Wednesday, April 16, 2008


OK, this gotta be quick b/c I gots to go sing. If baby lays off my diaphragm. You know, I know she's in the right spot, because I swear I feel her hiccuping in my cervix. Now THAT is a weird feeling.

Anyhoo, here's the update on the insurance situation:
After talking with a few more of J's colleagues yesterday (who were equally appalled and ready to pull out picket signs and/or torches/pitchforks) we were advised to go visit HR in person, with the belly and the tears. So we went over and met with the main benefits lady. Turns out that basically their hands are completely tied by J's contract. They can't do anything beyond what that paper states because it's a legal document and it could threaten everybody else's insurance if they tried to "slip something by."

BUT, that doesn't mean that there's nothing to be done. What she told us is that they have to abide by whatever the contract says. So if J can get a new contract drawn up that changes his last day from May 15 to, say, July 1, then bam we suddenly have benefits until the end of July. It's a simple (not easy) matter of convincing the powers that be to change his layoff date.

Which means that this issue isn't actually going to be decided by those in HR, but rather by the Provost. Or, as I put it, by fellow faculty, who have been where we are. Or, as J put it, by theologians. Yes, now we leave this decision - this moral quandary - up to people who study Jesus and the ways of God for a living. What will they decide?

I'm trying to be hopeful. I'd like to think that they could get on board with this. After all, it doesn't cost the university that much money to do the benefits two extra months, and it saves us two grand. Big dif. They still pay him the same salary they planned to (and he'd still get a lump sum at the end for what was owed), but it would just be spread out a bit longer, and it would include an eentsy bit more support on the benefits side. Which IMHO is only fair, considering it's a bit poopy to offer someone 12 mos of salary but only 9 mos of benefits (unless they're returning, then they get 12 mos of benefits).

It helps also that J's department colleagues are fully on board and rarin' mad about this. We're hoping that they will have some pull with the provost. But in the end, it will come down to praying that God will work in this man's life so that he can see that the morally responsible thing to do is help us out (even if it's not the absolute tightest thing financially).

Here's hoping he will make the right decision, the decision that I hope his conscience tells him, and I hope will help him sleep at night.

p.s. Everybody keeps pointing out Cobra to us - yes we know about it and that's our backup plan. But Cobra takes our monthly payments from $200 to $1000. When one is being laid off, one would prefer to save that money. Yes, we can get insurance, it's just wildly expensive. For three months, it's the same amount they pay J for a four-month adjunct class ($3,000). When you think of it in those terms (four months of work), it seems like an awful lot of money.
And as I've said before, we don't qualify on our own for insurance b/c of our previous conditions, and we don't qualify for Medi-Cal because we have savings and we don't qualify for Healthy Families without income. So that's why we really just need the insurance through the school to continue as long as it can, because every month means $800 to us.

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