Before my husband and I were married, he went without health insurance for seven months. He had switched jobs the summer before we got married and although it was anticipation of greater things (more chance of advancement, higher pay, a more stable future, less office politics), it was a temporary to permanent thing that didn’t have benefits attached while my then fiance was in “temporary” status.
At one point prior to this insurance-less limbo, I voiced my fears that after hubby’s COBRA ran out, he would be screwed if something adverse happened to him medically.
“Well, I already had my appendix out,” he’d tease. And yes, that was true. But my husband still had his tonsils, he also has limbs and vital organs. And since I am a worst-case scenarist, I found myself convinced that the next time he walked out the doorway he’d be clipped by a garbage truck, or T-boned by some idiot driver while he was out on the highway or that he would just simply fall off of our ladder and break an arm. A medical catastrophe doesn’t need to be anything fatal … you could sneeze in an ER and be charged a year’s salary.
The day we got married was one of the happiest days of my life. And that Tuesday after our wedding when I signed my newly minted husband onto my health insurance plan marked another happy day – the breath I had been holding for seven months was exhaled in relief.
So when I saw this article in CNN, I had to smile. The gist of the story is that the author and her boyfriend had been living together for eight months, the insurance at his university was prohibitively expensive and since they were straight, they didn’t qualify as a “domestic partnership” under Illinois law, so they got married. And now the boyfriend – now husband – has health insurance.
Now don’t get me wrong … I can see the flaws in this plan and as a somewhat newlywed who still has stars in her eyes after nine months of marriage, I smile wanly and hope for the best for this couple who might find out that it’s cheap to get married, not so much to get divorced. But health insurance … most people can barely afford it, but most of us can’t afford to live without it. What would you do for health insurance?
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