Insurance, like Vegas, is not built on winners

It’s better to burn brightly for half as long than to be a dim lingering light

Roland Gift (b.1961, actor, singer (Fine Young Cannibals)

What started me thinking about insurance this week was my decision recently to obtain life insurance that also furnished Longterm-Care support, for both my spouse and myself. The result of my late father having a stroke thirty years ago, was his last twenty-two months spent in a nursing facility, receiving twenty-four hour care. Every dime he had earned and invested, was liquidated to provide for him – before the State would furnish any support. He died with nothing except trinkets and papers. With friends and family experiencing unexpected conditions that burden them in retirement, maintaining excellent mental and physical health until the heart ceases to beat, is not necessarily assured. Rather than rely on children to furnish support in our “golden years”, I thought again about insurance.

I used to complain about the cost of being a grown-up in Western society. Working hard so that one earned sufficiently enough to pay a third or more in government taxes, a third in rent or mortgage, and half of the remaining in property and health insurance coverage. And if you had some surplus, it could be used to have some “quality of life” pursuits. If you have been an adult for any length of time, you know all this. During one’s working life, if you had a decent healthcare plan half-subsidized by your employer, dental and medical care might sufficiently cover general illnesses and fairly common hospital procedures. For the last decade or more, Government meddling in healthcare, has driven up the costs of procedures and prescription drugs, while also making routine visits, and other “maintenance” really difficult. Government officials with “golden” health coverage -and millions of dollars in personal wealth -look to tax people with health coverage that is “too generous”. The worst about healthcare insurance today? Should someone have a diagnosis of cancer, cardiovascular disease, or some chronic condition, care becomes that much more difficult to qualify for coverage. Not to mention necessitating others to furnish ongoing costs out-of-pocket.

The current debacle over COVID-19 where some families have lost loved ones, and many more have suffered life-altering physical and mental affects, will greatly impact healthcare imperatives in Government. Where now debate continues over what constitutes personal rights in healthcare, from gender-issues, preexisting conditions, and lifestyle-influenced chronic conditions, to blanket coverage for everyone – whether a taxpaying citizen, state-subsidized citizen or non-citizen, it is only getting more shrill. And I am hedging my bets. But in insurance, like in Vegas – those big palaces are not built because the insured “winners”-take-all.

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