Monday, June 15, 2009

A current challenge I'm facing

Dear Readers,

Here's an email I sent out to a number of friends and family members last Friday:

Dear friends and loved ones,

This morning I received a certified letter from the bishop of Oklahoma informing me that, for financial reasons, my position with the diocese is being eliminated and that my employment will be discontinued effective December 31, 2009.

I had already begun the process of petitioning for early retirement and was hoping to qualify for medical retirement. That effort now seems to have been preempted unless there is some legal loophole I don't know about.

I'm confident that I can raise enough money to live on through my work at the Center (St. John's Center for Spiritual Formation here in Tulsa). My big concern, of course, is health care coverage. The law gives me 18 months of extended group coverage if I pay what it costs my previous employer. As of today that cost is $611 a month. After that I am essentially uninsurable privately because of my medical history. I will need to come up with some plan to provide medical coverage for myself until I'm eligible for Medicare when I'm 65. (I turn 60 next month, by the way.)

Well, that's the news, folks! Do keep me in your thoughts and prayers and if anybody has any ideas regarding my predicament, I'll be glad to hear them!

Every blessing to you all,

Of course, there's more to this story. The "official" reason the Diocese is giving has to do with budgetary concerns. However the reality is that the new bishop has disliked me from the get go -- for reasons that continue to escape me. It's all very sad.

I will probably say more about this later. For now, this will have to do.


  1. Ellie, I am very sorry to read this distressing news, and I am hopeful that one of your readers out there might be an attorney would can give you some ideas. I will keep you in my prayers.

  2. Anonymous6:31 PM

    My husband is uninsurable by private insurance companies, but our doctor made us aware of a program funded by the state (TN) which provides insurance for the uninsurable for a small ($79.00) monthly premium. It even provides for discounts on prescriptions. Perhaps your state has a similar program -- ask your doctor. It has been a life-saver for us.

  3. You will be in my prayers. I have been unemployed now for a year and have to pay $750 for health insurance and am really just scrimping by. We are the same age and it's the first time in my life I wish I were older (65 and eligible for Medicare). Finding a job at near 60 is not easy in this economy so faith and prayers all are good.


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