(Article and photo courtesy: Kaiser Health News)
This is the first in a new KHN series, First Person.
I moved to England in September at the age of 53, three days after my student health coverage at Columbia University ran out. Diagnosed with breast cancer last April, I knew I would not be able to buy a plan on the open market, even if I could have afforded it.
I had been struggling to find a full-time job in New York since 2003, following the breakup of my first marriage. It had been grim. Between the economy and the state of my profession – I’d been working as a journalist for many years – I hadn’t been able to land full-time work. After yet another promising job melted into “we’ve had our requisition pulled so now we can’t hire you,” it occurred to me that a journalism degree might help. So in the fall of 2008, I returned to school for a mid-career masters degree at Columbia Journalism School.