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September 30, 2014
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Additional Considerations


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Additional considerations. Lately, they're making me crazy. Diabetes serves up a plate load of them. Every. Day.
The insulin pump at my hip - and how to keep it dry. The insulin that goes in the pump - and how to keep it cold. My hip-hopping bloodsugar - and how to make it sit somewhat still. The food I eat - and how to keep it from sending my bloodsugar levels soaring. And all the medicine and supplies - and how to pay for them all.
That last is a big deal. A really big deal.
About a year ago, I left a job that I loved. My boss was great. The work was interesting and somewhat challenging. My colleagues were amazing. And the mission that we supported with our efforts was inspiring. I went to work happy and most days, I left happy. As with any other job, there were days when I could have pulled all of my hair out. But, all in all, I loved it.
Why leave then? I'm sure you're wondering.
It boiled down to benefits. Health benefits to be exact. Health insurance premiums were astronomical and the coverage was less than adequate. In my first year with this employer, I spent over $4,500 in premiums and co-pays and deductibles. That's a lot of money. Even with the income tax deduction. That's a lot of money. I soon realized that I couldn't possibly afford to stay at this job that I loved.
So I went looking. And I found myself examining the benefits packages of prospective employers with extraordinary care. Had I known more about the health benefits with the employer that I loved, I might never have taken that job to begin with. Sad - but true. I finally found an employer that offered a decent salary, amazing health benefits, and a job that I knew I would do well at. I gave my notice and took my current job. And in short order, found myself bored and uninspired. Here I am again, one year later, and on another career precipe.
Recently, I interviewed for and was offered a new job. The job seems dreamy (if you think a job can be dreamy, that is). A creative workplace, a position that includes new challenges and a chance to exercise my existing skills, a mission that I'll be thrilled to be a part of supporting, and a small pay raise. The temptation to accept immediately was almost too much. But I didn't. Instead, I got details about their benefits and I asked for their health insurance policy number so that I could call the insurer and get details around coverage for certain items.
I discovered that their health insurance coverage is not as comprehensive as the coverage I have now. There will be a higher out-of-pocket cost for pump supplies and prescriptions. Both of their plan choices have deductibles before benefits kick-in on some things. Things that a person with diabetes should worry about, like ambulance service and in-patient hospital stays. I sat crunching the numbers, I asked other diabetics about costs for things, I calculated how a flexible spending account might help. In the end, I found that I CAN take this "dreamy" job - but that the small pay raise I might have had will be eaten up by out-of-pocket costs.
Bottom line? I start December 3rd. I am excited.
But the excitement is ever-so-slightly diminished by how diabetes has inserted this kind of additional considerations into life choices like this one.
I want so much to not have to worry and fret over whether I can afford to have a job that leaves me happy and satisfied. That's not too much to ask - is it?

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Megan Holmes
Megan Holmes Megan was diagnosed in 2009 with Type I. As an RN, she was familiar with the medical side of her diagnosis; learning to be a good patient on the other hand, was and continues to be the challenge of her day to day life.   (Read More)
Michelle Kowalski
Michelle Kowalski Michelle Kowalski, a writer, editor and photography hobbiest living in Phoenix, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in February 2005. In January 2008, as part of her quest to start on an insulin pump, Michelle learned that she actually has type 1 diabetes.   (Read More)
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