Back when I worked at Nation Gypsum, I had an excellent benefits package. It included health, dental, vision, and life insurance, as well as a good old 401k retirement plan. Unfortunately, these benefits only took effect 30 days after the start of my employment, and I worked there somewhere along the lines of 58 days. That means I only had my coverage for 28 days. I never really had the need or chance to use the benefits, but I did pay for them.
Here about 3 months ago, an insurance salesman for American Republic got a hold of me at work (long story and I'm not even sure of how it starts). I ended up establishing a policy with him, and it was set to bill out on the 22nd of each month.
Well, it billed out once, and brought my bank account down too low. In fact, right now I have about $10 to my name (payday is tomorrow). Guess how many days away the next billing will be...
I called American Republic's customer service line today on my way to work and cancelled my policy. I'm just not able to afford my rent, car payment, car insurance, gasoline, food, and other miscellaneous living expenses, as well as an insurance policy that costs me $80 per month and has limited coverage in this particular area. When I told the rep. that, she was very understanding and helpful, and ran the procedures necessary to stop my policy from being billed this next term.
It's very disturbing to me that healthcare is so expensive in this country, but insurance programs, designed to help lower the cost of healthcare, cost nearly as much! Other countries, such as Canada and the U.K., provide healthcare to their residents for free. Why? Because the taxes those people pay are more than sufficient to cover medicine costs.
The U.S. has such a high defecit as it is, there's no way we'd be able to afford public healthcare programs. Everything in this country is taxed, some things even multiple times! Yet, our government is so bloated that we can't afford to take care of ourselves.
It's a common argument that here in the U.S., most employers will provide benefits packages to their employees at a nominal fee. Those making this argument are unaware of the demographics of areas such as Rensselaer, and they don't realize that not everyone works for a high-profit corporation. There are a lot of farmers and small businesses in this area, as well as other areas like it, that can't afford to provide their employees with services such as health insurance. Also, most people who don't live in this kind of a community don't really realize how important the "mom and pop" stores are, or how important of a role that farmer with just 100 acres of land plays in the national economy.
So yeah. I have never had health insurance for longer than 30 days.