Trying to figure out what to do between jobs plus having a spouse with a job

Hi all,

Apologies if this has been asked and answered, but I really can’t make heads or tails of the guidance and have been receiving a lot of mixed messages.

After living overseas for some time, my spouse and I are now back in the US…and missing our European life along with its insurance. Paid 7$ for an ER visit last year…

Anyway, she has found a job at a private school; I have not (currently working un-benefitted contracts to pay the bills), but looking for something in the NGO world, which tends to have nice insurance plans. Have had a few interviews and things look promising, but not likely to get an offer before the cut-off enrollment date for her insurance.

Her job has less than 50 people on the company insurance plan and has recently had a change in HR staff (who are trying to change the insurance, but not for this year). The health insurance plan is unlike anything I’ve seen. It covers very little, and for both of us to be on it, it will be 980$ a month excluding dental and vision. That seems absolutely insane to me and is almost half of her monthly earnings. Isn’t the point of insurance through the employer that it’s at least a) better or b) more affordable?

Anyway, I digress. We thought that we could just get on it together and hop off when I found a job with better benefits. I believe that is incorrect and it’s irrelevant whether I as the spouse gets a new job as pertains to a qualifying event. We aren’t really sure what to do at this point as the thought of a staggering 980$ a month for terrible insurance seems like a bad idea.

Would it be possible for us to get a self-arranged “major medical” plan as a stop-gap and then both hop on my employer’s insurance when I secure a job? Or is that impossible because she already has a job? Would it only be possible for her to get on her employer’s insurance and for me to get the major medical plan and then use my employment as a qualifying event for employer’s insurance?

Just feel turned in circles about trying to not get stuck on this terrible insurance but also trying not to be caught with our pants down. Qualifying events are idiotic, honestly. In Maryland, if that is relevant. Grateful for any advice.