Thursday, July 22, 2010

A reminder in insurability

A few days ago, I was talking with R, the office assistant at work. To give a bit of background: R. came to work at the facility earlier in the year. She was a former client of my boss. When R. first came, I was my usual self--quiet and reserved. Some people think I do not like them, but truly, I haven't formed an opinion at all. By nature, I am shy until I get to know someone.

R. started talking to me one day and asking me questions about dogs and such, and that was all it took. After that, we began talking about all kinds of stuff. Despite the fact she is 20+ years older than me, we get along well and have become fast friends. Surprisingly, she and I are very alike in how we feel, what we are thinking about work, etc. It's a really refreshing relationship as we each learn from one another--me about raising kids and her life with grandchildren and her about dogs and their behavior. In both instances, we are learning, and there is no intimidation factor.

So the other day, R. told me the details of what was really going on in her life. She was afraid she would have to quit this job due to finances. And this saddens her greatly. She feels like she has almost no choice, because her health insurance is up at the end of the month. And she can't afford it. And she learned she is uninsurable. This is how our conversation went:

R: Is A. (boss) going to have a coronary if I quit?
Me: Yes. Why would you have to quit?
R: I just can't afford this job. My health insurance is up at the end of the month. I also learned that I was unisurable, because I am too fat. That was the call yesterday. (R. is crying while telling me this) I sent out 10 resumes yesterday. And the thing is that I think I'd really enjoy this job in the long run, but right now, I just can't afford it.
Me: Is there any way, you can do part-time job and this one?
R: But then, there would be no benefits.

I really felt for R. Just like how those with an ED history are often times uninsurable, the same can happen with those who are overweight. Looking at R., she is like the average size person in the US, nothing more than that. And it sucks, that beyond her weight, she is fairly healthy. This was such a good reminder how so many of us face inscrutable insurance practices.

I honestly don't know what will happen with R., but if she does have to go, I will really miss her. But, I will hope for her return if possible.


Carrie Arnold said...

I hate the insurance biz. That is all.

Give R a hug from me and tell her I'm sending her health insurance company a big kick in the nads.

Tiptoe said...

Carrie, thanks, I know she'd be appreciative. I'll see R. today--we're going for lunch and to a dog event.