- 8 years ago
- Wedding: January 2013
After investigating the health insurance plans at every grad school Fiance and I would consider applying to, we’ve realized that there’s no way we can afford to get married before 2019. We had initially hoped to get married after graduating from undergrad in 2011, or soon thereafter, and the plan was to attend grad school (or, alternatively, one of us would attend grad school while the other worked or interned for a year, then the other would apply to grad school to insure we got into the same or a nearby institution). We’d been talking about marriage and out futures for quite some time before getting engaged and are certain that we want to spend our lives together.
The problem is this: Fiance has a history of cancer and, were it to recur, the insurance plans offered by graduate schools would not provide sufficient coverage for his treatment. The caps per sickness are somewhere between $500k and $1 million and his treatment would very likely end up costing more than that. Although he is now totally healthy and beat his initial bout of cancer very quickly, there always remains a chance of recurrence, and to be without adequate health insurance would be fatally expensive (literally).
Since we both know we won’t be entirely happy, productive, and fulfilled if we don’t go to graduate school and pursue work in our fields of interest, we can’t forgo it and just work so that we can marry and obtain adequate health insurance. This means our wedding could be, at earliest, 2018, when he’ll fall off his parents health insurance by law.
He doesn’t really understand why I’m so distraught over this. For the next eight years, we’ll be living together, creating a life, and sharing everything, but I’ll have no legal entitlements as a wife would. He’ll still be legally dependent on his parents until we’re thirty, so I feel like we’ll never be able to completely feel like adults and a true couple who’s devoted their lives to one another until we’re thirty, and that really hurts when we’re ready to do it so much sooner. I feel like there’s a lot of beautiful symbolism and a new level of intimacy in being married, which just isn’t there when you’re a couple living together. I worry that there are significant legal rights we’ll be missing out on as unmarried life partners. And I worry that most people who don’t know the whole story will just view us, even if only subconsciously, as two non-committal twenty-somethings for an entire decade, pathetically clinging to some dead relationship for too long just for support, since we would’ve made the committment of marriage already if we were really serious about one another. And I mean, yeah, it makes me sad that we can’t have an enormous party in which all of our family and friends come together to celebrate our love and committment to one another.
I haven’t been following the health care debacle because the ’08 election frustrated me so much that I swore off political involvement, but my mother tells me there are two separate versions of the bill in the House in Senate, one mandating that there be no per-sickness caps in health insurance policies. This would totally fix our problem, if it’s true, but I’m being a pessimist here and thinking that greed will probably win out and the no-caps section will fail. Maybe I should start following at least this political issue again.
Am I being crazy? Do I have any right to feel distraught?