Raise your hand if you have health insurance ...
Not too many of you I see.
The question of health insurance comes up quite a bit in New York. There are thousands of underemployed, the working poor and unemployed people who don't have it. Freelancers can sign up through the Freelancer's Union, but it's expensive, so a lot of freelancers don't have it either.
If you were recently laid off, gentle reader, perhaps you were offered COBRA. My employers neglected to send me the paperwork. (I heard later that they discontinued insurance at the company, but they did that a few months after mine ran out and, therefore, they should have sent me the paperwork anyway.) Would I have been able to afford COBRA on the meager amount I make on unemployment? Most certainly not. Not if I wanted to pay rent, anyway.
On one hand, I'm lucky. I'm single (OK, as you all know, that's not really that lucky). I don't have any kids. I'm healthy and still pretty young. Young enough, anyway. But, on the other hand, I sometimes need to go to the doctor. I sometimes need a prescription. I sometimes need stitches. There are just certain things you can't avoid in life. Life happens.
So, with that in mind, here are a couple of links for my unemployed colleagues. I've not tried any of them yet, but you can be sure that I will.
The Institute For Family Health
The New York City Free Clinic
Healthy New York