A change would do me good

hiredOn Monday, I’ll be starting a new job. (The job change itself has nothing to do with diabetes, though I still hope to work in a role that somehow relates to it, someday). But the switch does have some diabetes related implications.

First, I’ll be transitioning from a field-related job to a desk job. This means less time on my feet and more time in a chair. It will likely translate into less exercise, and therefore higher blood sugars. That, in turn, will lead to higher basal insulin rates. This is not a good thing.

But, being in an office environment means that I’ll have a desk rather than a backpack. There will be my own space, in a climate-controlled environment, where I can stash backup insulin, glucose tabs, and even meters, without ย fear of them getting lost, broken, or cooked. That’s a good thing. (It’s also easier on my back!).

Also, I can better choose what to eat for lunch, rather than grabbing fast-food from wherever I happen to be at the time. That’s also a good thing.

The new office is just ten minutes from home… a very good thing — for many reasons.

Sometimes, however, I’ll need to travel to the New York City office (not a good thing. Trust me, the novelty wears off quickly). However, I know another T1D who works in that Manhattan office, which is a good thing.

Side Story: He and I worked together at a different company a few years ago. Neither knew about the other’s diabetes. But when we had an office pizza-lunch one day, he saw me pressing some buttons on my pump and rallied “Doin’ the Dual Wave!“. That’s how the connection was made.

Image source: nycsubway.org

I won’t be climbing aboard PATH trains from track level, from dirty, dingy tunnel corridors beneath the floor of the Hudson River anymore. And won’t be licking steel brake-dust from my fingertips before testing my blood sugar. That isย definitely a good thing. (There’s speculation that being near the trains and 500-kV third rail may have lead to pump Motor Errors, though the timing of the two makes me doubtful.)

But desk jobs tend to make me restless. I often feel the need to get up and walk around, and usually “around” mean to the coffee machine. The extra caffeine tends to make me even more restless. It’s a vicious cycle.

* * *

Of course, with a new job comes a new insurance plan. This plan is better than the plan at my old job (which was none at all). Their most basic plan, a high-deductible-then-coinsurance type plan, has no out-of-paycheck cost at all (for the employee).

For the last few years, I’ve been on my wife’s company’s plan. They’ve been good to me and cover everything I need (except for medical adhesives, but I’m OK with that). I plan to stay on her plan, but wonder if there’s a benefit to taking the one from my employer as well. After all, it doesn’t cost me anything extra. But I have no idea how the primary-secondary insurance thing works, and somehow I think it will just complicate things, and I may end up paying more for my stuff in the end.

Does anyone have experience with being on two plans, and is it worth it? Could it work out worse than just being on one of them?

The new job offers life insurance, too. I’ll probably buy as much as they’re willing to sell me — which (history shows) won’t be a lot, but is better than nothing. Hopefully, buying this policy turns out to be an enormous waste of money.

They’re choices I didn’t have before, so ย I suppose they’re good.

* * *

I’m hoping this change doesn’t have an effect on my DOC participation and blogging. I won’t have as much down-time in the middle of the day as I used to, but since I will no longer be bringing my work home with me (or so I’m led to believe), hopefully the time will shift but not decrease.

It’s always tough deciding on a job change… even when D doesn’t enter the picture. But in the end, I think this will be a good move on all counts.

Except for the shirt-and-tie dress code. That’s not so good.

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Posted on July 25, 2013, in Diabetes, Personal and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. Awesome! Good luck with your new job! I don’t have experience with double insurance (as my hubby and I work together) but hope someone has some good answers for you!

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  2. Congratulations on the new job. I really hope you have a smooth transition. From what you’ve described it seems as if things will be slightly easier on you than your last job in terms of traveling. BTW there are several exercises you can do at your desk, or you can take advantage of your lunch break and slot some exercise in there. You could even take a nice walk. Not too sure about the insurance as I’m from the UK, but perhaps it might be worth while finding out what benefits this new insurance might give you in terms of the D. I say if it works out better then it may be time for a new insurance hmmm that’s a big decision/ discussion. Good luck with it all. I hope it all works out well.

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  3. I don’t have any experience with secondary insurance but am cheering you on with the new job (and hey being in Manhattan once in awhile isn’t so bad… Lots of Ds to visit)!

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  4. No insurance advice but, congratulations!

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  5. Congratulations on the new opportunity! I wish you all the best in your new job!

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  6. Congratulations on your news job!

    To me the best part sounds like not having to lick steel dust. Also all of that storage space for your supplies! This will be great.

    I have insurance advice: they’re saving so much by not having to insure you—don’t employers usually roll (at least part of) that savings into your paycheck?

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    • You can’t imagine how dirty it gets down there! And climbing ten flights of stairs just to GET there (and not setting a temporary basal beforehand) pretty much ALWAYS causes a low. I’m literally standing in the dimly-lit nook alongside a tunnel, meter in one hand, looking at the other and trying to figure out how to test without getting some sort of nasty infection.

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  7. My experience with being dual covered is that you end up with very little to no out of pocket expenses for co-payments. But that could be the plans I’m on. I love my COBRA plan from my old job. It costs very little to keep the monthly premium. When my current job starts its employer paid insurance in September, I’m planning to keep the Cobra. (Mostly because my current Job’s co-pays are terrible.)

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  8. Scott, congrats on the new job! Being at a desk all day isn’t a bad thing. I’m like you: I can’t sit still for long.

    About insurance: Most companies will not pay a claim if it can be covered by another plan, so having coverage under your new employer in addition to the spouse’s plan may not be worth it. Ask your new employer about “coordination of benefits”. Give them an example or two and ask if it will be covered. They will probably have to go back and do some research, or they might refer you to the insurance plan help desk. But it’s worth it to check, to see if it’s not worth the extra expense, or to see if you might get extra coverage you don’t have now. Good luck!

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    • That’s what I worry about. I’ll need to ask a lot of questions about that coordination. Fortunately, both plans are administered by the same company, but the plans are very different. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing…

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  9. Congratulations on your new job!

    I’ve never looked into the primary/secondary insurance situation. My company pays all of our premiums for a high deductible plan. I had originally opted for my husband’s very good insurance until he switch jobs to a company that offered the same plan as mine but required premiums, so going with my plan for both of us became a no-brainer… we did opt for his company’s HSA since it’s through our preferred bank. Insurance is so complicated!

    I’m never able to get approved for additional life insurance, only the guaranteed coverage. It sucks because PWDs can be so much more in-tune with their health than “healthy” people.

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  10. Congrats on the new job, Scott. Hope it gives you what you need and want, and you’re able to balance all the D-impacts!

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  11. Congrats on the job Scott! We’re both starting new jobs Monday, YAY. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have lots of experience with two insurances as well. Your insurance would be primary and your wife’s would be secondary. Things to keep in mind: Make sure they are both the same kind of plan (HMO or PPO) so that you can get the most benefit coverages; typically the co-pays off set each other so you wouldn’t have a co-pay for much of anything really except perhaps lab work and X-rays. When I got my Dexcom & pump in January bc I had 2 PPO plans I paid ZERO out of pocket. I’ll be back on 2 insurances as of September and can’t wait bc the two also significantly decreased my out-of-pocket for meds too. Since I met my deductible in January for the year, I’m unsure what the difference will be for my sensors and sets come January but I imagine it’d be the same. IMHO, anyone who 1-has a chronic illness/disease and 2-has the opportunity to have a secondary insurance should take it. My employers have always covered the basic high deductible plan, but I’ve always paid the extra for the premium plan (has always been less than $100 a month) so that the two plans work together. At one point, I even had 2 BCBS plans-talk about things canceling each other out-it was FAB! ๐Ÿ™‚ Previously when having two different plans what one didn’t cover (say specific diabetes strips or whatever) the other seemed to have their own preferred brands, etc. so it would still be covered but at a lower rate.

    Hope that helps & again congrats & good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Thanks, and good luck to you as well! I’m not sure that they’re the same type or not. Both require me to go in-network, but the priamary (my employer’s) is a pay-everything-til-you-reach-a-deductible, and the secondary (my wife’s) takes a copay. So do I need to add up over $1000 in copays before I meet the deductible? Maybe I’ll just ask around — or not bother with the two-plan-deal until next year.

      But my experience is that no one has a clue how any of these insurance plans work. It could just be run by a Magic 8-ball.

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  12. I can really relate to all of this. Though not the licking brake dust off my fingertips. EEW!
    I’ve had a desk job for years. I am naturally a restless person so this does not bode well with me.
    It will take you awhile to find your D-groove no doubt but you’ll find a happy place somewhere.
    I have no insurance advice probably because I’m Canadian. Blame Canada!
    But this sounds like a possible “promotion” in your career so in that case CONGRATS!

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  13. It’s always exciting to start a new job and I hope the change is good for you. Sorry I have no insurance advice. Be sure and update us with how things go.

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  14. Congrats, Scott! Very exciting!

    And I’m hoping for at least a couple of pics with the shirt & tie outfit…

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  15. I have no “secondary” person in my life so I don’t have any direct knowledge about using a secondary plan ๐Ÿ˜€

    I have seen it work out nicely (for others) where the balance of what one doesn’t cover is paid for by the other.

    The other thing to check (but I’m sure you already id) is to see if you can get the money they would pay for your insurance added to your paycheck instead. It’s rare, but I have seen companies do that since they are saving money on you.

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  16. Good luck at your new job. If there are stairs, that is a good was to get in some exercise/burn of excess energy. I had dual insurance for a while, and it was awful. The insurances did not want to coordinate together and constantly fought over which was primary and therefore responsible for picking up most of the costs. I ended up paying way more out of pocket in co-pays on dual insurance then I do with only one coverage. I’m currently on my husbands policy because the insurance offered at my job won’t cover the CGM.

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  17. Congratulations! I too have dreams of having a job that in some way is diabetes related … Maybe someday our dreams will vome true

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  18. Scott, congrats on your new job. I have experience with the dual coverage. You’d be required to use the plan that’s in your name as primary. So whatever deductible and coinsurance applies will still be taken out of your funds. Your wife’s plan could possibly pick up gaps but not without a lot of administrative work.
    Deductibles and copays on supplies are especially problematic. Some carriers consider supplies as DME with bigger copay and a set coverage limit.
    If you are okay with your wife’s plan my advice would be to stay the course.

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  19. I know this is a little late, but congrats on the new job and hope the first day went well!

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