This morning found me sweating and shaking on my front porch as I opened the envelope from MD Unemployment. Thankfully the skinny envelope/thick envelope laws did not hold, and my skinny envelope held an APPROVAL! Thank you safety net, thank you nanny state, please feel free to peek at my metadata as long as you keep those debit card payments coming.
The payments, less taxes, should be enough to keep LB in daycare*, and both me and LB in healthcare, perhaps with enough left over for a bag of groceries. The health insurance is really the problem for us. We can just about make it on B's salary, but add in $790/month for COBRA and the numbers stop making sense. We Americans are a peculiar people. Who would design a system where an adult making a salary could have very good insurance for one adult and one child for about $120/month, but an adult making $0 needs to pay $790/month for the same benefits?
As a middle aged asthmatic with an unmasked cardiac risk (thanks preeclampsia) and a 1/2 million dollar baby there aren't many good choices. I've applied for our state subsidized insurance for both of us. We'll only qualify if there's a "your marriage doesn't really exist" loophole. I respect people who wouldn't take benefits only gotten through an anti-gay loophole (what was that they said in Women's Studies class about the master's tools and the master's house?), but my inherent cheapness would make me happy to stick it to the man by exploiting a loophole. If that plan doesn't pan out, I'll be waiting anxiously for the final pieces of the ACA to kick in on October 1, 2013.
RI is definitely working on the state insurance exchange, but there isn't much specific information. Information from the Governor's office is here. In the few examples with actual dollar amounts, the subsidies are significant, but the actual cost is crazy high, making the cost with subsidy really pretty high. Sigh. I need a job...
* I used to wonder about people who were unemployed and still had their kids in daycare, but now it makes perfect sense.