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No More FMLA

by on October 20, 2009

We recently received a letter from Satomi’s HR department. Her allowed leave under FMLA has just been exhausted. For those of you not familiar with FMLA, take a look here: http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/index.htm

There are many changes triggered by the end of FMLA. The most significant is that we no longer qualify for employer paid medical/dental/vision/drug benefits.

We began the process to activate COBRA. Most people know about this but in case you don’t: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq_consumer_cobra.HTML

Basically we are guaranteed the benefit of identical medical/dental/vision coverage at the discounted rate afforded her employer but the key difference is that we need to pay for entire thing. We were quoted over $1300/month-Holy crap!

Truth be told, I knew it was coming but it’s shocking nonetheless.

Lucky for us, Mr.Obama decided to help us out: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/COBRA.html

If all goes well, it looks like our COBRA payment will be subsidized and the cost reduced to about $400/month.

I didn’t vote for Mr Obama but in our present situation, I have come to appreciate his work.

Another key change due to the exhaustion of FMLA is that Satomi is no longer guaranteed her original position within her hospital. Her employer now classifies her status as “on personal leave”. The can last until sometime in April of 2010. If she returns to work before then, she is guaranteed a job but the specific position is to be determined.  A bit upsetting after all of her years but we just can’t worry about it.

Hopefully, she won’t take that long to recover. We remain optimistic.

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