The Medical Insurance Trap

April 18, 2010

The Medical Insurance Trap

Insurance can be an essential safety net in a catastrophe. Without insurance, death, natural disaster, or personal accidents can wipe you out financially. Savings, in time can build up a buffer against such, but the catastrophe may happen too soon.

Medical insurance, however, in its commonest form today, is not primarily for the occasional and unpredictable event. Much of it goes to pay for fairly routine things like visits to the doctor, prescription drugs, and tests. These are paid for from your insurance premiums, which pass through the insurance company and then to your physician, druggist, and test labs. The cost of all the paperwork involved is added cost, which increases your insurance premium.

More significant than this overhead, however, is the way this kind of insurance changes the incentives of all concerned. You may find yourself blocked off from certain treatments, tests, or drugs because your insurance doesn’t cover them. More likely, you may be getting treatments, tests, or drugs that you wouldn’t choose if you were offered them but had to pay for them yourself.

With insurance coverage, your attitude and your doctor’s attitude is “Why not? It’s covered”. But in the end, your premiums must expand to cover your extravagant decisions, and the extravagant decisions of all the other people with the same insurance.

And most significant, in my opinion, is the way this affects our attitudes to health. Our health care system operates on the idea that sickness, diabetes, heart problems, strokes, cancer, etc, are just random events which call for repairs.

That’s seldom true. These “accidents” are preventable through nutrition and lifestyle. YOU can prevent them. With some personal effort most of us can live and stay healthy and active for many additional years.

Lazily, we prefer to eat junk food that tickles our taste buds, spend long inactive hours at the computer and the TV, get fat and unhealthy, and buy insurance to pay for patching up the accumulated damage.


One Response to “The Medical Insurance Trap”

  1. Says:

    in my opinion, your writing is very good and very useful

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