Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What is Insurance for?

The reason we have insurance is to manage risk. Think about your auto or life insurance for example. The reason you have auto insurance is in case you get in a serious accident and you damage your car or injure yourself or others. The insurance does not cover oil changes, tune ups, new tires, or car washes. Those are the things we do to maintain our vehicles so they last longer and drive efficiently for the time we own them. The cost of a policy is reflective of the chance that we will actually use the insurance. The average cost of auto insurance is basically $700 - $2000 per year based on individual circumstances. Not likely you will use it unless you get in an accident or your car is stolen.

Life insurance is there in case you die. The policy is designed to protect your family in case you die and replace the income lost because of your death. The cost is based on how old you are how much income you want to insure for your family, and your health.

Insurance is to manage risk that something bad could happen and the policy is there to help you if something bad does happen. So why do we expect health insurance to pay for everything regarding our healthcare?

When did it become common practice for our doctor visits to be paid by insurance policies? Why is healthcare different from all other insurance policies? Why can’t health insurance simply be to manage risks to our health? Should it not be there in case we get an illness that requires extensive medical services? Cancer, heart attacks, critical accidents requiring surgery?

If we paid for our own maintenance like doctor visits, vaccinations, flu shots, dental cleaning, and simple consultations, would that reduce the cost of healthcare insurance? Of course it would but it will take a new approach and will need each and every one of us to get involved in our own health. We need to shop for and pay for our own health maintenance. It will also include the need for doctors to price their services accordingly. I will bet most doctors don’t even know what it costs to provide these services. They are so busy fighting with insurance companies and the government to get paid they could make more money just charging a direct fee to their patients.

Getting government into the business of your health is a death wish. It is the ultimate invasion of privacy and a total assault on our freedom to contract services with a doctor which is actually a constitutional right. The right to enter into contracts between two people is protected by our constitution. It was that important to our founders.

So I ask you to think about insurance; why are we using it to pay for simple maintenance services? Should healthcare insurance be the same as auto insurance? If it was this debate of rising costs would be less critical. Don’t give up your freedom for a policy that will push for death over health at the most critical times you need that policy. Just a thought…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe health insurance should be structured the same as all other insurance policies. It should be for catastrophic coverage. I beleive if people paid for their sick visits there would be less visits to the doctor for the common cold. Justine is a nurse and would know better than me but we have created more problems with prescribingantiobiotics unnecessarily (although I understand another part of the problem is that the doctors are always trying to cover themselves for fear of law suit) So there needs to be tort reform and like you said the American people need to be introduced into a new way of thinking as far as health insurance anis concerned. Christine Muro-Light