isn’t a good idea

It seems like I’ve been finding a lot of financial questions online lately. I guess that’s good–it means people are thinking. The best question I’ve found this week is whether you should use your emergency fund to pay off credit card debt.

Mathematically, it makes sense to do so. But one thing I remember hearing time and time again as we were paying off massive quantities of debt was not to empty bank accounts in order to do it. The reason for it was simple: Life is unpredictable. Read more

What to do when your COBRA paperwork doesn’t show up

I’m writing this to hopefully save someone from having as bad of a day as I’ve just had. You see, I started a new job on July 3. My new health insurance starts August 1. My former employer terminated my coverage on July 2. COBRA is intended to fill gaps like that, but all I have is a promise that my COBRA paperwork will show up someday. My former employer didn’t send the COBRA paperwork, just a promise that it was coming. Famous last words, you know.

That promise doesn’t help when my wife needs insulin today. And when my current employer doesn’t know what to do, my old employer won’t answer the phone, and my old insurance company doesn’t know what to do either, that’s enough to ruin your day.

What I didn’t know was that COBRA doesn’t work that way.

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