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Re: [IP] post-college health insurance, help?!

> status as a full-time student. If I take time off from school between
> and grad school, I'm on my own for health coverage until I return to
school, at
> which point I can get back on my parents plan (or buy the plan at whatever
> university I attend for grad school). I'd like to take a year off before I
go to
> graduate school, but I'm wondering how feasible this is, or how I could
> make it work. Going without health coverage for 9 months seems risky, but
> getting my own plan seems both difficult and expensive, given the fact
that I'm
> diabetic.

I found myself in a similar circumstance for two years after college.  I
could get a job in my field, but not one that supplied health insurance.  I
elected to keep my COBRA coverage, which I had for two and a half years
following college.  In my case, getting married was my ticket to health
insurance after that.

I was on the pump at the time, had been for a few years already.  A little
over a year after starting the COBRA coverage, I had a problem with DKA, the
cause of which remains a mystery to this day.  I was doing everything my
doctor recommended, with one exception.  I started treating all my highs
without regard to whether or not I still had insulin on board.  (That,
obviously, did not cause the DKA.  It probably staved it off for a bit.)  We
ruled out all the possible causes -- the pump, bad insulin, etc., and
nothing worked.  The unmanageable, relentless highs continued for several
weeks before culminating in full blown DKA.

The best reason they ever came up with was that the DKA was caused by a
virus.  It left me extremely insulin resistant.  I was in ICU for five days,
much of that time on an IV insulin drip.  At one point I was getting seven
units an hour without my blood sugars or DKA improving much at all.
Obviously, it did eventually resolve itself, but not before I wondered if I
would be hooked to an insulin IV for the rest of my life.  My doctors were
at a loss as to what was going on, as well.

During the year and a half that followed, I developed chronic sinus
infections, which led me to seek the help of an ENT.  He prescribed nasal
surgery, which took care of that problem just about a month or six weeks
before I got married.

Obviously, YMMV.  But in my experience, the only time in my life that I was
ever in poorer health than during that "in between" time from parental
coverage to my husband's coverage was at the time of my diabetes diagnosis.
I don't even want to THINK about what that might have been like if I had
opted against the very expensive COBRA option I had then, but I am QUITE
certain that even my hefty premiums didn't match all the medical bills that
it paid.  My insurance company, I am quite sure, breathed a sigh of relief
to see me leave for new coverage.

You may be healthy as a horse during that year between college and graduate
school, but you may well NOT be, either.  It is worthwhile to consider ALL
those possibilities when deciding what to do.

dxd 1985, pumping since 1990
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