COBRA and Other Venomous Specimens

(originally posted on on 9/7/10)

I have officially made it through one week of unemployment.  I’ll admit, though I’ve made endless “to do” lists and have had a flurry of energy, I had moments of feeling at loose ends.  Moments where I felt that all my glorious planning about What To Do Next had done nothing but create a mountain of not-yet-started projects that, at times, felt insurmountable.

I felt a bit like that today.  Dealing with anything related to health insurance makes me want to jump off the Santa Monica bluffs on my next morning run, so I’ve been putting off looking at the big packet that recently came in the post containing everything I ever wanted to know, or not know, about COBRA.  For my dear Blog-Friends who may be reading this in Canada (or some other country lucky enough to have socialized medicine) and are super-confused about why I may be receiving poisonous snakes in the mail, COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconstruction Act.  Quite a mouthful, no?  Basically, it means that I can elect to pay the premium so that I can continue to have health insurance coverage.  So that if I were to, say, be bitten by a cobra I could actually go to the hospital for it.  Ain’t America great?  However, I swear you have to have a doctoral degree to understand the minutiae of this literature they send to you.  But I think I have it figured out.  If I am summarizing the information correctly, it goes something like this:  pay us an obscene amount of money, and we’ll try to do our best to make sure you don’t die.  Or something like that.

So while I might dream at night of being bitten by venomous snakes and have moments of ambiguity during my days, for the most part this unemployment thing is pretty awesome.  That being the case, I find it amusing that when I tell people of my recent lay-off, the first thing they want to do is console me.  I’m not quite sure why this is, since usually my admission is complemented by a huge smile or a shout of “Yahoo!”.  I don’t need to be consoled.  I needed the consolation when I was employed.  THAT was dreadful.  This…this ain’t so bad.