Friday, January 22, 2010

Stepping out into the unknown

So I did it. I talked to a lot of people, both real and Internet, thought really hard and made the big decision. I signed up for the SAG health plan and just a moment ago called Blue Cross to cancel my individual plan.

Quitting was a little too easy. A one-minute phone call. Maybe they're on the other end high-fiving each other, knowing they've got me off their rolls and will never have to take me on as a risk again.

And that is my big risk. That someday I might need an individual plan again and won't qualify due to pre-existing conditions -- both current and whatever the doctors might find in the orgy of exams, tests and procedures I plan to go through this year to make the most of having the first decent health plan I've had in a decade.

Like I'm going to get a physical, for instance. I'm going to get myself a general practitioner. I'm going to get some tests done that my allergy doctor has wanted me to do for years now. And I'm going to inquire about every ache, pain, itch and bitch I have or imagine I have.

I figured that, first of all, I've invested a lot in this SAG thing. Initiation fees and first-year dues amounting to more than $2,000. So I might as well get something back for that. And second, in spite of the risks to my future insurability, I figure it's a good idea to get myself checked out and make sure I don't have melanoma or prostate cancer or something.

I'm not too, too worried. The things that have the biggest impact on health and longevity -- smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, exercise, and diet -- are not an issue for me. But, of course, it doesn't take too many major issues to affect your insurability.

In the end I decided that it's a risk worth taking. I've got plans -- some big life changes in mind. And this recession has, for the most part, kept me at a sideward pace instead of forward. I like the idea of maybe burning a bridge behind me.

So a year from now maybe I'll be in a full-time/benefits environment, pursuing the next stage of my career. Maybe I'll land another lucrative SAG job. Or maybe I'll be glomming off my wife's benefits. (Ha!) So maybe this will help push me forward.

Into the great wide open ...

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