the IT city, the I.T. Baby


Getting laid off at Christmas, what it did for us – an attempted nice gesture turns to crap

o2 sensorLast year right before the Christmas party at my wife’s then-employer they informed her they were going to move her job up to be nearer the owner in another state.

They were doing this primarily because he wanted all things that handled money to go through the office he was closest to.

She was offered the chance to move states to keep her job at the same pay rate, but it wasn’t worth it.

Needless to say, Christmas was not a great time to do this with a several weeks gap in being able to interview with other companies. But that’s not the point.

With a brand new four month old and around $5000 in medical bills for popping that kiddo out (that was the deductible,) they gave her a one-month severance and health insurance through the end of January.

Sounds nice right? Laid off for Christmas, get to spend the holidays unemployed job hunting while all the employers or people who can interview you are on vacation, but at least there’s a month’s pay and a month’s insurance so you can deal with getting a job in January when people are trickling back to work.

January 1st, 12:01am, the deductible on the insurance reset to $5000+. On the 16th of January Aerin’s throat swelled up causing an emergency overnight stay at the hospital (ambulance ride, x-rays, nebulizers, machines that go beep.) Because we had insurance through the old employer for January, we re-max the deductible in January over the course of two days, so another $5000+.

In Tennessee, had we been able to transition to the coverage on the 1st of January, which we couldn’t do due to good intentions of ex employer who lays people off at Christmas time, kids are completely covered. You can’t get on the ACA or Tenncare if you have insurance through another provider.

The unintended result of their extending healthcare a month was to cost us another $5000. Even if we had no healthcare signed up at January 1st, Tenncare would have handled it. Tennessee takes care of the kiddos, well, some of them at least.

And now we’re on another insurance plan, which thankfully isn’t as high of a deductible, however there’s now a payment plan and a rather large balance at the hospital… le sigh…

So yeah, if you’re ever laid off at Christmas try to make sure your insurance gets terminated at the end of the year if your kiddos would be covered under the state or the affordable care act or any other health insurance because deductibles don’t follow.

Also try and work for an employer who doesn’t lay people off at Christmas. Seriously.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.