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Author Topic: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.  (Read 4324 times)

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Offline PeteNYNJ

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I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« on: February 02, 2009, 01:46:59 PM »
ugh - I was told this morning that my division was being downsized.  I had only been with this company for 3 months so no severance or anything. 

I am wondering about cobra - does my company have to offer me cobra coverage.

Ugh - I am screwed

Offline aferstilo

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2009, 02:09:14 PM »
Im sorry to hear this i really hope everythign gets better... will keep you in my prayers


Rico
1/13/09 CD4 1129/34.2% - VL 22,000
5/15/09 CD4 1300/33%   -  VL 35,000
11/17/09 CD4 659/ 23%  - VL 150,000
1/18/09  - STarted Atripla
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Offline aztecan

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2009, 02:33:22 PM »
Hey Pete,

Were you still a probationary employee? If not, you may qualify for COBRA.

The next question is, can you afford the COBRA premiums?

I believe since this was a lay-off, not a termination for cause, you might be eligible for unemployment. This, again, depends on whether you were a probationary employee.

Since you are now basically at zero income, I would get down to your ASO and find out what assistance they may have for you.

My thoughts are with you.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2009, 03:13:36 PM »
That's just awful.

As far as COBRA goes:
If you were a participant in the health plan and the company is still sponsoring the plan for some employees you should be eligible for COBRA.  If you dig out the paperwork they gave you when you joined the plan it will tell you.  Or you could just call the HR person from the company and ask.

There's likely to be a couple of additional options as well if the stimulus plan passes.

First,  the House version of the stimulus would pay 65% of the cost of COBRA coverage.
Second, it provides coverage under Medicaid for anyone receiving unemployment.

Not great options, but at least better than without the stimulus.

Hope things start looking up for you
A



5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
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2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline PeteNYNJ

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2009, 09:07:54 PM »
Thanks guys

I was participating in the plan and the copany is huge (over 20K employees) so hopefully Cobra will be an option.  I was in the probabtionary period, so we shall see.  I will contact my ASO to see what I can do in the mean time.  I am not on meds yet, but just want some kind of coverage while I look for work. 

Pete

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2009, 10:43:08 AM »
What terrible news. I hope that you are able to find another good job soon.

Offline LordBerners

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2009, 12:33:44 PM »
What terrible news. I hope that you are able to find another good job soon.

I hate to be a pessimist, but have you seen the economic news lately?  I think finding another job soon is extremely unlikely, particularly a 'good' one. 
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 12:35:31 PM by LordBerners »
Please, just call me Berners.. or Baron.

Offline pozguy75

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2009, 12:56:13 PM »
Man, Pete, that sucks! I will be thinking of you!
Dx 2005
ATRIPLA

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2009, 04:33:32 PM »
I hate to be a pessimist, but have you seen the economic news lately?  I think finding another job soon is extremely unlikely, particularly a 'good' one. 

well y'know the old saying, life's full of surprises.

PETE, my fingers are crossed for you!

Offline bocker3

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2009, 06:28:27 PM »
I hate to be a pessimist, but have you seen the economic news lately?  I think finding another job soon is extremely unlikely, particularly a 'good' one. 
Well this is certainly a helpful addition to Pete's post.  You know sometimes the best thing to say is...... NOTHING.   ::)

Pete --
Sorry to hear about this latest bad luck, but hang in there and stay hopeful.  Remember, if they say the unemployment rate is 7%, that means that the Employment rate is 93%.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
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Offline cjc

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2009, 06:37:39 PM »
I am sorry to hear about your job. Hopefully you will find something quickly but you should check to see if you qualify for unemployment, especially since you were laid -off.      Wishing for the best for you.   Cristy

Offline MitchMiller

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2009, 02:18:15 AM »
I'm surprised your company didn't provide some guidance on filing for unemployment.  Usually companies offer some type of assistance after a downsize.  If you've been left on your own, you should go online and locate the web site for your state that would provide some guidelines for applying for unemployment.  Three months is really a short period of time.  I'm hoping that your were laid off from your previous employer because typically you can file under that job if you haven't worked long enough in your current position.  If you left voluntarily, you probably need to talk to an unemployment counselor. 

Here in CA, it is nearly impossible to reach a person over the phone at the unemployment office.  I've been told by friends that they've tried for an entire day with no luck.  You may have to physically go to the unemployment office and try to talk to someone.

It's important to act in a timely manner.  It could take a few weeks before you begin to receive benefits, although the first check is normally retroactive to when you applied.

Not sure about your insurance, but you said you were still in the probationary period.  Normally companies don't extend any benefits (accept perhaps vacation accrual) during that period.  I'm guessing you were insured since you said you were participating in the plan.

I agree w/the Lord B.  I would plan to be out of work for a while.  I've been saving like mad.  So far I've survived two layoffs, but company's business is dropping off a cliff.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2009, 02:21:54 AM by MitchMiller »

Offline randym431

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2009, 12:38:39 AM »
Just two ideas...
If you are not working now and or you “are” getting unemployment (which isn’t much to live on), could you qualify for an assistance program from the company that makes your meds???

Second.. You might try applying for SS disability as long as you are not working.
Once hiv+ people were fast tracked to approval, at least that is what others told me.
When I once applied for disability way back in 2005, I was still working and that alone
disqualified me. First thing they ask is "are you still working".

Cobra is like really expensive. They just had a lady on the news that was laid off and her cobra would have costs $1600  month. Hardly realistic for 99.9999% of the unemployed. I’m not sure why cobra even exists. Mostly false hope.

I wonder about the family leave thing too. Since you are or have an illness, if you are still working as of today then fill out a family leave thing. Might be a loophole so they can not let you go cause of illness.
just a stab...


Offline stratosphere

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2009, 07:23:24 PM »
I hate to be a pessimist, but have you seen the economic news lately?  I think finding another job soon is extremely unlikely, particularly a 'good' one. 

well aren't you Debbie Downer  ::)

1/05   CD4 305  VL  ?        34%
2/05   CD4 310  VL  ?        35%
7/05   CD4 277  VL  <50    43%
11/05 CD4 516  VL  <50    46%
2/06   CD4 640  VL  <50    46%
6/06   CD4 578  VL  <50    46%
10/06 CD4 491  VL  <50    50%
3/07   CD4 674  VL  <50    50%
7/07   CD4 516  VL  <50    43%
11/07 CD4 635  VL  <50    44%
3/08   CD4 584  VL  <50    48%
7/08   CD4 510  VL  <50    49%
11/08 CD4 580  VL  <50    49%
2/09   CD4 661  VL  <50    50%

Offline PeteNYNJ

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2009, 05:46:35 PM »
Hi All

Here is my situation in a nutshell...Knock Wood - I am not on meds.  Based on numbers, I probably wont be for a while.  I am more scared if I get sick (cold flu etc) but I tend to worry too much so lets take it as it comes.  I have had 2 interviews already - one would require a move to Florida which might be a nice change.   

I have enough socked away that my life would not be scary for a few months.  Thank god for tax returns.   I applied for unemployment and my last job I got laid off from in November still offers me placement services.  I will take advantage of that.


I am scared out of my mind...it is just me and I have depression issues...I just have to stay positive.

Lord Brener...yes of course I know that the economy sucks right not, I am not headless?  I just need to stay on a positive past or I will be a mess.  I dint like to fight on here, so that you for your opinion. 

Thanks all that care...it really helps :)

Offline RapidRod

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2009, 05:51:35 PM »
PeteNYNJ, look luck in finding that job and one you like. God Florida does sound nice right now compared to the weather here in Ohio. I would give anything for some warmth. 

Offline OneTampa

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2009, 02:56:28 PM »
Good luck in finding a job.  As someone who was unemployed for eight months for the first time in my adult life in 2007, on meds, past 50, paying COBRA premiums and other bills, and collecting teeny tiny unemployment checks, I know the anxiety you feel. I am here to tell you that it is possible to survive and things get better.

I am glad you were able to post some positive notes such as job interviews, a little cash stocked away, a job offer in Florida, the fact that your numbers are good and you are not on meds.

I suspect that we will shortly hear from you that you have gotten a new and better job. :)

Take care.
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline PeteNYNJ

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2009, 10:52:40 PM »
Thanks Tampa

I am just going through the what if's right now.   I need to just breathe...it has only been a week.   


Now if my brain could only believe that I would be in better shape  :)   Thanks everyone.

Oh, and healthcare being tied to a job is just so stupid...argh

venting away :)

Thanks guys

Pete

Offline joemutt

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2009, 12:07:09 AM »
{{{Pete}}} hugs.

Offline hikeandbikedude

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2009, 06:10:05 AM »
Good luck man. Hope that those leads you are pursuing pan out for you really soon.
"In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Offline aztecan

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2009, 11:12:21 AM »
Hey Pete,

I'll be thinking of you with fingers crossed.

HUGS,

Mark

"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline randym431

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2009, 07:02:50 AM »
Good luck Pete, with everything.
Thats my big bitch, in that US healthcare is tied to employment.
Totally absurd.
And then they add in healthcare for profit, make it a business
like walmart or a car dealership.

Hopefully, Obama can and will change this.
Healthcare for profit, or HMO's, was something
old tricky Dick started.
Sad how one persons greed can do so much long term damage to so many people.

Offline mpositive

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2009, 07:24:18 AM »
You should most definitely be eligible for COBRA.  Probationary or not, since you had health insurance from the company, it binds.  This much I can pretty much promise you. 
Good luck in your efforts to find something, yes it's tough, but hey, you got the attitude just go out there and kick some butt!
As far as unemployment is concerned, 100% you are eligible, regardless of probationary status.  Why?  Because you only worked three months, so the labor department will look at your previous job as well.  I am assuming you moved from one job directly to another?  Also, based on your screenname, I am assuming you are in NY/NJ area.
Good luck friend!
M

Offline PeteNYNJ

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2009, 08:46:40 PM »
yes m positive

I did go directly from one to the other - one for 10 years, the other crap place for 3 months.  Crap place has sent me any cobra information - or any information at all actually so I will contact their HR department tomorrow. 

I think I could still join cobra from my old job, just back pay.  I submitted that too. 

I am trying everyway I can to get some coverage.

Thanks for everyone's insights

Offline AndyArrow

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2009, 02:17:40 AM »
No sage words of advice (sorry) just wanted to wish you good luck in finding a new job and hopefully one not it a crappy place  :D

Best of Luck,
AA
It is not the arrival that matters.  It is the journey along the way. -- Michel Montaigne

Offline bdorig

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2009, 03:05:49 PM »
I didn't read all of the response to your post, so this might already now this. 

Your company will offer you COBRA, it is required by law.  You will have 18 months of COBRA unless you have another qualifying event, which could possibly extend the benefits.  Once you leave your employer you have some time to sign up for COBRA and continue your insurance. Your employer will provide you with the paperwork that includes deadline dates.

Most states recieve funding from the Ryan White Care Act, these funds support HIV services in each state and the formulary and benefits vary depending on which state you live in.  In Oregon, for instance,  if you are laid off and you apply and qualify for CAREassist (the Ryan White funded program) the program will pay your COBRA premiums and prescription and medical copays.   

I encourage you to check out your State's program and pay attention to the deadlines for COBRA.


Offline a2z

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2009, 05:41:27 PM »
I don't know what your circumstance is, but I'm a professional male whose market was surprisingly better before Christmas than after.  But even with downsizing in my field, I was able to secure two interviews within 3 weeks and nailed them both.  (Unfortunately, since they were both in the government center, background checks, etc. will still take 1-2 weeks and then I can start.)

So there are jobs out there... have hope.
Dates are blood draw dates:
09/21/09: CD 898 27.0% VL 120 - back on track, same meds.High level enzymes, but less so
06/15/09: CD4 478 21.8% VL 1150 - high liver enzymes... looks like I may not be resistant
05/22/09: Fixed insurance, resumed medicine
04/17/09: Ran out of medicine, could not resolve insurance problems
04/01/09: CD4 773 28% VL 120 - high liver enzymes
12/01/08: CD4 514 23% VL 630
10/17/08 started Reyataz, Norvir and Truvada. -- possibly minor neuropathy, but otherwise okay.
9/10/08: CD4 345 17%, VL > 78K
8/18/08: CD4 312 18%, VL > 60K (considering meds)
12/19/07: CD4 550 28% VL > 100K (no meds yet)
Diagnosed 10/23/07

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2009, 10:48:05 PM »
Thanks guys

I was participating in the plan and the copany is huge (over 20K employees) so hopefully Cobra will be an option.  I was in the probabtionary period, so we shall see.  I will contact my ASO to see what I can do in the mean time.  I am not on meds yet, but just want some kind of coverage while I look for work. 

Pete

Keep this in mind re: COBRA and why it is so important: insurance eligibility is determined by what's called "Creditable Coverage" in other words, uninterrupted insurance coverage. If someone can't prove Creditable Coverage, a new insurer could impose up to one year of no coverage for pre-existing conditions but they can't do that if you have had uninterrupted coverage. The point is, try to get COBRA since that qualifies as Creditable Coverage. You can find out more re: HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act at:

http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq_consumer_hipaa.html

Also, on thebody.com, they have "Ask the Experts" forums, one of the categories is Insurance/Workplace issues, you can ask specific questions or browse through the many questions already on there, it's very informative:

http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/Workplace/index.html

Hopefully with Obama, there will be an opportunity to purchase affordable good healthcare without having   tied with one's employment/empoyer.

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: I can't catch a break - just got laid off from my job.
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2009, 10:50:28 PM »
The new economic stimulus bill will include provisions to help out with COBRA payments for those who have lost their jobs.

 


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