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Advice for changing employers?

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  • Advice for changing employers?

    Right now, I'm considering an offer of employment from another company. The place I'm currently working at is, to be blunt, a failing enterprise, one where I see no future even in the best of cases, and in the worst case, could close it's doors before spring. I'm also on the verge of stage 5 ESRD, so the timing here couldn't be worse. I'm expecting to need dialysis within the next year.

    As far as insurance is concerned, they are about the same, but I worry about the period from the time I leave my old company, until the period my new insurance starts. COBRA will set me back about $250/month more than I'm paying right now, and I worry about getting established at my new position BEFORE needing to take time off to start dialysis. Frankly, it looks like a crisis is looming whether I stay at my current job, or if I move to the new job.

    Have any of you been in a similar position? Any problems that I should consider before making my final decision?

  • #2
    Insurance coverage is a huge consideration, especially if you may start dialysis. Besides the challenges of dialysis, there are some potential advantages that are associated with the treatment. The day you start dialysis you become part of a protected class of citizens, the disabled. You are protected by the provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act, meaning your employer must afford you the accomodations needed to address your condition and the employer can not discriminate against you for your condition. .

    Additionally, you become eligible for Medicare Parts A and B, regardless of your age. You will have to contact your local Social Security office to arrange an interview to determine eligibility. I was able to do this while still employed, and several months before the start of Medicare coverage.

    Your Medicare premiums are $104.90 per month and will initially have to be paid in a 5 month "batch". If you undertake HHD, you will become eligible for Medicare coverage starting the first day of the first month of treatment/training.

    If you choose to undertake in-center hemodialysis, your coverage does not begin until the completion of three months of treatments. Three months of treatments gets into the tens of thousands of dollars, so it is best if selecting this modality, to have some form of insurance coverage. Depending on the demands of the job, your health, and the flexibility of the in-center or HHD training clinic you use, you may be able to avoid any time off to start dialysis. I used 1/4 days of vacation to conduct training and treatment from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm for the weeks needed for HHD training.