For the past year and a half, my employer (The State of California) implemented a furlough program consisting of three unpaid days off a month. I enjoyed the extra time off. The furlough program ended in June, so this month I have returned to work full time. There still seems to be talk, however, of reduced pay...it just won't be balanced with time off. I will just be working with a pay cut. Nothing about this really seems final until the state has a signed budget for the new fiscal year, which began July 1.
With the start of the new fiscal year and no signed budget, there is always a panic within State Government. Bills are not paid, no purchasing can take place, etc. This year it also seems state employees will receive minimum wage paychecks until a budget is signed. Once the budget is signed, employees will receive back pay for the difference. While I am not super excited to receive such a huge reduction in salary, I can manage. That is what savings is for. It is the fine print that has me worried. During this time, the premium I owe for my health insurance will not be withheld from my paycheck...meaning the state will not be paying my premium to my health care insurance provider.
I have been told that my coverage will continue for 90 days from the date of the first missed payment. But, the state is facing some serious fiscal challenges and it would not be surprising if the budget was not signed past 90 days. Then what? I just don't have insurance anymore? Oh well, too bad for me?
My employer can mess with my money, my retirement, my 401k, and even my dental insurance...I'll just go with the flow and be thankful I have a job. But messing with my health insurance is not ok. I will not be silent with this. It is essential to have health insurance, and with my pre-existing condition, I don't have the option to just go out and buy it. Hopefully my union will have some insight on this. I guess I really just have to wait and see. Perhaps there will be a signed budget by the end of the month and none of this will matter.