Saturday, January 26, 2008

To Your Health! (Insurance, That Is!)

One of the things I miss about the Business World -- besides the corporate happy hours and steady paychecks -- is the health insurance. Since most of you likely have 'real' jobs, maybe your health insurance is something of an afterthought, or a box you check on some form at the beginning of the year, or a just a pain in the butt deduction from your paycheck every month.

But, for us actors finding health insurance is a real task (unless you become a very successful, consistently working member of SAG and qualify for their insurance.) In fact, many actors I know have ZERO health insurance. As many of you know, I am pretty healthy. Sure, I get colds and such, but I rarely go to the doctor. However, as some of you may also know, I play a lot of sports and tend to get injured on occasion. So, I feel like I need to have some coverage (even with a large deductible) on the chance that I split my head open again on someone's elbow playing basketball or break my wrist again playing softball. Those hospital bills tend to add up fast, so I feel it is worth it for me to have health insurance.

In Chicago, I had been with a company called UniCare, but they don't service California, so I was told I needed to find new coverage, which is easier said than done. What is quite easy is to get short-term coverage (1-6 months) which can often be renewed once, but that isn't a long-term solution. So, I've got myself a month of such coverage for about $50 -- extremely cheap because the benefits are barely mediocre and the deductible is $4500, but again, I really have it just in case of catastrophic injury. I applied online for a better plan -- though still bare bones -- through Blue Shield of California, and after nearly three weeks, I just found out that I was rejected. Why? I don't know. Maybe they don't like the fact that I don't smoke, maybe they don't like Midwesterners. They don't tell you. Lame. So, now I'm back to square one with that.

Maybe my actor friends who forgo insurance altogether have the right idea; they pay no premiums and avoid the stress of finding coverage in the first place. Course, the day I would decide to give up my insurance, would be the day that I'd trip on a crack in the sidewalk and break my leg. So, I guess for now I'll keep looking...

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