medical insurance

My sister asked me last week if I had health insurance.  Yes, I say with some relief.  I’m fairly certain that I’m covered for a portion of something.  If I were astute (about this), I’d have researched the coverage documents to know exactly what that portion is.  Kind of like not opening a deflated 401k statement, I’ve not opened the medical coverage documents yet.  It is what it is.  I’ll deal with the out-of-pocket when I’m out of therapy.

A few years ago, because I’ve been buying health insurance on the market, as any good shopper, I looked around for best value.  When the payments are high and usage is rare, it’s an incentive to drive down the monthly nut of any bill.  Hence, I changed my medical plan a few years ago to a somewhat high deductible.  Still, aside from home rent (mortgage), health insurance has been and is the single largest monthly liability.  I suppose though that if I had a car in New York City, the expenses related to the car, insurance, parking, upkeep, might win the number two spot.  But for now, health insurance has that honor.

But insurance is one of the monthly bills you’ve got to ‘not mind’ paying.  Whether it is a vehicle, homeowners/renters, or health, insurance is better purchased than using.  Not sure about life (ins).  During the years working for a large company, my health insurance was a split pay.  It wasn’t much of a decision.  Either take the employer’s choice, or get your own.  No decision required because a company can buy group policies more economical than individuals.

For some reason, many in America want the gov to control and administer health insurance.  Does it make sense to layer the cost of administration by the State on top of the already high cost of health care?  After all, the gov, when administrating anything, is highly efficient and cost effective.  Or is the opposite true.  My wife’s French friends like the fact that they receive health care when they need it without paying (free, they say).  Then they fit and complain about forking over more than 50% of their salary to the state.  Pay the state (middleman), receive service from a third party, and the service magically becomes free.  Or it feels somewhat like a benefit.

It’s easier when the direct costs don’t come direct out of pocket, but rather indirect.  The freakanomics can be saved for another (unassociated) blog.  Whether the state pays, employer pays, or we pay direct, we will always pay.  It’s only a matter of how and how much.

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