Damn . . . May Have to Move . . . Need Insurance Advice . . .

Just talked to my Mom, and she’s laid up with a sudden sciatica attack . . . If I lived there, I could get her to a doctor or at least pick up some medication . . . “This will get better eventually,” she says in her best Jewish Mother voice . . . She’s not getting any younger (unlike Geena Davis) or healthier . .

So I may just have to leave my job and my apt. and pack up the cats (!) and move back there. Leave it to me, to quit a safe (well, escept for the terrorist attacks) job during a 20-year employment low . . . Plus, I’d actually be paying MORE rent for a smaller apt. . . . Nicer neighborhood, admittedly, but I’d need to buy a car somehow!

What I need to know is, can I COBRA my insurance if I quit my job, or do you have to be fired? Obviously, I can’t ask them this at work!

I’m gonna go have some more Valium tea. You dissolve one Valium for every pack of sugar . . . Too much tsouris . . . At least my lipstick looks flawless . . .

Yes, you can COBRA if you leave a job (willingly). It’s not just something for the folks who get fired.

Beware, though, because it is HELLISHLY EXPENSIVE!!!

Oy, moving back to take care of mother. I do not look forward to that in my future, being an only child and all…

Best of luck.

Eve , you can COBRA if you quit. It was available to me when I changed jobs a few months ago. My mom COBRA’d when she quit her job to go sailing. This website looks like it has a wealth of COBRA information, including a link to what would keep you from qualifying.

from another only child, whose mother is moving closer to me so I can take care of her :slight_smile:

Oh. Good. Thanks.

I do have some money saved up (what hasn’t drained out of my mutual funds) . . . But I am too old not to have insurance till I can get SOME kind of a job, other than looking after my ailing mother . . . I am going to have to hire someone to drive me and the cats from NY to Phila. Can’t take two hysterical, pooping, peeing cats on a train, and I can’t drive myself . . .

Getting old sucks. Don’t Do. It.

[back to my Valium tea]

Eve, I have only my sympathies and best wishes to offer. If I lived close enough, I’d offer you a ride. Try not to over-stress, dear. It’ll cause wrinkles.

Having just left my Brooklyn apartment with two squalling cats to move back in with the parents (for my own agenda, though, not to take care of them), I feel for you. I do have COBRA, but just a warning, it’s incredibly high - I pay $278 a month for Empire BS/BC.

Honestly, I’d also offer a ride if I lived closer. I’m heading back to NYC in April for a long weekend, so if you need a ride then, feel free to give me a yell.


Eve, I COBRA’d my insurance for a couple months after I quit my previous job back in 1998, to cover the gap until I started with the gummint. But yes, it is expensive.

You might look into a ‘major medical’ sort of policy - the sort that doesn’t kick in until after you’ve paid for the first $1000 or so of expenses on an illness. They’re cheaper, since the idea is that you’re self-insuring, so to speak, for the small-to-middlin’ stuff. I had one of those one summer in between job and grad school. It was cheap, but it was also back in the 1980s, so things may have changed considerably.

Eve - Dave sells Health Insurance for self-insured and those who don’t have benefits through their jobs. You can contact him at weirddave0 at hotmail dot com, and he can get you the name of an Agent if you like.

I’m only an hour’s drive from Philly. Can I help your mother in some way?

And - I can offer you a ride, if the kitties have little travelling cages.

**Advice for Eve’s Mom **

Eve, I am sorry about your mom’s sciatica. Having had a sampling of it during pregnancy, it is no fun.

I found great relief through yoga poses. * ( And if you believe in the mumbo jumbo, yoga can cure everything but high interest credit card rates!) *

Triangle (this leg stance is very wide. I don’t think I could do it this wide.)

Spinal Twist

Pigeon Pose Ignore the ’ putting the foot to the head ’ part. This is an excellent stretch for the hips ( I do it nightly) and, if your mom’s sciatica continues, and she goes to physical therapy, this is exactly what they prescribe. (To get a deeper stetch, once in position, walk your hands out as far as you can and lay as flat as you can with all your weight on your bent leg. The stretch you get in your bent-leg hip is incredible.)
Naturally, here are the disclaimers: YMMV, IANAD, and No Salesman will call.

Ginger, you are sweet—but I wouldn’t ask anyone to make that long a trip! I know a driver who regularly shuttles people between NY and Phila.; it’s just a matter of how much will it cost.

Shirley, she’s in much too much pain to even think about yoga—she can barely get to the bathroom.

As for insurance, a freelancer at work says she gets hers through mediabistro.com, that they have insurance plans for people in publishing. “It’s not all that good, but it is insurance,” she says. I will get details from her, in case COBRA-ing costs too much.

On the one hand, I just don’t know if it’s feasible for me to leave a regular paycheck to move into an even worse employment area; plus, I’d be raising my rent and I’d need a car . . .

On the other, my Mom cannot live alone too much longer. This sciatica will get better, but she’s 81 and sooner or later she’s going to need help . .

Oh, well, maybe I’ll get blown to smithereens today, and that will solve the problem right there.

Eve, you’re taking away my excuse to go to NYC. I’m sticking my tongue out at you, in a most petulant manner.


Not funny, dear.

What about finding a temporary solution so you can plan your move with less pressure?

Are there good, affordable visiting nurse or home health aide programs in Philadelphia? Considering the cost of COBRA, that might be cheaper. If it worked out, you could stay employed in New York until you found a job in Philadelphia; they say it’s easier to find a new job while you’re still working at the old one.

(I have no idea what possessed me to offer unsolicited advice.)

Make sure to give the cats some valium tea before the trip. That will help with the hysterics. The vet can give you something to make them sleepy.

Good luck to you and your mother.

The hell with the cats, I’m taking the valium!

Just talked to Mom, she sounds awful . . . Thank goodness, she’s taking a cab to her doctor at noon (she has an excellent doctor). I hope he puts her in the hospital for a day or two so they can give her some high-powered pain medication, and make sure she’s eating and taking her other meds (which one tends to forget when one’s in a lot of pain).

After I talk to her later today, I will suggest some kind of visiting-nurse program, which she will object to vociferously. She’s also objecting to my giving up my job and moving home . . .

Can an elderly parent be on one’s insurance as a dependant? Even if they don’t live with you?
I’d check out the visiting nurse idea and how about you mom moves closer to you? That way you keep the job and insurance.

Be sure too that your company is large enough to be covered by COBRA. If it has less than 15 employees, it may not apply to you.

Because my company was so small, however, I learned that Illinois and several other states have a state law version of COBRA. In Illinois, you can only be covered for 9 months after you leave, but it covers any employer who offers a health plan. Check to see if NY has a law like that that might help.

Is living with your mother for a few months while you find a job and apartment feasible?

Eve, if you need any kind of help when you get over here, let me know. If it’s train accessible, I can get there to help with moving boxes or anything else you need. One of the advantages of being without a job is that you can be there for your friends when they need you during the week.

<sub>And I’m still keeping an eye out for some kind of work for you. Just haven’t had much luck yet.</sub>

Thanks, all . . .

My company is huge and covered by COBRA (good thing, as I found I don’t qualify for mediabistro’s plan).

Mom’s lived on the Main Line all her life and I couldn’t possibly uproot her—she’s refuse to leave, anyway. I wouldn’t have any trouble finding an apt., there are vacancies at her garden-apt. complex (that would be perfect—I’d have my own place, but I’d be within a minute’s walking distance of her).

Well, this is all up in the air till I found out what her doctor says later today . . .