It’s 11.30 on New Year’s Eve, and I am sitting at the computer in a panic, while other people party on telly behind me (currently, it’s Lulu yelling huskily and shaking her backside — saints preserve me!). M has gone down to the pub with promises to be home before midnight, and the girls are fast asleep. It feels like any other night of the year — I actually forgot completely that it was New Year’s Eve, until a friend emailed to ask if I had special plans and I wondered what she was on about… I don’t mind at all M going out without me — in fact, I encourage it, I think it’s good for him — but I do mind that being a mama-with-no-babysitter has turned me into such a homebody that I actually forgot what tonight is. I used to go to the pub too — all tarted up, little skirt, heels, face done, nice glass of smooth warming whisky, neat. Not so long ago, but such a long way away.
I am panicking because I can’t seem to find any insurance company who will give us short-term health cover while we wait for M’s company policy to kick in. Every company I speak to has a “residency requirement” before they will cover us — we have to have lived in the US for 6-24 months, depending on the company. I rang one broker and, upon finding that that not one policy from any of their companies could cover us, the bloke ended our conversation by saying, “Ring us back when you’ve been here for six months!” as if this delay was nothing at all. Then he added, “And have a nice day!”
I am kicking myself because I thought I had this sorted — I spoke to an insurance broker in November who found a good policy which looked just right for us, and she assured me that there was no rush because they could cover us within 24 hours of our applying — and so I have left it until now to finalise. I rang her today and, as we went through the application details… lo! She discovered we have to have lived in the US for two years in order to be eligible. Poof! There goes the insurance I thought I’d sorted out. So, I’ve been ringing companies all evening and trying to get a hold of brokers. The brokers are shut and the companies all say they can’t help because we’re not living there, and the panic has been rising from the pit of my stomach.
The way these companies react when I explain that we are moving from abroad, you’d think we were trying to do something really suspect and weird. It’s so disheartening. Surely they have heard that there are people living in other countries? They have heard of the rest of the world, haven’t they? Well, we are just four of those people, and we are moving to the US, and we’d like to buy some short-term health cover. We only need 41 days’ cover before the company policy kicks in, and here’s our money… No? No?
I am uncomfortable with the option of gambling with no insurance for me and DH, but I am absolutely unwilling to gamble with my daughters’ health (particularly when you consider that we’ll be learning to drive on the the other side of the road in the freezing conditions of February). Y’know, even the state CHIP program requires the children to have been resident and uninsured for 6 months. That actually makes me feel sick. But I’ve rung so many people tonight and looked at so many websites and all I’m hitting is brick walls.
M will be home very soon, so I will stop thinking about this and try to stop panicking. We will drink warm ale and ring in the new year, here in the house, with the telly and my comfortable shoes. Here’s to 2008. Here’s to solutions. And then, when this is sorted, here’s to new adventures, new possibilities, and lots and lots of calm courage.
I wish you all the best for the New Year.