Ever since I turned 18, I have had health insurance. I’m sure I had it as a child, but I can only speak to what I know I had as an adult. In college as an undergraduate I had the student health insurance policy (or maybe was on my Mom’s? I don’t recall), and in graduate school I had coverage through the school until I married Mr. Brillig and was able to be added to his workplace insurance coverage. So since 1992, I’ve been on a workplace insurance plan (either Mr. Brillig’s or mine when I was working, depending on which was better coverage/less expensive) and both I and my entire family have made excellent use of it. Both kids know what I’ll say when they’re not sure ‘if this needs a doctor’s appointment’… that we are privileged to have health insurance, and therefore we need to USE IT when necessary.
And then Mr. Brillig changed jobs. The details are unimportant; suffice it to say he ended one job on December 29th 2023 and began his new job on January 2nd 2024. The transition was rather smooth, except for one thing: Because of his start date (thanks, New Year’s Day holiday!) he/we would be eligible for coverage on New Company’s plan on February 1st. Yes, COBRA was available… but as I’m sure everyone here who’s ever had to access it is aware, it’s expensive. Super Bowl 50-yardline Seats Expensive. Thankfully it’s also retroactive, so we decided we’d go without, get to the end of the month, then see if we spent enough to warrant retroactively COBRAing (spoiler: we didn’t need to).
It’s here where you point out that my diary title is clickbait, because I wasn’t technically without insurance. Yes, I am aware but here you are reading my diary :). In my defense, I treated my January as if I was truly uninsured. I had prescriptions to pick up, and did so noticing the difference in price. We had a family member with a specialist appointment six months in the waiting, and were told upfront what the price was and had to sign papers that we agreed to pay. (We actually knew that would happen, because a decade ago we had an insurance snafu and the new cards/insurance plan number were delayed by a week but K1’s MRI was NOT being rescheduled. They were merciless making sure we signed many, many forms that we understood how expensive it was and that if we didn’t ‘really’ have insurance we were liable for every penny. K1 was a mass of guilt and we kept reassuring her it would be OK.)
I spent a lot of time worrying about our safety. Be careful so you don’t trip and sprain an ankle. Don’t be near anyone coughing because what if we get sick. Can that dermatology appointment be rescheduled for later when we have insurance. And so on. It was mentally stressful and I understood with greater clarity the calculus my for-various-reasons uninsured friends do every single day to avoid health care costs.
Even so, I was aware every day that if we NEEDED healthcare (like that specialist appointment), we were privileged enough to be able to access it AND pay for it. Our credit card limit was high enough to charge it. We had leftover money in our former plan’s HSA to use. I know too many people for whom one unplanned medical issue wipes out savings, or rent money, or both.
This whole minor brush with the mere feeling of being uninsured was due to a job change and a calendar date. I couldn’t help but think if our healthcare access wasn’t tied in most cases to employment, this wouldn’t have happened. Mr. Brillig’s job transition would have had zero effect on our health insurance. Too many people are locked into jobs because they literally cannot afford to switch to another because the insurance either is too costly, or benefits aren’t included. I know at least one person who is self-employed and while personally is a proponent of the Affordable Care Act, cannot access it for himself because the cost of insurance on the marketplace is higher than he can afford. That’s just all kinds of effed up.
There are many reasons I vote Democratic. Not choosing fascism is a big one these days of course, but so is having a rational SCOTUS, and a government that wants to make sure all of us can see a doctor when we need to without financial ruin.
Tell me, if you’re willing… do you have health insurance? Is it employer, government, or ACA marketplace? Come sit in the comments with me and chat… after perusing tonight’s Tops, of course!
Here at Top Comments we welcome longtime as well as brand new Daily Kos readers to join us at 10pm Eastern. We strive to nourish community by rounding up some of the site's best, funniest, most mojo'd & most informative commentary, and we depend on your help!! If you see a comment by another Kossack that deserves wider recognition, please send it either to topcomments at gmail or to the Top Comments group mailbox by 9:30pm Eastern. Please please please include a few words about why you sent it in as well as your user name (even if you think we know it already :-)), so we can credit you with the find!
Brillig's ObDisclaimer: The decision to publish each nomination lies with the evening's Diarist and/or Comment Formatter. My evenings at the helm, I try reeeeallllyy hard to publish everything without regard to content. I really do, even when I disagree personally with any given nomination. "TopCommentness" lies in the eyes of the nominator and of you, the reader - I leave the decision to you. I do not publish self-nominations (ie your own comments) and if I ruled the world, we'd all build community, supporting and uplifting instead of tearing our fellow Kossacks down. Please remember that comment inclusion in Top Comments does not constitute support or endorsement by diarist, formatter, Top Comments writers or DailyKos. Questions, complaints or comments? Contact brillig.
In a long stream of comments about whether Merrick Garland was naive and stupid versus something much worse, BlackGrannyRising made a very perceptive reply to Paul C. From notksanymore’s Former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe exposes Hur.
Top Mojo for yesterday (Sunday), February 11th 2024, first comments and tip jars excluded. Thank you mik for the mojo magic! For those of you interested in How Top Mojo Works, please see his diary on FAQing Top Mojo.
Top Pictures for yesterday (Sunday), February 11th 2024. Click any picture to be taken to the full comment or picture. Thank you to the wonderful dKos staff who made it possible to continue this feature in memory of jotter!