I used to work at the Open Society Foundations, where I had a pretty generous health care plan, but I wrapped up the project I was doing there in May, and I have fortunately been able to keep my insurance coverage from them until November while I’m still collecting severance pay.
I’m very happy on a personal level to be making a career jump into freelance writing full time – something I’ve been wanting to be able to do for a while – but there’s definitely less security in it. For one thing, I’m going to need to buy my own health insurance plan, since my wife’s job also does not offer health insurance coverage.
One of the reasons it took me so long to make the jump into freelance was that I had a salaried position and employer-provided coverage. There was definitely some job-lock there – having that benefit was a real deterrence from fully pursuing the less secure career I really wanted. Being able to get a relatively cheap insurance plan for my wife and I will be a helpful safety net for us, because it will take away some of that insecurity. I won’t have to worry that if I get in a bike accident I’ll face medical bankruptcy.
There are a whole lot of people like me out there who would like to freelance for a living – something which I think is actually good for the economy overall – but it’s hard for a lot of people to make that jump with the expensive individual insurance market that we have now. The prices need to be affordable, and it looks like we’re moving in the right direction on that.