Scenario One

The VSEA Board of Trustees is asking members and retirees to respond to one or more of the following scenarios:

Have something to share? Submit your response anonymously here.

Scenario One: Government shuts down on July 1, and you are told to stay at home, without pay. The State is not paying health care premiums.


"I currently live paycheck to paycheck, and if there was a government shutdown, I would not be able to pay my rent and could potentially become homeless. Currently, I have some physical health needs that require me to be referred to a specialist. Without health insurance, I would be unable to obtain the medical care I need to keep myself healthy. A shutdown would have a huge impact on me."


"Hope it doesnt last too long. I really dont know what I’d do. I’d likely need to shut off my electric and live off peanut butter until I get an income. Pray i dont get ill or injured as i can not afford to pay those premiums out of pocket."




"As of June 14th, I have not been told whether or not I am considered an essential employee. Employees in unit have not been told by management health care premium will not be paid after July 1st. This means me and my 1 1/2 year old son will be uninsured because its unlikely I would be to sign up for State health insurance. The only information my coworkers and I have been provided is, if a budget doesn’t pass before July 1st State government will shutdown, only essential staff will report to work, and the Director didn’t know who, if any, would classify as essential. I’m assuming unemployment won’t be an option either at this point. I will be actively seeking employment in the private sector beginning next week. I have worked for the State for over 17 years. I started out as a temporary employee when I was 17 years old. I continued on as a temp employee while I earned my bachelors degree. After college I started working for the State as a full time permanent classified employee. My professional career consistes solely of my years as a State employee serving the State and Vermonters to the best of my ability. Now I am 2 weeks away from not knowing how I will afford the mortgage on my house and trying desperately to hang on to child care for my 1 1/2 year old son (I’m sure many people are personally aware of the effects of losing child care these days). My husband works very hard every day but I am the higher earner in the house. So as you can imagine these next 15 days will be the scariest days of my life and the effects of a government shutdown will negatively impact me and thousands of other Vermonters."


"WHAT? I am a single person, who owns a home and new car to pay for. Plus I had surgery this year on my shoulder. If I have NO health care, than I will not be able to go to my surgeon’s appt on July 2nd…….to see how my shoulder is doing and getting it xrayed for progress. This will become a hardship NOT only for myself but for every other state worker. The GOV Scott and/or legislature is NOT thinking…..he/they wont get paid either……..and theres approx. 7000 state workers who wont be able to pay their property taxes or state income taxes will be loss as well. I am extremely worried about this and NOTHING is being said at work either…….no emergency plans are being planned for what to come IF the govt does shut down. Stop raises taxes, we cannt afford them anymore and this is WHY people are MOVING out of VT!!!!"


"The not paying health care premiums is the biggest concern for my family as we have a autistic child that is in 2x weekly therapy."


"I have been undergoing cancer treatment for almost a year. If i do not continue my treatments i could stop being in remission. My husband had been on disabilty for a month for knee surgery and goes back next week. We dont have enogh savings and having health care is imparative to my health."


"My family is screwed, really. Can we get unemployment or welfare while we go through it?"


"I cannot afford to have no health care premiums paid. I must have a paycheck and have my benefits paid. There is NO reason for a shut down."


"My bills won’t stop coming just because I am not working.. My family would lose their health insurance (My husband and two little girls). The clients I serve wouldn’t have services. The need of others depending on me to be there doesn’t pause while I’m away. A chain reaction of negative consequences would begin, totally out of my control."


"I won’t be able to pay for my mortgage or my car, and depending on how long the shutdown takes, I literally may not be able to afford to feed myself and my family."


"I would cry. I work to support my family of 6\. I choose to work for the State of Vermont because it meant having stable employment and not having to worry about how I would be able to feed my children."


"Our savings took a hit when my husband took a job that was bettter for his heath, but a big paycut. We rely heavily on my check to pay our mortgae and other bills. We have two young boys, who have been known to need stiches from time to time. How would we cover that without health care? What if they get sick? I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the Fall. I will take medicine everyday for the rest of my life. What happens if if my health care premiums are not paid? This would be a very scary scenario for my family."


"I will be in dire straits. I need my pay to deal with mortgage and bills. My youngest son is leaving for college in mid-August and my husband and I are paying for his move – uhaul, etc. I need my health insurance as I have a chronic health condition which requires care and monitoring. Due to my immunocomprised status I am currently being treated for cellulitis – what if it does not heal well and takes a turn for the worse?I will be finishing current medication treatment around the end of July, what if it then gets worse? It can be very serious. I have been told to go to the ED if that happens – how will I cover that bill without health insurance? I have a long awaited appoinment with a specialist the end of June. There is the strong possibility he will order imaging and other tests – how will I pay for that, or if I delay will it cause other problems in delaying treatment."


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