I've been terminated. So has my insurance.
June 10, 2016 1:16 PM   Subscribe

This question contains two questions. One regarding the life of unemployment and the other is in regards to navigating the world of the uninsured. Help me adult these situations.

I lost my job two weeks ago, and I don't really care. Sadly there are consequences for losing your job, and I'm hoping to get those taken care of.

Firstly, what do I do about insurance as someone who has minor health concerns? Mainly for medication coverage and an affordable doctors visit co-pay. I'm on five medications and see two physicians in 3 month intervals. Two of these medications are still under patent and a third costs just as much. I'd rather not spend over $1000 on medications every month, so I need the least costly and most effective solution. I've been looking passively but I'd like some MeFites experience with the different options, including the ACA, Cobra, Medicaid, state sponsored drug cards, and so on.

Secondly, I need help with the job search. I'll likely be moving out of state to California at the start of August and I'm not trying to find anything too serious right now. I just want something to do for the next couple months that pays the bills. I'm specifically looking at temp jobs and I'm completely inexperienced with this. Do I call local temp agencies and set up an appointment? Is it okay to just show up at one? Or would temp-job specific sites like SimplyHired be a sound choice? I'm willing to do almost anything but I feel like searching around on the Internet will make me feel indecisive and under qualified.

Any advice on either of these questions would be greatly appreciated. They aren't too complicated of situations, but I've never experienced either of these problems so I'd like some help adulting my way out of this.
For relevance- I'm a mid 20's male living in Denver, CO and moving to Santa Cruz, CA. Any location specific solutions would be ideal, but anything will suffice.

Thanks in advance!
posted by omgkinky to Human Relations (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Go to www.healthcare.gov

Start an account, answer the questions, and go from there.

You've had a "life changing event."
posted by yesster at 1:23 PM on June 10, 2016 [6 favorites]

Go to healthcare.gov right now and start filling out an application. Look at your plan options. Do research on the plans' explanation of benefits to make sure the stuff you need covered will be covered. Call the healthcare.gov's 1800 hotline number and talk to someone there about your concerns and options. Search online for 3rd party navigators in your city and state to help you if it looks too overwhelming or if you think there might be some extra difficulty.

Do I call local temp agencies and set up an appointment?

Think like a company looking to fill a role. If you needed someone to cover some short-term office work, what would you google? Probably "city name + staffing agency" or "city name + temporary office staffing" right? Google those sorts of things and send out your info to the top 3 google results. Do whatever their procedure is to apply on their website, follow it up with a direct email (info@theirwebsite.com often, or if you can find a name of a recruiter there on LinkedIn, do a bcc blast to firstlast@theirwebsite.com flast@theirwebsite.com firstl@theirwebsite.com and similar) attaching your resume and explaining that you've got tons of experience in x y and z and are looking for some temporary roles to fill the time between now and your upcoming move. Your availability is wide open and you'd love to come meet them in person. BE SUPER ENERGETIC-SEEMING AND EXCITED. NOTHING HAS EVER MADE YOU SO HAPPY AS THE PROSPECT OF TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT! Ask around for friends and friends of friends to see if any of them have contacts at staffing agencies and ask if they'll send an email to their contact on your behalf (my friend omgkinyk is looking for some short term work between now and when they move--she's really great at blah and blah!).

You're going to be fine. Unfortunately it takes a lot of work to get shit together when your whole support system craps off at once, but just attack it head on and it'll be ok.
posted by phunniemee at 1:28 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you're in California, your health insurance should last through the end of the month. Call your pharmacy and see what can be refilled, like, right now. See if you can get 90 day supplies.

Cobra will be expensive, an ACA plan will probably be more affordable. You should call their 800 number and work through it with someone. Ask lots of questions.
posted by jeffamaphone at 1:30 PM on June 10, 2016 [7 favorites]

Also work your network. Go on FB / LinkedIn and post that you're looking for temp work, does anyone have anything?
posted by jeffamaphone at 1:30 PM on June 10, 2016

Yes, looking into a healthcare.gov plan for a plan that fits your needs.

Apply online to 2 or 3 temp agencies over the weekend by filling out their forms and uploading your resume. Then call on Monday for appointments. I hope you find something pleasant to help you pay your bills.
posted by Kalmya at 1:42 PM on June 10, 2016

When I needed health insurance for the first time, I just walked into a clinic (Oregon) and basically said "help me adult this situation" and they did.
posted by aniola at 3:36 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

COBRA is going to be a continuation of your current health insurance plan only now you are paying 102% of the monthly premium. So your experience with COBRA will mimic your experience with your current health plan except that the premium is probably higher than you think it is depending on how much your employer contributes.

I'd go to healthcare.gov and see all the plans and costs there and then compare them to your COBRA option and see what you like best. Don't forget to check the plan's formulary to ensure your medications are covered and the provider directory to ensure your doctor is in network.
posted by magnetsphere at 3:44 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you have no incone coming in and have few assets, you now qualify for medicaid, food Stamps, unemployment insurance if you have worked more than 1 quarter, and general assistance if you haven't.

Unlike other states, California covers unemployment for seasonal employees.

Good luck!
posted by AlexiaSky at 5:30 PM on June 10, 2016

1. File for UI ASAP.

2. If UI contests your application, keep on doing your weekly job search, and keep on submitting your weekly claims. If you skip some weeks, and UI decides in your favor after all, you won't get paid for those weeks.

3. If UI gives you the chance to take money out for taxes, i find it beneficial to do so - for the years I'm unemployed, I'd rather have a refund coming back to me or have my tax bill square out evenly, than having to owe. I've had friends collect UI, not opt for them to take out taxes, and then they get met with a tax bill in April.
posted by spinifex23 at 6:14 PM on June 10, 2016

Also, because you're moving, I'd also call and talk to UI about your situation after you open your claim. Because UI is controlled at the state level, there might be some complications when you move. I've only had to deal with Washington State, but I found their UI office to be extremely helpful and understanding, as long as you're genuinely looking for work and following the rules.

I also know that WA State UI calls in claimants for personal classes and interviews in order to keep your benefits going; it'd be really bad to be called into a mandatory meeting in Denver when you've already relocated to Santa Cruz.
posted by spinifex23 at 6:19 PM on June 10, 2016

Look at Indeed.com for job openings; many recruiters are always looking for short-term employees. "Hiring this week for a job that vanishes in two months" is common. Also check Monster. If you are strong in either computer tech or sales, look at hired.com.

My job currently involves a large amount of recruiting work, for which I am spectacularly unsuited. But I'm terrific at records and doc management, so I have advice on the resume side of things - Target your resume in 15 minutes. Don't worry about making a "perfect" resume - make one that emphasizes your skills for the job you want, and make sure it's not ugly. Most of the people looking at it are glancing for a handful of keywords and making sure you know how to describe what they're looking for. (Two pages, five bullets per job, tops. One page is better.)

Make a resume for your remaining time in CO, which emphasizes your "jump in and be awesome immediately" skills, and mention temp work in the cover letter, and a separate one for hunting for CA jobs, emphasizing the long-term work you want to do. Start hunting for those now; for intended-to-be-permanent jobs, it often takes a couple of months to get hired even if everything moves quickly and smoothly. Make sure any cover letter you send for a CA job mentions "I'm moving to Santa Cruz in August," because otherwise they'll look at your resume and assume you were to dim to notice that the job was in a different state.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:23 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

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