Thursday, December 14, 2006

Blue Cross of California

Doesn't suck.

Apparently.

On the advice of my insurance agent, my wife enrolled in a short-term insurance plan -- one with fewer benefits than any of the plans I would have liked -- in order to generate some "medical records," which she can then use, at the conclusion of her plan, to enroll in long-term, individual coverage.

We hope she'll have other coverage by that time, supplied by her employer. In fact, she goes on her first job interview of sorts tomorrow -- a meet and greet set up by my sister -- an event which was preceded by at least one unpleasant surprise: the United States government guarantees its citizens no paid vacation.

In France, you can expect no less than five weeks vacation a year. In Russia, my wife got four weeks off per year. "It's the law," she said. The same for every other worker, no matter the position. And when I told her there were no such laws here, that the U.S. was the only advanced country to offer no such assurances, that it was at the very bottom of the list, she said, "It's like slavery." To which I had to agree. With most U.S. companies, she'd have to work 15 or 20 years before she could enjoy four weeks of paid vacation each year.

Enough to make us both wish we'd kept at our French lessons, and think of other places: Montreal, the Swiss Alps, St. Petersburg, Belgorod.

2 Comments:

snowy said...

Yes one of the many flaws ion the US system. In Australia and Sweden and many other places there is national health coverage. Everyone is covered for hospital and medical expenses. The US is trying to undermine our National Health System as it effects them major drug companies who have to seek registration of their products before they are added to the national health rebate system. If the costs are too high and there is no specific benefit then the product is not listed. Universal Health is great. Clinton tried to introduce I think.

Have you been watching CNN and their Putin's Russia coverage? Would love your take on it all.

The Author said...

I don't have a TV, so I can't say what CNN is doing. But every American media outlet that I come across seems to enjoy the Us vs. Them angle, even if the Cold War is over.