Normally, I enjoy being a freelancer.
I do. I like the flexibility and the variety. I remember being afraid, when I first embarked on the freelance life, that I’d never find a way to make it work for me. I worried that I’d never find clients, I’d never make any money, I’d never find enough self-discipline to work at home without an editor or coworkers around to motivate me, I’d be lonely.
Well, there are times when I do miss the adult camraderie of an office, but I did manage to find clients and some self-discipline, and I do even make a little bit of money (more would always be good, however). I’ve written some interesting articles and pieces, and I’ve enjoyed the work that I’ve done, for the most part.
But you know what I’m missing right about now about the full-time job thing? Benefits. Specifically, health insurance. See, as the wife of a working man, I’m listed on my husband’s health insurance plan. Which is nice because I don’t have to feel the pressure of either attempting to go without (a risk I could never take) or paying through the nose for some random plan. Except that my husband’s company has decided to switch to new insurance for 2010, and our monthly premiums and deductible are going to skyrocket.
That’s a big old “Ouch” that you might have heard coming from this house, followed by some wailing. And some gnashing of teeth. I’m remembering the health insurance that I had a couple of jobs ago very fondly now. It was actually (gasp) affordable.
I’m not the only freelancer, of course, who worries about health insurance. Freelance Writing Jobs had a good article on this topic a few months ago with a few useful suggestions. I know I’ve suggested that people contact professional organizations that they belong to in order to find out if there is a group insurance plan available; the Society of Professional Journalists offers some options for various types of insurance, including health insurance, to its members. (Which reminds me. I need to re-up my SPJ membership. I accidentally let it expire when I was sprawled out on my back, reeling from morning sickness earlier this year.) Some people can’t afford the options that are available, though.
At least I already have and will continue to have health insurance. It’s just going to cost us more money. (A lot more.) And as anyone who’s a parent knows, children are expensive enough without that added insult. It’s a good thing we’re having another boy, so I can re-use a ton of the stuff that we already have and not have to buy much. But now I’m starting to fret about how I can procure additional work in the next six to eight weeks to help pay off the gargantuan deductible that we have to meet before our insurance company starts to pay for anything. Is it unrealistic to expect to bring in new or big work in the last quarter of pregnancy? Probably. It’s probably just as unreasonable to expect to get much done in the first two months after having a baby, too. The first few months of my son’s life are a blur to me, so I probably shouldn’t count on using the time after this baby’s birth to be dedicated to finding more work. Sigh. And people keep telling me to enjoy this time. Ha ha ha. Sleepless nights are just so conducive to being productive, sure.
And frankly, I don’t think that whatever comes out of the health care reform movement is going to affect me and my family much one way or another. After all, we HAVE insurance. That’s not the problem for us, fortunately. It’s the affordable part that seems to be the problem.