When Changing a Job is More Than Changing a Job
I went to my first interview in over four years a couple weeks ago. This is the first time I have interviewed since my skin started to clear up. To celebrate, I wore a short sleeved button down shirt. I shook the interviewer's hand without hesitation. I didn’t leave flakes on the chair! I basically left feeling confident for the first time ever. I decided to make the change because I took my current job 4 years ago simply because they would hire anyone. My appearance didn’t matter to them like it did to so many others. The tradeoff was that they hired anyone because it was a job that no one wanted and turnover was high. I was elated to finally envision a job that would allow me to grow and be happy.
That extra skip in my step lasted up until I shut the door of my car to drive home. Suddenly my mind started racing. What would a new job mean? Would their health insurance be affordable? Would it cover my medications? Would I have to start step therapy over again? Would there be a gap in coverage? To say that anxiety overshadowed my excitement was an understatement.
These are common thoughts for anyone with a chronic disease. These are the same thoughts that kept me at a sub-par job for years. My decisions were not made based on my dreams, they were based on which employer offered the best benefits. If you were not aware—psoriasis is an expensive condition to have.
Thankfully I practiced my breathing exercises on the way home and was able to calm myself down. (Big burly guys can meditate too!) I resolved to not let my fears and my disease keep me from pursuing an opportunity that would be better for myself and my family.
Doing due diligence
So where did that leave me? Well first off, I was curious to know the caliber of health benefits this prospective new job offered, but I didn’t want to come out and tell them I have a chronic disease. After all, most employers aren’t excited to choose a candidate that could possibly require costly medications and may need to take time off for appointments and sick time. I found that looking at employee-submitted company reviews, such as on Indeed.com or Glassdoor.com helped me to determine the quality of benefits without jeopardizing my chances.
I called the pharmacy that handles my medications. I asked when I could have my next refill. My injections are taken monthly, so ordering ahead of time could help me to avoid being without medication in the event of a gap in coverage. Another important resource to look into is samples at your doctor’s offices. Many manufacturers know that it is hard to get on biologics at first and make these doses available to dermatologists and rheumatologists that regularly see psoriatic patients.
Preparing for the "worst case scenario"
Finally, I pondered the thought of having to stop my medication due to step therapy requirements my new insurance may enforce. My state has no laws in place, so, unfortunately, this is a real possibility. The best thing I can do is gather my records that show the dramatic positive impact my medication has made on my health, and prepare to fight if I need to.
The thought of losing access to my medication and my psoriasis coming back and covering my body is terrifying, but so is staying in a job that I have no opportunity for growth and is an unhealthy environment. It seems unfair to have to make these hard choices when we have already been given an unfair disease, but don’t give up. You are strong and resourceful! Grab those dreams.
How often do you experience brain fog?